The Silliest, Most Terrifying Things in the Republican Platform

By Harry Cheadle

Yesterday, the Republican Party released its official platform, a rundown of stuff they like and don’t like. It’s sort of like a child’s Christmas wish list, except instead of wanting presents, the child wants to build insanely expensive war machines and stop abortion and gay marriage because the child is a theocratic megalomaniac. Individual candidates don’t have to endorse all of the positions described by the platform (and actually, most people ignore it), but the guys who wrote it are important party officials and you can more or less assume that it represents “normal” Republican views. A lot of it is the freedom-and-American-capitalism-yay-we-must-combat-creeping-socialiasm-and-gays duckspeak you get used to if you spend any time consuming conservative media, but some of it is self-contradictory, bizarre, or just so fundamentally untrue that it deserves to be pointed out and documented so future historians can go, “Yeah, that was pretty weird back then. Good thing the machines took over!” You can find the whole thing here if you want to sift through it for laughs/terrors yourself, but if you don’t have the patience for that, here’s some of the depressing wackiness I found.

We condemn the hate campaigns, threats of violence, and vandalism by proponents of same-sex marriage against advocates of traditional marriage and call for a federal investigation into attempts to deny religious believers their civil rights.

I wonder if Republican operatives have a name for the tactic where they accuse other people of doing exactly what they themselves are doing. It’s pretty much their go-to move—here, they take the decades of oppression and hate gay people have suffered and turn it around so that forcing people to grant equal rights to homosexuals is akin to denying civil rights. If you feel a twinge of conscience writing this stuff, you’re not ready to be a Republican operative. If you feel bile rising in your throat reading it, you're not ready to read the rest of this platform.

Conservation is a conservative value. […] Congress should reconsider whether parts of the federal government’s enormous landholdings and control of water in the West could be better used for ranching, mining, or forestry through private ownership.

Opening national parks and public land to logging and mining is the opposite of conservation. So that’s probably just a typo.

By uniting our government and our citizens, our foreign policy will secure freedom, keep America safe, and ensure that we remain the “last best hope on Earth.”

That last bit is in quotes because it’s a line from a message Abraham Lincoln sent to Congress before signing the Emancipation Proclamation. But I think in context here, “last best hope on Earth” means that the Republicans want to make sure that in the event of an alien invasion, the US military is humanity’s best hope for survival. Pretty badass of them to put that in the platform.

As a matter of principle, we oppose the creation of any new race-based governments within the United States.

Um, is the GOP coming out against weird racially homogenous enclaves that govern themselves? Like a commune of Filipinos that rejects US law and murders non-Filipinos who trespass on their territory? I guess that sort of thing should be stopped, if it’s happening—but maybe the word “new” means that they’re cool with the currently-existing race-based governments in the US, but there’s not room for one more.

The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda.

Another one that is just straight-up confusing. We’re exporting “homosexual rights” to Africa?

After decades of inept one-party rule, [Washington DC’s] structural deficit demands congressional attention. […] To ensure protection of the fundamental right to keep and bear arms, we call on the governing authority to pass laws consistent with the Supreme Court’s decisions in the District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicagocases, which upheld the fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

Washington DC has been run by Democrats for some time, possibly because all the black people who live there don’t like Republicans (for some reason, who knows why?). So the GOP wants to get involved in running the city, and one of the policies they’d pursue is making guns more available. No way that could go wrong, right? 

The Internet has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. Its independence is its power.

[…]

We support the prohibition of gambling over the Internet […] The Internet must be made safe for children.

The GOP is the party of freedom and independence from government interference. They will not tolerate any efforts to suppress anything on the internet—unless they don’t like it. Then they’re 100 percent behind strict regulations.

Liberals do not understand this simple axiom: criminals behind bars cannot harm the general public.

Except for when they run meth rings from prison.

Public authorities must regain control of their correctional institutions, for we cannot allow prisons to become ethnic or racial battlegrounds.

When the GOP says “public authorities” I wonder if they are talking about taking the prison system back from the private operators who, increasingly, are the ones who actually have control over correctional institutions. Something tells me they aren’t talking about that and are instead just stringing together words that sound good.

We call for a moratorium on the development of any new major and costly regulations until a Republican Administration reviews existing rules to ensure that they have a sound basis in science and will be cost-effective.

This sounds like an embrace of empirical facts, but remember, these are Republicans. “Sound basis in science” actually means, “Approved by a council of Christian elders.”

The public must never again be left holding the bag for Wall Street giants, which is why we decry the current Administration’s record of over-regulation and selective intervention.

The bailouts that left us “holding the bag” happened in 2008, when Bush was in office. Clearly, we’re at the point in the platform where they figured, “What the fuck, it’s late, no one will read this thing, let’s just start lying.”

[Abstinence education] is effective, science-based, and empowers teens to achieve optimal health outcomes and avoid risks of sexual activity.

Yeah, we really are in the “making stuff up” section. “Effective”? “Science-based"? Not really. Unless, again, you use the Republican definition of "science."

While our relations with Vietnam have improved, and U.S. investment is welcomed, we need unceasing efforts to obtain an accounting for, and repatriation of the remains of, Americans who gave their lives in the cause of Vietnamese freedom.

“Hey, remember when we were in your country and burned all those villages and killed your people and supported a fraudulently-elected leader because he served our interests? Turns out, we left some bodies over there in all the confusion. Could you find them for us?”

We must likewise expect the Pakistan government to sever any connection between its security and intelligence forces and the insurgents.

“Hey guys, you know that intelligence agency that rigs elections, assassinates leaders it doesn’t like, and funds terrorism? It would be great if you could deal with that. K thx.”

While the twentieth century was undeniably an American century—with strong leadership, adherence to the principles of freedom and democracy our Founders’ enshrined in our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and a continued reliance on Divine Providence—the twenty-first century will be one of American greatness as well.

This says, literally, “As long as we rely on God Almighty’s favor, we will be OK.” What other political parties around the world casually throw around lines like that? The Muslim Brotherhood?

Congress—the Senate through its ratifying power and the House through its appropriating power—shall reject agreements whose long-range impact on the American family is ominous or unclear. These include the U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child…

Certain elements in the Republican Party are obsessed with the UN taking over America, so in their minds documents that say, “Let’s give women rights equal to men, and make sure children are not exploited and abused” are “ominous.” That’s what listening only to far-right, super conservative media outlets will do to you. I’m explaining this plainly because at this point, I’m all out of sarcasm. Jesus Christ, you guys. This is the platform of one of the two MAJOR PARTIES in America, the most powerful nation on the planet. 

We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College.

When your party is advocating a bunch of shit that a lot of the country doesn’t like because it’s hateful and/or stupid, it’s probably a good idea to be against a popular vote.

@HCheadle

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