The Elephants In The Room
Here is a selection of wonders from the Texas Republican Party's 2012 platform. From a British, or indeed a European perspective, having one or two of these items in your party platform might qualify you as an extreme party, or even a slightly weird one. Having forty-five (and that's just the ones that leapt off the page at me as being whacked-out) debars you from being taken seriously in any political context whatsoever.
Yet people who genuinely believe that this recipe for Kandahar-on-the-Rio-Grande is the way forward are trying to replace President Obama with someone they hope will advance their agenda. Now that scares me much more than imaginary Iranian nuclear weapons, or "Islamic terrorism": more for that matter than climate change or global economic collapse.
Protection from Extreme Environmentalists – We strongly oppose all efforts of the extreme environmental groups that stymie legitimate business interests. We strongly oppose those efforts that attempt to use the environmental causes to purposefully disrupt and stop those interests within the oil and gas industry. We strongly support the immediate repeal of the Endangered Species Act. We strongly oppose the listing of the dune sage brush lizard either as a threatened or an endangered species. We believe the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished.
Banning the Use of Red Light Cameras – We oppose the manner in which alleged vehicle violations are documented and fines levied against individuals without proof of their having been the driver of the offending vehicle and we call for the ban on Red Light Cameras in the State of Texas
American English - We support adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States.
Flag Desecration - Any form of desecration of the American Flag is an act of disregard for our nation and its people and penalties should be established for such.
Family and Defense of Marriage ― We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman....
Homosexuality ― We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.
Right To Life - All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We affirm our support for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection applies to unborn children. We support the Life at Conception Act. We oppose the use of public revenues and/or facilities for abortion or abortion-related services. We support the elimination of public funding for organizations that advocate or support abortion. We are resolute regarding the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child ― We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Foster Care ― We support eliminating bureaucratic prohibitions on corporal discipline and home schooling in foster homes.
Social Security ― We support an immediate and orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax.
Gambling ― We oppose the expansion of legalized gambling and encourage the repeal of the Texas State lottery.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) ― We demand the immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we believe to be unconstitutional.
Immunizations ― All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves or their minor children without penalty for refusing a vaccine.
American Identity Patriotism and Loyalty – We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the American and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism.
Bilingual Education – We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within three years.
Classroom Discipline –We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas.
Controversial Theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.
Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
Sex Education – We recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We believe that parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage.
Right to Keep and Bear Arms – America’s founding fathers wrote the 2 nd amendment with clear intent – no level of government shall regulate either the ownership or possession of firearms. Therefore we strongly oppose all laws that infringe on the right to bear arms. We oppose the monitoring of gun ownership, and the taxation and regulation of guns and ammunition. We collectively urge the legislature to pass “constitutional carry” legislation whereby law-abiding citizens that possess firearms can legally exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well.
Freedom of Access Act – We urge repeal of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Law. Those who assault peaceful protesters acting under the Constitution should be vigorously prosecuted. Picketing and literature distribution do not fall under the RICO Act.
Judeo-Christian Nation – As America is a nation under God founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we affirm the constitutional right of all individuals to worship in the religion of their choice.
Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties – We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state.
Equality of All Citizens – We deplore all discrimination. We also deplore forced sensitivity training and urge repeal of any mandate requiring it. We urge immediate repeal of the Hate Crimes Law. Until the Hate Crimes Law is totally repealed, we urge the Legislature to immediately remove the education curriculum mandate and the sexual orientation category in said Law.
Capital Punishment – Properly applied capital punishment is legitimate, is an effective deterrent, and should be swift and unencumbered.
Child Abuse – We oppose actions of social agencies to classify traditional methods of discipline, including corporal punishment, as child abuse.
Federal Tax Reform – We recommend repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, with the goal of abolishing the I.R.S and replacing it with a national sales tax collected by the States.
Law of the Sea – Adopted by the UN in 1982, we still oppose the Law of the Sea Treaty
Government Restrictions – We support immediate removal of government barriers to free market solutions to production and distribution of energy including restrictions on:
- drilling and production operations on public and private lands and waters
- electric power generation and distribution
- federal gas mileage standards (CAFÉ standards) and fuel blends
U.S. Department of Energy – We support the elimination of the Department of Energy.
Incandescent Light Bulbs - We support the freedom to continue to use and manufacture incandescent light bulbs.
Keystone XL Pipeline – We support the immediate approval and construction of the Keystone XL and other pipelines that will reduce our reliance on imported oil and natural gas from unstable or unfriendly countries.
Deep Water Drilling – We support immediate resumption of deep water drilling and production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Land Drilling – We support land drilling and production operations including hydraulic fracturing.
Ethanol – We support the repeal of legislation mandating ethanol as fuel additives and/or primary fuel.
Minimum Wage – We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.
Federal Reserve System – We believe Congress should repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
Sound Money – Our founding fathers warned us of the dangers of allowing central bankers to control our currency because inflation equals taxation without representation. We support the return to the time tested precious metal standard for the U.S. dollar.
Sarbanes Oxley – We support the repeal of Sarbanes Oxley legislation.
United Nations – We support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from U.S. soil.
Traditional Military Culture – To protect our serviceman and women and ensure that America's Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.
Birthright Citizenship – We call on the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States to clarify Section 1 of the 14 th amendment to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a citizen of the United States with no exceptions.
Foreign Aid – We oppose foreign aid except in cases of national defense or catastrophic disasters, with Congressional approval.
International Organizations – We support U.S. withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank.
Israel – We believe that the United States and Israel share a special long-standing relationship based on shared values, a mutual commitment to a republican form of government, and a strategic alliance that benefits both nations. Our foreign policy with Israel should reflect the special nature of this relationship through continued military and economic assistance and recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths. We believe that the US Embassy should be located in Jerusalem. In our diplomatic dealings with Israel, we encourage the continuation of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but oppose pressuring Israel to make concessions it believes would jeopardize its security, including the trading of land for the recognition of its right to exist. We call on the U.S. to cease strong arming Israel through prior agreements with the understanding of delivering equipment to them to defend themselves in exchange for future diplomatic concessions, such as giving up land to the Palestinians on the West Bank. We support the continuation of non-recognition of terrorist nations and organizations. Our policy is based on God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise.