Scoffing at the party's platform is the typical attitude of establishment-backed politicians who don't want to be bothered with addressing the hopes and goals of grassroots voters. Downgrading the platform is the mark of losing candidates, such as Bob Dole and John McCain.
A committee of one man and one woman from each state writes the Republican platform. Those who have already been elected from their state as delegates to the quadrennial National Convention elect them. It is a very democratic (small d) process.
Most of the members of the 2012 Republican Platform Committee in Tampa had never served on a platform committee before, and many had never before been to a Republican National Convention. Their product is a reliable statement of what grassroots voters care about.
The Republican platform writers were upfront about social issues, conspicuously ignoring Governor Mitch Daniels' foolish attempt to call a "truce" about social issues. The grassroots are smart enough to have figured out that social issues motivate voters and cause the enormous spending and debt that Barack Obama has piled up, a statistical fact that establishment gurus like to ignore.
Our nearly trillion-dollar-per-year, 70-plus programs of cash and benefits handouts to people living below a designated poverty line are a fiscal issue caused largely by the social issues of marriage-absence and illegitimacy. Yet President Obama unilaterally and illegally increased this spending by gutting the work requirement for welfare recipients, which is our only real hope of reducing the fiscal cost.
Recognizing how social issues motivate their members, the Democrats warmly embraced them in their platform. The Democratic platform states: "The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right." Most Democratic Convention speakers, regardless of their topic, proclaimed their fidelity to abortion rights.
The Republican platform states: "We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortions or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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