The 40 page document, which was released to the public on Wednesday, provides a healthy serving of red meat to nearly every segment of American conservatives. Even anti-pornography activists can find something to love in this platform.
Immigrants, gay people, children, minority voters, the environment, elderly Americans and, of course, President Obama, are the big losers in the Texas Republican Party’s2014 platform. Meanwhile, rich taxpayers, conspiracy theorists and Wall Street make out like gangbusters. The 40 page document, which was released to the public on Wednesday, provides a healthy serving of red meat to nearly every segment of American conservatives. Even anti-pornography activists can find something to love in this platform
We read through the entire platform so that your wouldn’t have to. Here are some of the most bizarre ideas we discovered:
1) Pornography Should Be Treated Just Like Cocaine
Texas Republicans “encourage state and federal governments to severely prosecute illegal dealers and manufacturers of addictive substances, including pornography.” They also support “the enforcement of laws regarding all forms of pornography, because pornography is detrimental to society.”
2) Social Security Should Be Phased Out
The Texas GOP platform calls for “an immediate and orderly transition” away from Social Security and towards “a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts.” It also supports “gradually phasing out the Social Security tax,” a proposal which will starve the program for funding. According to a 2012 study, Social Security keeps over 20 million Americans from falling into poverty.
3) Texas Should Veto Federal Laws
“Nullification” is an unconstitutional doctrine which claims that states may invalidate federal laws within their own borders. It’s also explicitly repudiated by the Constitution, which provides that duly enacted federal laws “shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.” Nevertheless, the Texas GOP platform calls for the state legislature to “ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify any federal mandated legislation which infringes upon the states’ 10th Amendment Right.” Although the platform is vague regarding how Texas Republicans interpret the Tenth Amendment, the top Republican in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry, has argued that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid all violate this amendment.
As a bonus, the platform also claims that the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies should have to get a Texas sheriff’s permission before they can investigate federal crimes.
4) Americans Should Not Be Allowed To Choose Their Own Senators
The Seventeenth Amendment abolished an older practice that empowered state lawmakers to choose their state’s senators, in no small part because the old system “led to rampant and blatant corruption, letting corporations and other moneyed interests effectively buy U.S. Senators, and tied state legislatures up in numerous, lengthy deadlocks over whom to send to Washington.” The Texas GOP platform, however, wants to return to the day when the American people could not vote on their own senators. “Full Repeal of the 17th Amendment of the United States Constitution” is one of the platform’s demands.
5) The Problem With America’s Schools Is That They Have Too Much Money
According to the Texas GOP, “[s]ince data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.”
6) All Federal Agencies Should Be Rendered Impotent
Texas Republicans “decry the appointment of unelected bureaucrats, and we urge Congress to use their constitutional authority to defund and abolish these positions and return authority to duly elected officials” — a sweeping statement that appears to rule out allowing anyone from being paid to implement federal laws. It is not clear whether United States Senators would qualify as “unelected bureaucrats,” if the Texas GOP’s proposal to abolish the Seventeenth Amendment became law.
As an interim measure, before all “unelected bureaucrats” are fired, the platform says that “[e]xecutive decisions by agencies must be reviewed and approved by Congress before taking effect” — a provision that would make it virtually impossible for any executive agency to do anything at all, given the paralytic state of our Congress. The platform also calls for “Elimination of Executive Orders,” and it names once agency in particular as particularly disfavored — “We believe the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished.”
7) Climate Change Is A Myth
Texas Republicans don’t just want to eliminate the Environmental Protect Agency, they deny the overwhelming scientific consensus indicating that man-made climate change is a real and serious problem. Climate change, according to the Texas GOP, “is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives.”
8) Congress Must Act Now To Prevent America From Becoming A Muslim Caliphate
The platform urges “the Texas Legislature and the United States Congress to enact legislation prohibiting any judicial jurisdiction from allowing any substitute or parallel system of law, specifically foreign law (including Sharia Law), which is not in accordance with the United States or Texas Constitutions.” Bans on Sharia law are acommon proposal raised by Islamophobic state lawmakers. Yet, in an opinion blocking Oklahoma’s Sharia ban, a federal appeals court explained that the law’s defenders “did not know of even a single instance where an Oklahoma court had applied Sharia lawor used the legal precepts of other nations or cultures, let alone that such applications or uses had resulted in concrete problems in Oklahoma.”
