Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Texas Republican Party platform

From Pharyngula:
Have you seen this thing? The Texas Freedom Network has a breakdown of its contents.
  • Declares separation of church and state is a “myth” and calls for Congress to withdraw federal court jurisdiction over cases involving religious freedom and the Bill of Rights

  • Calls for teaching creationist arguments in public school science classrooms

  • Opposes the sale and use of emergency contraception and backs the Legislature’s war on women’s health programs

  • Rejects “any sex education other than abstinence until marriage” in public schools

  • Adopts a radical position that would essentially bar abortion even in cases of rape, of incest or to save a woman’s life

  • Advocates for the repeal of the Voting Rights Act, minimum wage laws and the Endangered Species Act as well as the abolishment of the Environmental Protection Agency

  • Attacks LGBT Texans as a threat to families and objects to laws that would protect them from job discrimination and hate crimes

  • Calls for further funding cuts for public schools following draconian cuts by lawmakers in 2011

  • Seeks to change the 14th Amendment to limit citizenship by birth only to those born to a U.S. citizen

  • Threatens federal judges with impeachment if they don’t toe the far right’s line in controversial court cases

It also says we should end the Social Security program, arm college students, requiring presidential candidates to submit a birth certificate, and a return to the gold standard.

As PZ Myers points out, this is the Republican Party base. Party leaders try to keep the base happy, while prettifying their policies for the general population. But this is what they want.

This is the kind of people they are - and, as I've said many times before, it's the result of the GOP's "Southern strategy" of wooing white southerners unhappy with the end of racial segregation. They put all of those kinds of people into the same political party. (Louisiana, too, shows the GOP base quite clearly.)

These are the old Dixiecrats, combined with the John Birchers and other loons who were already in the Republican Party. To a large extent, they're still fighting the Civil War, determined that the North won't win this time.

So it really does tell us something:
But the thing about these state platforms is that they expose the primal id of the party. I’ve been to local Democratic caucuses, for instance, and I see the extremists of that party at work — and also most of their ideas get pared away at the state and national level, too, smoothed out to a blander, more conservative muddle. You can see better where the party faithful want us to go, while the party leadership always steers a more middling course.

At the Democratic caucuses, you see people exposing the real dreams of their group. And at Democratic events, they want things like: free education for everyone; free healthcare for everyone; more open immigration policies and education and healthcare for immigrant children, legal or otherwise; an end to all wars; reduction of the defense budget; more support for labor unions; protection for endangered species; more environmental restoration; full civil rights for gay people; closing Guantanomo Bay; and just generally making the universe a friendlier place. They’ll also toss in some nonsense about organic herbal medicine or increasing subsidies for corn ethanol production, so they aren’t perfect, but one thing they are is idealistic.

Contrast that with what the dedicated Republicans propose. Sure, Democratic dreams are too often impractical, but they at least value human beings, every one of them, and want all of us to live safely and securely, with hope for personal improvement. The Republicans always sound so sour and stupid, dedicated to shutting down everyone who isn’t a white heterosexual male; it’s an “I got mine” attitude that seeks to influence the state to enhance their privileges.

I often hear idiots declaring that "both parties are the same." Pardon my French, but that's complete bullshit! Given the realities of our system of government - noting that we do not have a parliamentary system - party leaders generally try to pull their base towards the middle, in order to win elections.

For some reason, this isn't working in the GOP, and their extremism isn't losing them much support. I don't know if that's the result of Fox 'News' or just that people turn conservative in bad times - and that Republicans have done very, very well in recent years of creating bad times in America.

Anyway, to get back to my point, party leaders tend to be more moderate on both sides. Or maybe you can say they tend to be more practical, since they're always concerned about getting elected. But the party bases show their heart, their passion, their values, and there's a world of difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.

As frustrating as the Democrats can sometimes be, there's no question which side I'm on. I always wanted to be an Independent, but the Republican Party has simply made that impossible for me. If you're a Republican these days, I have to wonder at your sanity or your intelligence.

Or maybe you're just completely clueless, I don't know. Keep reading this blog and I'll try to fix that. :)


Jeff said...

After reading the Texas GOP party platform, I can hear Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith when he said, "Only a SITH deals in absolutes." And the Republicans do deal in absolutes.

"Attacks LGBT Texans as a threat to families and objects to laws that would protect them from job discrimination and hate crimes"

Did you catch this story? Good luck getting Texas law enforcement to move heaven and earth, so to speak, finding the killer.

WCG said...

That's terrible, Jeff, but I don't think I'll leap to the conclusion that it was a hate crime. That might be true but, unfortunately, people are shot every day in America.

Of course, this kind of hate does influence the crazies, so a hate crime remains quite likely. But young women are often victimized regardless of their sexual orientation. (That fact makes me embarrassed for my whole species.)

At any rate, I'll reserve judgement. But if not murder, gay and lesbian people are suffering discrimination. That's reason enough to be concerned.