Why Not a Real Party Platform?
In one year, Republicans, flush the idealism, energy and honor of the Tea Party Movement, will meet in Tampa for their 2012 Convention Political conventions are dull. Before the convention begins, we all know who the nominee will be. The selection of his running mate is the only mild suspense. Every convention produces a party platform, but these platforms are even more boring than convention speeches (consider the 67 page 2008 Republican Party Platform.)
Democrats, who babble on for hours saying virtually nothing, have no problems with this sort of meaningless document. Their 2008 convention resembled Riefenstahl's film on the 1934 Nuremburg Party rally, Triumph of the Will. This leftist elevation of image over substance is the antithesis of conservatives, which is civil, serious and honorable. We respect documents like the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights which say in a few simple paragraphs what must be done to preserve ordered liberty. We also see the futility of trying to cram every problem of human life into a rambling agenda for federal action.
The 1994 Contract With America was brief and direct and persuasive. Why not make the Republican Party Platform of 2012 similar to the Contract With America? We can state on a single page of text much of what needs to be done to save our nation. This statement should be specific, not squishy and vague. We ought to base the whole 2012 election, congressional as well as presidential races, on that platform. We ought to mail that easy to read and easy to grasp document to every American household and we ought to publish that platform in every public place and recite it in every Republican political commercial. Conservatives ought to let every voter know just what we will do with power, if they give us power.
This platform should bind social and fiscal conservatives and should lay the foundation for future reforms. Here is how this sort of platform might read:
If given the White House, the House of Representatives, and a strong enough majority in the Senate to bring these items to a vote, Republicans in the first 100 days of 2013 will:
•1. Repeal Obamacare entirely.
•2. Remove from all federal courts any jurisdiction over state abortion laws.
•3. Raise the Social Security retirement age to 67 years and limit Social Security COLAS to 2% per year.
•4. Freeze all federal salaries.
•5. Keep taxes at current or lower levels and all ban rate or fee increases by federal agencies.
•6. Open ANWR to oil and gas exploration and production.
•7. Require all federal regulations to be approved by Congress in order to have force of law.
•8. Prohibit anyone illegally in America from becoming a citizen.
•9. End Ethanol subsidies.
•10. Grant the president the power to not spend funds appropriated by Congress."
The platform should not so much be a "feel good" document as a "feel real" document. It should not try to change everything in one election cycle, but rather to make real progress on key fronts. The platform should show guts, like raising the Social Security retirement age and ending Ethanol subsidies. We hunger for honest and real leadership. The Republican Party Platform should fill that hunger.
Free people in times of danger lose their taste for sugar words. Winston Churchill in1940 rejected the soothing assurances of Baldwin and Chamberlain. He instead told his countrymen: "I have nothing to offer you but blood, toil, sweat and tears." Lincoln spoke at the charnel house of Gettysburg in 1863. His solemn and serious words said: "we here highly resolve that this dead shall not have died in vain." In our Declaration of Independence of 1776, the last lines are the bravest: "...for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
Republicans should not shrink from offering strong medicine to a sick nation. Those who would enslave us see Americans as spoiled children who will barter our liberty for junk food and who will sleep to the lullabies of rambling, dopey leftist promises. The last thing that the left wants to see from conservatives is clarity and courage. Our weapon against the cynical meanders of corrupt leftism is truth chiseled in stone and defended without flinching. The Republican Platform of 2012 should be more than a bowl of bland glop. It should be a clarion call for the victory of liberty and the rebirth of America.
Bruce Walker is the author of Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.