9) God Hates Gay People, And Their Bosses Should Be Allowed To Fire Them For Being Gay
“Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible,” according to Texas Republicans. Moreover, the platform denounces the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit anti-gay employment discrimination, explaining that “government regulations which would coerce business owners and employees to violate their own consciences, beliefs, and principles.”
10) Gayness Can Be Cured
The Texas GOP “recognize[s] the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.” In reality, people who have undergone such “theapy” describe it as a source of “shame, emotional harm, self-hate, suicidal ideation, and nervous breakdowns.”
11) The Voting Rights Act Should Be Repealed
The Supreme Court recently gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, which prevents voters from being denied the right to vote because of their race. Nevertheless, the act’s provision allowing lawsuits challenging state laws that deny or abridge “the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color” remains in effect. Texas Republicans want to change that — “We urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965, codified and updated in 1973, be repealed and not reauthorized.”
Additionally, the platform calls for a wide range of laws that will make it harder to cast a vote: “We support repeal of all motor voter laws; re-registering voters every four years; requiring photo ID of all registrants; proof of residency and citizenship, along with voter registration application; retention of the 30-day registration deadline; and requiring that a list of certified deaths be provided to the Secretary of State in order that the names of deceased voters be removed from the list of registered voters.”
12) America Needs More Income Inequality
The platform calls for a broad range of tax reforms that would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans, including a “flat tax,” “[a]bolishment of estate taxes,” “[a]bolishment of capital gains taxes” and “[a]bolishment of the gift tax.” Meanwhile, here’s how wealthy people are currently faring even without the Texas GOP’s tax reforms:
13) Children Of Non-Citizens Should Be Stripped Of Their Citizenship
Texas Republicans call “on the Texas Legislature to pass a constitutional amendment that defines citizenship as those born to a citizen of the United States or through naturalization.” Texas lawmakers do not, however, have the authority to unilaterally amend the United States Constitution, which provides that “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The words “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” in this context, only excludes a small group of children, such as the children of foreign diplomats who enjoy diplomatic immunity to U.S. law.
14) The Supreme Court Should Not Be Allowed To Enforce The Bill of Rights
The platform urges “Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.” The constitutionality of this proposal is doubtful, but it is also unclear whether the Texas GOP has fully thought out whether it makes sense to reduce the power of the conservative Roberts Court. In recent years, the Supreme Court has not simply expanded gun rights under the Second Amendment, it also appears likely to give business owners new authority to ignore federal laws they object to on religious grounds.
15) America Needs To Quit The United Nations
The Texas GOP supports “the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of United Nations headquarters from United States soil.” Additionally, it appears to embrace a conspiracy theory previously touted by one of Texas’ most famous Republicans. The platform “oppose[s] implementation of the United Nations Agenda 21 treaty policies and its supporting organizations, agreements, and contracts which were adopted at the Earth Summit Conference in 1992.” In reality, Agenda 21 is a more than two decades-old non-binding resolution which primarily speaks at a high level of generality about reducing poverty and building sustainable living environments. During his campaign for the United States Senate, however, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed that it “attempts to abolish ‘unsustainable’ environments, including golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads,” and that the originator of this War on Golf is liberal billionaire George Soros.
Finally, the platform embraces the widespread belief among Republican legislators and views of Fox News that the deaths of several Americans in Benghazi, Libya was not just a tragedy, but that it is also part of some grand criminal conspiracy by the Obama Administration. Texas Republicans want a special prosecutor to try to uncover what countless congressional hearings have yet to find — evidence of criminal action on the part of administration officials. It also calls for “bringing those responsible to justice, including jail time.”
Source: Ian Millhiser for ThinkProgress
According to a draft party platform obtained by the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Republican Party is ready to support a sweeping right-wing agenda with planks related to the “Benghazi cover up,” the elimination of the minimum wage and “the myth of separation of church and state.”
