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The Significance of Party Platforms

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
House Speaker John Boehner was quoted during the Republican National Convention as saying, "Have you ever met anybody who read the party platform? I never met anybody."

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."

For the first time, the Democrats' platform strongly supports same-sex marriage. It states: "We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples."

On the other hand, the Republican platform states: "Congressional Republicans took the lead in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of States and the federal government not to recognize same-sex relationships licensed in other jurisdictions. We reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman."


When the Democratic Party platform came to the convention floor for approval, it omitted the name of God (which had been in previous Democratic Party platforms). A motion was made to put God back into the platform, a motion that required a two-third majority to pass.

The chair called for a voice vote, and the Ayes and Nays sounded equal. The chairman looked baffled and called for a second vote. Again the Ayes and Nays sounded equal. Looking flustered, the chairman called for one-third vote, which again sounded equally divided.

The chairman then read a pre-scripted ruling from the teleprompter, which was obviously false. He said the motion received a two-third affirmative vote and was adopted, and rapidly moved on to other Convention business.

It's important for all Americans to know that at least half of the Democratic National Convention delegates voted to ban "God" from their party platform.

With public opinion polls running about even for the Obama-Romney race, people keep asking what a second term for Obama will mean to the United States. He gave us a significant clue when (not realizing his microphone was on) he told the Russian president that, after reelection, he will have "more flexibility" to give the Russians what they want on anti-missile defenses.


Obama will also have "more flexibility" to limit our religious freedom. We can expect him to finish his job of banning religious freedom and "fundamentally transforming" us into a totally secular state where we will be denied the First Amendment's "free exercise" of religion we have always known.

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