Republican Party Platform Doesn’t Need Changing. Republicans Do.
By Shane Krauser
With the recent government shutdown in mind, it is high time that we focus on the root of this epidemic. There should be no mistake that we are dealing with not just inept leadership but a constitutional crisis. The chickens, born through irresponsible and reckless decision making, are in good supply as they defecate all over what was once a constitutional republic.
Republicans are just as much to blame as the Democrats. However, the Democrats are toeing their party platform. Many Republicans are not, and they should be ashamed.
Senator John McCain said not too long ago, “In the United States Senate, we will not repeal or defund Obamacare. We will not, and to think we can is not rational.” Remember when that same Arizona senator called Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz “wacko birds” because of their unmitigated opposition to Obamacare?
Perhaps Senator McCain needs to take a second look – or a first look – at the Republican Party Platform or – better yet – our Constitution. More and more, his positions defy the platform which was reissued in 2012, and his name calling towards those who understand the platform is nauseating.
Although the platform is not perfect, it embraces ideas that, if adhered to by the Republican voters and leadership, would revitalize America and move us closer to a freer society and further away from tyranny. Too many “establishment” types couldn’t care less about the platform. And many will accept bad government if it benefits them.
The platform protects the unborn child and the “fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.” However, North Dakota State Representative Kathy Hawken (R) takes pride in her pro-choice position as she rallies with Planned Parenthood. U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have all made it clear through their pro-choice voting records that they are truly Republicans in name only.
The platform speaks of a budget that allows this country to “live within our means.” Yet Republican after Republican votes to increase spending at all levels of government while increasing the amount of debt that will have to be paid by each of us and future generations. In the Republican State of Arizona, for example, we are $8.5 billion in debt, while our state constitution forbids anything beyond $350,000. Balancing the budget is one thing. Most of us want our debt eliminated. Of course, the federal government is far worse.
The Republican Party platform is against amnesty and places a stamp of approval on integrity in the election process by ensuring that only citizens take part in elections. Yet numerous Republicans stand in opposition to the Republican Party Platform on the broader issue of ensuring that those who come to this country adhere to the rule of law first before achieving legal status. Reading the platform and the current law would be a great start for these folks.
The platform advocates that our educational system experience academic concentration at the state and local level. Yet numerous Republican governors are just fine with the implementation of programs like Common Core, to include Chris Christie (NJ), Bill Haslam (TN), Rick Scott (FL), and Rick Snyder (MI). Of course, the problem is not so much Common Core. The real problem is the purse strings of the federal government bribing the states to accept broad standards initiated by Washington bureaucrats and loyalists.
Most importantly, the Republican Party platform claims it “is the party of the Constitution.” And this is where the rubber meets the road.
Few in office truly understand the parameters mandated by our Constitution. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is the poster child for expedience over constitutional adherence, which is evidenced best by his support of the NSA seizing phone numbers and other personal information. If he doesn’t have “anything to hide”, as he so proudly asserts and which is not relevant to a cogent Fourth Amendment analysis, when will he remove the curtains from his home? Before we go there, why don’t we first mandate that he read the platform and decide if he is a Republican?
It seems rather clear that mainstream Republicans and the elected Republican representatives should read the platform and decide if this is something worth fighting for. Until then, the vicious cycle continues, and its viciousness will only continue to consume the American experiment.
Shane Krauser is a partner with the law firm of Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, the director of the American Academy for Constitutional Education, and a radio talk show host in Phoenix, Arizona. Follow him on twitter: @ShaneKrauser