Not only does the draft platform advocate for the abolition of the Federal Reserve, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Transportation Security Administration and the Departments of Education and Energy, but it also calls for an end to the direct election of U.S. Senators:
Full Repeal of the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: Return the appointment of U.S. Senators by the State Legislatures.
While the state GOP wants Texas voters to lose their right to elect their U.S. senators, the party does on the other hand “support our right to select our judges by direct vote.”
The party also wants to make it more difficult to register to vote and urges Congress to repeal the Voting Rights Act:
Voter registration: We support restoring integrity to the voter registration rolls and Registration reducing voter fraud. We support repeal of all Motor Voter laws; re-registering voters every four years; requiring photo ID of all registrants; proof of residency and citizenship, along with voter registration application; retention of the 30-day registration deadline; and requiring that a list of certified deaths be provided to the election administrator in order that the names of deceased voters be removed from the list of registered voters.
VRA: We urge that the Voter [sic] Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed and not reauthorized.
Science And Education
The draft platform also targets schools, calling evolution a “controversial theory” that should be challenged in the classroom, demanding that schools restrict access to “community organizers” and encouraging schools to embrace “subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems.”
The platform also includes climate change denial: “While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth, ‘climate change’ is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives. We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or ‘climate justice’ initiatives.”
The draft describes Agenda 21, a nonbinding United Nations agreement on sustainable development, as a threat to America and calls for “the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from United States soil.”
Along with supporting “reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle,” [link to previous post] the state party also wants to repeal Texas’ hate-crimes statute (or at least its “sexual orientation category”), block non-discrimination laws and seeks a “prohibition of the manufacturing and sale of abortifacients (e.g. morning after pill).”
The draft also calls for bans on “any form of reparation” and Sharia law, and limits to data gathering by the U.S. Census. It opposes “the use of Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID) on humans,” while reaffirming opposition to “any direct financial support of special interest organizations, such as ACORN and the ACLU, by any level of government.” ACORN, of course, hasn’t existed since 2010.
Unsurprisingly, the Texas GOP believes the state should be able to ignore federal gun laws:
All federal acts, laws, executive orders, and court orders which restrict or infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Texas, not be recognized by Texas, shall be specifically rejected by Texas, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Texas.
Just to clarify that they mean business, the party supports “the establishment and maintenance of a volunteer Constitutional State Militia with assistance from County Sheriffs.”
To cap it off, Texas Republicans also have an anti-vaccination stance:
Immunizations: All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.
H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW
Why would anyone ever want to vote for these kind of people?
I have family in Texas - they’ve lived there since the mid-1800s. They are basically crackers - it’s hard to be anything but a cracker there unless you are a politician or an oil-man. My grandparents picked cotton and grew onions - for other people. Of the multitude down there that i am not related two - and they number near a hundred - only two are Democrats. It’s a hard knock life for them, believe me. The others are religious lunatics - they will vote for anything or anyone if god tells them to.
When a Republican runs for statewide office in Texas
I CANNOT BELIEV
Oh my god, my home state is ridiculous
But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”
The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.
At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled “We believe in God!” and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they’d always suspected.
- 47th in teen pregnancy
- 51st in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas
- 49th in health care
- 1st in death row executions
- 48th in reliability of electrical system
- 51st in mental health funding
- 2nd in # of millionaires in the nation
- one of the 10 worst states in America to be a kid
- #1 city with worst poverty (McAllen, Texas)
…but would rather prioritize the control of lady parts.
2012 REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEXAS PLATFORM
"We oppose the teaching of higher order thinking skills, critical thinking skills and similar programs…[which] have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."
If you can stomach it, here’s the entire PDF. The quote above can be found on page 20.
As a Texan myself, this is fucking frightening.
this is the best i’ve seen
Texas Governor Signs Budget Cutting State Funding for Library Services by 88 Percent (Library Journal)
What an ass.
You know Texas, it’s been really great hangin’ out for the past century and a half, but I think you should secede… take your Walmart, your Yosemite Sam VHS tapes, your bible and leave my house key. K-thx.