The Texas Republican Party’s state convention was held in Dallas on June 12. And just so everyone knows, the Texas Republican Party is no longer racist because they now cheer loudly for black and brown people and sometimes even warmly for Latino candidates. According to Dallas News, there are two things that we learned from the convention:
Most of the faithful appear as hard right about its beliefs as ever; however, some recognize that their party must show flexibility, including reaching out to Latino voters.
And the party’s platform says:
The party platform took a hard line, too. For example, it calls on the feds to stop sponsoring pre-kindergarten classes. It proposes strengthening the powers of the hard-right-dominated State Board of Education. And it calls for overturning the U.S. law that makes children born on U.S. soil automatically U.S. citizens. (You can guess who that one’s aimed at.)
So, I am going to read through the Party’s platform to give you choice quotes that I think are interesting (and by interesting, you know I mean crazy and scary). I’ll put things in bold if I find them really, really interesting.
This has turned out to be VERY long so I am putting the bulk of it after the jump…
Let’s start with the Preamble:
The embodiment of the conservative dream in America is Texas. Throughout the world people dare to dream of freedom and opportunity. The Republican Party of Texas unequivocally defends that dream. We strive to preserve the freedom given to us by God, implemented by our Founding Fathers, and embodied in the Constitution. We recognize that the nuclear family is the strength of our nation. It is our solemn duty to protect life and develop responsible citizens. We understand that our economic success depends upon free market principles. If we fail to maintain our sovereignty, we risk losing the freedom to live these ideals.
Following the Preamble, the list the Principles that they believe in, including:
2. Preserving American Freedom and Texas Sovereignty.
4. The sanctity of human life, created in the image of God, which should be protected from fertilization to natural death. [So, the death penalty counts as “natural”?]
5. Personal Accountability and Responsibility.
6. Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman. [What does “traditional” mean? And “natural” must mean no transgendered folks since they are “unnatural”.]
And now to individual parts of the platform. First up, “Preserving National Security”, which plugs profiling!:
We believe terrorism is the greatest threat to international peace and to our safety. We urge our national leadership to protect our Constitutional rights and swiftly wage successful war on terrorists; to eliminate aid to any nation threatening us or aiding terrorists or hostile nations; to spell out consequences for terrorist activities and to publicly support other nations fighting terrorists; to reasonably use profiling to protect us; to prosecute national security breaches; and to revise laws or executive orders that erode our essential liberties.
“Elimination of Executive Orders”:
We demand elimination of presidential authority to issue executive orders and other mandates lacking congressional approval, as well as repeal of all previous executive orders and mandates.
“Affirmative Action” [which is ALL about protecting white privilege and making sure that white people aren’t affected negatively or castigated when they point out that their white privilege is being affected]:
Inasmuch as the Civil Rights Movement argued against using race as a factor in American life, affirmative action reintroduces race as a powerful force in American life. The Republican Party of Texas believes in equal opportunity for all American citizens without regard to race or gender. To that end, we oppose affirmative action because:
1. We believe it is simply racism disguised as a social value. [Right – racism. Against who exactly?]
2. We believe that policies that lower standards on the basis of race or gender create a disincentive to excellence and thereby encourage mediocrity. [I literally don’t understand this logic.]
3. We believe that rights belong to people – not groups; therefore, we reject the notion of group-rights and policies that grant preferences based on race or gender. Policies of this type apply a blanket remedy before specific acts of discrimination are proven; thus, such policies compound one injustice with another.
4. Affirmative action falsely casts those who advocate merit as racist. [Here’s that part where they don’t want to be called racists if they are against it. Because they are just for merit, people. Not against blacks or women. Just for merit.]
5. Affirmative action casts doubt on minority achievement making such achievement as seemingly unearned. We believe that true minority advancement will come from a demand for personal responsibility, accountability and competitive excellence. [The only reason that achievement is cast as unearned is because you say so, right here, in your platform. And I just can’t stand stuff like “personal responsibility” as your savior. As if the ONLY reason that black people, minorities, or women don’t get the jobs they deserve is because they don’t have personal responsibility, accountability, or competitive excellence.]
“Free Speech for the Clergy”:
We urge change of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a religious organization to address issues without fear of losing its tax-exempt status. We call for repeal of requirements that religious organizations send government any personal information about their contributors. [Of course they do]
“Employment Non-Discrimination Act (EDNA)”:
We oppose this act through which the federal government would coerce religious business owners and employees to violate their own beliefs and principles by affirming what they consider to be sinful and sexually immoral behavior.
We urge Congress to adopt the Constitutional Restoration Act and support the principle of judicial restraint, which requires judges to interpret and apply rather than make the law. We support judges who strictly interpret the law based on its original intent. We oppose judges who assume for themselves legislative powers.
“Remedies to Activist Judiciary”:
We call Congress and the President to use their constitutional powers to restrain activist judges. We urge Congress to adopt the Judicial Conduct Act of 2005 and remove judges who abuse their authority. Further, we urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.
