Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Rhetorical sparring between political parties traces back to the earliest days of our republic. Our general population finds the discourse tiresome and unproductive, for the most part, but still it persists. In this era of digital communications and social media, the fervor of party disagreements is magnified, often emphasizing the tone over the substance of the arguments, giving “politics” an increasingly bad reputation.
With this as backdrop, I suggest we set aside the emotion and pitch of local, state, and national politics and consider what the political parties espouse in their official party platforms; within which lie their respective values and principles. These platforms are what defines our parties and sets them apart as purposeful professional organizations.
Every four years at the national party conventions, Republicans and Democrats gather from across the nation, bringing with them their ideological positions on widely ranging topics including abortion, capital punishment, prayer, immigration, gun rights and even foreign policy. These positions are coalesced, debated, refined and adopted through a deliberative process. In the end, they represent each party’s official positions for the ensuing four years. I like reading these platforms because they show stark differences in what the parties truly call for in our republic.
What the parties say (or abstain from saying) in their platforms should be what our citizens use in deciding which party their values most closely align with. To affiliate using any other methodology is disingenuous. For example, it would be silly for someone to associate with and support the ANTIFA movement simply because they like to wear black clothing, or for someone to align with the KKK because they enjoy campfires.
It is no less ridiculous for a voter to call themselves a republican if they believe in big government, disproportionate taxation, on-demand abortion, and eradicating prayer and God from all institutions other than the church. Nowhere in the republican platform is there support for any of these progressive ideas. Those positions are either enumerated in or compatible with the Democrat Platform.
The Republican Platform uniquely supports public prayer and religious freedom. The Republican Platform decries abortion and the use of tax dollars for that purpose. The Republican Platform supports traditional marriage, precisely in line with the Holy Bible. The Republican Platform supports legal immigration but insists on enforcing our laws to reduce illegal immigration. The Republican Platform supports and unequivocally defends gun rights. The Republican Platform expresses support for and defense of Israel in its present boundaries. The Republican Platform espouses American exceptionalism and the same constitutionalist values held by our Founding Fathers.
The Democrat Platform uniquely supports public funding for Planned Parenthood, the organization that brokered sales of human body parts. The Democrat Platform supports a “progressive vision of religious freedom.” The Democrat Platform calls for universal (government run) healthcare, environmental justice, and extensive limitations on guns and gun ownership. The Democrat Platform supports dividing the country of Israel into two states, supports the Iran nuclear agreement, and rejects use of the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” The Democrat Platform rejects President Donald Trump’s leadership and instead highlights support for the United Nations in administering our global affairs.
Read these two platforms and digest their values and principles. Make an informed decision about which purposeful professional organization you want to register with and be true to your values when you vote.
Jim Womack, Chairman
Lee County Republican Party