A Texas Platform for the
As the 2004 national GOP convention
begins Monday, we should be prepared to hear a Republican agenda that sounds
more like FDR or Woodrow Wilson than Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan.
A party that once defined itself by the fundamental conservative
principle that government power should be used sparingly and judiciously, now
supports a program of bigger government at home, more militarism abroad, and
less respect for constitutional freedoms. An
examination of the Texas state GOP platform reveals just how far the national
Republican party has strayed from true conservative principles and the ideal of
limited constitutional government.
First and foremost, the Texas GOP is
serious about reducing the size and scope of government. The party platform
calls for strict congressional adherence to the 10th amendment, and
the abolition of all federal agencies not authorized under a strict
interpretation of the Constitution. It urges a return to truly republican
government, based on limited federal powers and states rights. The language of
the platform is refreshingly frank, with quotes like "We believe that
government spending is out of control and needs to be reduced" and "We
respect our Founders' intent to restrict the power of the federal government
over the states and the people." In fact, whole sections of the document
are devoted to worthy subjects like "Limiting the expanse of government
power." Contrast these words with what you'll hear this week from the big
spending, big government Republicans from Washington.
The Texas party platform is similarly
bold when it comes to terrorism, civil liberties, and privacy.
Rather than promoting the current mantra that security is our ultimate
goal, the platform reminds us that liberty is our most important value.
The platform calls for repealing portions of the Patriot Act, calls for
less information gathering by government, opposes property seizures without due
process, and opposes the creation of a national ID card.
The platform asserts that "A perpetual state of national emergency
allows unrestricted growth of government,” and "We believe the current
greatest threat to our individual liberties is overreaching government controls
established under the guise of preventing terrorism.” You won’t hear this kind of language at the national
The Texas GOP platform also calls for a
congressional audit of the Federal Reserve Bank, and demands full public access
to the written minutes from Fed board meetings.
Such an audit could at the very least serve to educate the American
people about Fed inflation and the dangers of fiat currency.
In Washington, the Federal Reserve system is virtually never discussed by
Congress or the administration, despite its enormous impact on our economic
well-being. Monetary policy is simply off the table as a political and policy
matter for both national parties, but the Texas GOP recognizes the importance of
When it comes to 2nd
amendment rights, the Texas GOP platform is uncompromising. It calls for
outright abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. It also
calls for repeal of all laws infringing upon 2nd amendment rights.
This is another example of grassroots conservatives in Texas taking a
position that Republicans in Washington lack the courage to endorse.
The Texas GOP platform calls for the abolition of the Department of
Texas Republicans urge the repeal of the 16th amendment and
the abolition of the IRS, an agency the platform says is “Unacceptable to
taxpayers.” On dozens of other
issues, from abortion to activist judges to religious freedom, the Texas
Republican party promotes true conservative values and strict adherence to the
Constitution. Real conservatives
should demand the same from the national Republican Party this week in New York.