I was digging around the dusty corners of the Documents folder on my computer today when I found, in a rarely-visited folder, a document from 2009 called “A New Party Platform.” I opened it up and was fairly delighted by what I found, so I revised and padded it a little to reflect the last four years of history, and here is what I ended up with:
That we, the members of the Republican party of the United States, in discharge of the duty we owe to our country, unite in the following declarations:
1. That the history of the nation, during the last one hundred fifty-seven years, has fully established the propriety and necessity of the organization and perpetuation of the Republican party, and that the causes which called it into existence are permanent in their nature, and now, more than ever before, demand its peaceful and constitutional triumph.
2. That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Federal Constitution, “That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” is essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions; and that the Federal Constitution, the Rights of the States, and the Union of the States, must and shall be preserved.
3. That to the rule of written Law, over the transitory whims of Monarchs, this nation owes its unprecedented increase in population, its surprising development of material resources, its rapid augmentation of wealth, its happiness at home and its honor abroad; and we hold in abhorrence all schemes for suspension of the laws, be they temporary or permanent, come from whatever source they may. And we congratulate the country that no Republican member of Congress has countenanced the current Administration’s loathsome refusal to enforce those valid laws which it has, on its sole and dictatorial authority, deemed inexpedient, without rebuke and with applause from their political associates; and we denounce those acts, lawlessly undertaken despite popular rebuke of their ascendency, as denying the vital principles of a free government, and as an avowal of contemplated treason, which it is the imperative duty of an indignant people sternly to reprimand and forever silence.
4. That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the states, and especially the right of each state to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of powers on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depends; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any state or territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.
5. That the present Democratic Administration has far exceeded our worst apprehensions, in its measureless subserviency to the exactions of an ideological interest, as especially evinced in its desperate exertions to force the infamous Health Care Act upon the protesting people of twenty-six states; in construing the relations between executive and legislative to involve an unqualified power to wage war and to appoint federal Officers without the advice and consent of Congress; in its attempted enforcement everywhere, on land and sea, through the intervention of Congress and of the Federal Courts, of the extreme pretensions of the military-surveillance complex; and in its general and unvarying abuse of the power intrusted to it by a confiding people.
6. That the people justly view with alarm the reckless extravagance which pervades every department of the Federal Government; that a return to rigid economy and accountability is indispensable to arrest the systematic plunder of the public treasury by favored partisans, while the recent startling developments of frauds and corruptions at the Federal metropolis, show that an entire change of administration is imperatively demanded.
7. That the new dogma, that the Constitution, of its own force, carries Abortion into any or all of the Territories of the United States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself, with contemporaneous exposition, and with legislative and judicial precedent; is revolutionary in its tendency, and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country and all her inhabitants
8. That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom; That, as our Republican fathers ordained that “no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to Abortion in any territory of the United States.
9. That, while providing revenue for the support of the general government by taxation upon income, sound policy requires such an adjustment of this taxation as to encourage the development of the industrial interests of the whole country; and we commend that policy of reducing burdensome and arbitrary regulations, thereby securing to the workingmen liberal wages, to agriculture remunerative prices, to mechanics and manufacturers an adequate reward for their skill, labor, and enterprise, and to the nation commercial prosperity and independence.
10. Finally, having thus set forth our distinctive principles and views, we invite the co-operation of all citizens, however differing on other questions, who substantially agree with us in their affirmance and support.
As it turns out, I was mostly just taking big blocks of the GOP Platform of 1860 and changing a few words to reflect modern times. It is surprising how little needed to be changed for it to fit the Obama presidency instead of the Buchanan presidency.
The original 1860 platform was 17 points long; this one is only 10. That’s mainly because several of the provisions of 1860 were about very specific issues that have no modern analogue (support for the Transcontinental Railroad, for example, or the admission of Kansas into the Union), but it’s also partly because I simply never finished this document, and did not have time to do so today.
Still kinda fun. If you think this simple, passionate statement of principle is the sort of platform that you’d like to see the Republican party adopt (in lieu of the zillion-page, special-interest-owned monstrosity that the modern party actually writes every four years), then why not share this post on The Facebook or The Twitters? There’s some handy sharing buttons right below this sentence.