“The Platform is the Party’s contract with the people.” This noble sentiment has been used by both Republicans and Democrats in characterizing their state and national party Platforms over the decades. It can become an embarrassing yardstick for any Party that lives a double life.
Consider President Bush and his Texas State Republican Platform of 2002
which is still in effect. The authors and endorsers of this lengthy
document were taking no chances. It says crisply that each “Republican
candidate for a public or Party office shall be provided a current copy
of the Party platform at the time of filing. The candidate shall be
asked to read and initial each page of the platform and sign a
statement affirming he/she has read the entire platform.”
Signing on the dotted line is connected with the Party giving the candidate financial and other support.
follows policy after policy of great specificity in direct opposition
to what the Bush Administration is doing and not doing. For example,
the Texas Republican Party demands that Washington repeal NAFTA and
GATT and get out of the World Trade Organization and the United
Nations. It is adamant against any gathering, accumulation and
dissemination of personal data and information on law-abiding citizens
by business and governments. It wants “all citizens” to be free from
government surveillance of their electronic communications.
slam against Attorney General John Ascroft, the Texas Party believes
that “the current greatest threat to our individual liberties is
overreaching government controls established under the guise of
Remember, this is the Texas state
Republican Party. It is President Bush’s Party — the organization that
launched his political career to the Governorship and beyond. His
friends and political allies run this Party.
So it is remarkable
to read that the Platform demands the “elimination of presidential
authority to issue executive orders, presidential decision directives.
. . .and a repeal of all previous executive orders and administrative
mandates.” This policy would handcuff both George W. Bush and John
In opposition to President Bush, his state Party
insists that social security funds “should not be commingled or spent
with general revenues or invested in private or public corporate
stock.” And it adds, Social Security benefits should “be non-taxable,”
until private pensions replace social security.
abolishing government! The Texas Republican Party wants to terminate
the U.S. Department of Education, (there goes Bush’s Leave No Child
Behind hoax), the Internal Revenue Service, along with the elimination
of the personal income tax, inheritance tax, corporate income tax,
payroll tax and the minimum wage. That is not all. The Party wants to
close down the Department of Health and Human Services, Commerce,
Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms, and for good measure, the “position of Surgeon
The Platform has one demand that is quite sensible —
namely “The Party does not support governmental subsidies, tariffs,
bailouts, or other forms of corporate welfare [including sports
stadiums] that are used to protect and preserve businesses or
industries that have failed to remain relevant, competitive, and
efficient over time.”
President Bush made his fortune by getting
Texas taxpayers to pay for the Texas Rangers’s new baseball stadium.
His government now expandscorporate welfare on the backs of individual
taxpayers, while allowing huge tax escapes for large multinational
If you want to read more, long onto
www.texasgop.org/library/RPTPlatform2002.pdf. But if you’ve read this
far, you may be asking how did this astonishing Texas GOP vs. Bush come
about. It has to do with the double life of the Republican Party — the
main party dominated by corporatists and the adjunct Party relying on
conservatives and libertarians to produce the margin of votes for
victory in elections.
The corporatist Republicans give the
platforms and the core ideological issues to the conservatives, pat
them on the back at convention time and then move into office with the
welcome mat for Big Business lobbyists and their slushfunds.
duplicity is illustrated by the large contributions that the national
Republican Party takes from the gambling industry in return for
political support. In contrast, the Texas Party Platform states that
“gambling has had a devastating impact on many Texas families” and
opposes “any further legalization, government facilitation, or
financial guarantees relating to any type of gambling. . . “
a letter to President Bush, I called on him to engage in
truth-in-advertising and let the voters of this country know which
provisions of his own state Party’s Platform he endorses and which ones
he opposes. For all its faults, the media does not like forked tongues
and will sooner or later demand “clarification.”
As for the
Democratic Party, why didn’t it make hay with this Platform, as the
Republicans surely would have if the shoe was on the other foot. Why?
Because the Democratic Party IS hay.