A candidate running for office should be required to reside within the geographical boundaries of the office sought. A candidate must submit proof of qualifications for the office being sought, including proof of citizenship and in the case of a presidential candidate, an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, bearing names and signatures of parents, attendant(s), as well as date, time and location of birth for the purpose of satisfying the requirement of being a “natural born citizen”. [Not that they are saying ANYTHING about Obama…]
They then have a section called (and I kid you not) “Honoring the Symbols of Our American Heritage”:
Ten Commandments – We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Decalogue or other religious symbols.
Constitution in Public Schools – We believe that all state-funded schools should read and teach the constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Texas.
Pledge of Allegiance – We support adoption of the Pledge Protection Act. We also demand that the National Motto “In God We Trust” and National Anthem be protected from legislative and judicial attack.
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.
Symbols of American Heritage – We call upon governmental entities to protect all symbols of our American heritage from being altered in any way.
Confederate Widows Plaque – We call for restoration of plaques honoring the Confederate Widow’s Pension Fund contribution that were removed from the Texas Supreme Court building.
“Family and Defense of Marriage” (you know this is good):
We support the definition of marriage as a God–ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists. We call on the President and Congress to take immediate action to defend the sanctity of marriage. We are resolute that Congress exercise authority under the United States Constitution, and pass legislation withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage. We further call on Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify a marriage amendment declaring that marriage in the United States shall consist of and be recognized only as the union of a natural man and a natural woman. Neither the United States nor any state shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse. We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married. We advocate the repeal of laws that place an unfair tax burden on families. We call upon Congress to completely remove the marriage penalty in the tax code, whereby a married couple receives a smaller standard deduction than their unmarried counterparts living together. The primary family unit consists of those related by blood, heterosexual marriage, or adoption. The family is responsible for its own welfare, education, moral training, conduct, and property.
The thing that makes me the MOST annoyed about this entire annoying statement is that they assume that “natural” has an easy and obvious definition. And that they keep asking for certain things to not be allowed to be put before the courts, like cutting off a check and balance is the way to get what you want. The courts’ job is to watch over for minorities who are having their civil rights curbed by the majority.
We affirm that this section is a response to the attacks on traditional family values. These include wellfunded, vigorous political and judicial attempts by powerful organizations and branches of the government to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior upon school children, parents, educational institutions, businesses, employees, government bodies and religious institutions and charities. These aggressive, intolerant efforts marginalize as bigots anyone who dissents.
Also love how they keep wanting to say that just because they are against the gays and the minorities, no one should be allowed to say that they are. And just because they are doesn’t mean they are bigots. Don’t you get it, people? We are just protecting family values. Duh!
“Marriage and Divorce”:
We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that the integrity of this institution should be protected at all levels of government. We urge the Legislature to rescind no–fault divorce laws. We support Covenant Marriage.
We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.
“Homosexuality” (wow, I don’t even want to read this LONG paragraph):
We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. [BULLSHIT!] 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 our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” [Why is “couples” in quotes? So gay people can’t even couple up according to Texas Republicans?] We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. [Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY? What does it feel like to hate so openly and with such authority?]
“Texas Sodomy Statutes”:
We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority
granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy. [There’s that thing about just keeping whatever they don’t like out of the courts.]
“Partial Birth Abortion”:
We oppose partial birth abortion. We recommend that Congress eliminate from all federal court jurisdictions all cases involving challenges to banning Partial Birth Abortion. [There’s that thing about just keeping whatever they don’t like out of the courts.]
“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. We affirm our support for the appointment and election of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We insist that the U.S. Department of Justice needs to prosecute hospitals or abortion clinics for committing induced labor (live birth) abortion. We are opposed to genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. We oppose legislation allowing the withholding of nutrition and hydration to the terminally ill or handicapped. Until our final goal of total Constitutional rights for the unborn child is achieved, we beseech the Texas Legislature in consideration of our state’s rights, to enact laws that restrict and regulate abortion including:
1. parental and informed consent;
2. prohibition of abortion for gender selection;
3. prohibition of abortion due to the results of genetic diagnosis
4. licensing, liability, and malpractice insurance for abortionists and abortion facilities;
5. prohibition of financial kickbacks for abortion referrals;
6. prohibition of partial birth and late term abortions; and
7. enactment of any other laws which will advance the right to life for unborn children.
“Protection of Women’s Health”:
Because of the personal and social pain caused by abortions, we call for the protection of both women and their unborn children from pressure for unwanted abortions. We commend the Texas Legislature for the passage of the Woman’s Right to Know Act, a law requiring abortion providers, prior to an abortion, to provide women full knowledge of the physical and psychological risks of abortion, the characteristics of the unborn child, and abortion alternatives. We urge the state government and the Department of State Health Services to ensure that all abortion providers are in compliance with this informed consent law and to ensure that all pregnancy centers and other entities assisting women in crisis pregnancies have equal access to the informational brochures created by the Department of State Health Services.
My response to this entire paragraph is AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Age of Consent”:
We support raising the age of consent for consensual sex to 18 years.
Under “Health Care Choice” the term “ObamaCare” actually appears:
ObamaCare – We urge the Congress to defund, repeal, and reject the national healthcare takeover, also known as “ObamaCare” or any similar legislation.
We recognize that the preventable diseases of AIDS and HIV infection represent a threat to human health. We view with compassion all people infected with HIV. We call for appropriate levels of research to find a cure for the disease and ask that the government give full disclosure of the causes. However, because AIDS represents such a severe threat to both the health and economic well–being of our citizens, we insist that the epidemic be de–politicized and that as a society, we take all appropriate steps to protect our citizens from this epidemic. All people, no matter what disease they may contract, are worthy of deep respect as humans; however, behavior has personal and social consequences. [WHO, I say, WHO are they talking about in that final sentence? Perhaps if we look back to the paragraph labeled “homosexuality” we can figure it out: We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. It appears that they have ALREADY politicized this disease within their own document.]
“Classroom Discipline” (WHAT?):
We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. We urge the Legislature, Governor, Commissioner of Education and State Board of Education to remind administrators and school boards that corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas.
Realizing that conflict and debate is a proven learning tool in classrooms, we support objective teaching [wow, that’s a loaded and stupid phrase that has no actual meaning] and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories, including evolution, Intelligent Design, global warming, political philosophies, and others. We believe theories of life origins and environmental theories should be taught as challengeable scientific theory subject to change as new data is produced, not scientific law. 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.
We support teaching the principles articulated by Republican [HAAHHAHAAHHAHA!] Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that we be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character and we celebrate positive contributions to our society by members of all cultural groups without emphasizing their differences. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of multiculturalism that emphasizes differences among racial and ethnic groups. [What does “American identity” mean?]
“Traditional Principles in Education”:
We support school subjects with emphasis on Judeo-Christian principles (including the Ten Commandments) upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems.
“School Health Care”:
We urge legislators to prohibit reproductive health care services, including counseling, referrals, and distribution of condoms and contraception through public schools.
We support the removal of the system of tenure in Texas state colleges and universities. [OMG! WTF?!]
“Judeo-Christian Nation” (what is this little section about? That we are a Judeo-Christian nation or that they are affirming the right to worship whatever religion? Why is it written like this?):
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.
“Boy Scouts of America”:
We support the Boy Scouts of America and reject any attempt to undermine or fundamentally change the ideals of the organization.
Properly applied capital punishment is legitimate, is an effective deterrent, and should be swift and unencumbered. [Remember All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death? I guess people who are put up for capital punishment aren’t “innocent” so we don’t have to respect or safeguard that life, even though we know that Texas has fried innocent people before.]
Punishment options for rape should include death. Adults convicted of sexual molestation of a minor should receive mandatory prison sentences without probation or parole. We support increasing the penalty for failure to report child sexual assault cases, and we urge vigorous prosecution of such failure. We urge the Legislature to eliminate from the child sexual assault law the “affirmative defense” when there is less than 36 months of age difference.
“Legal Immigration” (I kid you not):
One nation, one flag, one language, one loyalty.
Secure the Borders Now. […] We oppose illegal immigration, amnesty in any form leading to citizenship, or legal status for illegal immigrants. We support an end to the “catch and release” policy; criminal penalties and aggressive enforcement for those who knowingly employ illegal workers; expeditious hearings on deporting non-violent illegal immigrants; amending the U.S. constitution to suspend automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants; elimination of federal and state funding to cities with “sanctuary” laws; empowering state and local law enforcement agencies with authority and resources to detain illegal immigrants; rejection of non-verifiable foreign-issued cards as valid identification; strict prosecution of any entity involved in phony identification documents; elimination of day labor work centers; elimination of laws requiring hospitals to give non-emergency care to illegal’s; elimination of social security benefits or federal and state funding to illegal’s for education, housing or business loans; preventing any foreign entity from using our judicial system to enter the United States; document verification prior to issuance of a Texas drivers license; withholding federal highway funds from any state issuing drivers licenses to illegal aliens; and aggressive prosecution of persons smuggling humans across our borders. We support requiring all employers to utilize E-verify system to confirm the legal status of all new hires.
“Support of Our Armed Forces” (at the end of a long paragraph about the military):
We oppose the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
At the end, the Platform ends with “Legislative Priorities”, which lists for which things “each state and federal elected official” should be voting. A report will be created to show which officials are following this platform and these priorities. Some of those priorities are:
#1: We urge the Texas legislature in its next biennial session to enact legislation requiring a sonogram be performed and offered as part of the consent process to each mother seeking an elective abortion.
#12: Enact legislation to educate our children in accordance with our conservative ideals by removing our schools from federal control and restoring them to local control.
#13: Construct prisons rather than reduce sentences.
#42: Create a state offense (Class A misdemeanor) for an illegal alien to intentionally or knowingly be within the State of Texas, and require local law enforcement to verify residency status upon arrest for another crime. [Sound familiar? Arizona?]
#43: Codify 37 Texas Administrative Code §15.171 so that state law requires driver’s licenses to reflect the immigration status of the holder.
[Out of 46]