When the Texas Republican Party army came to Fort Worth last month for its state convention, someone should have warned them not to drink the water from the Trinity River. Without warning, however, a case of mass insanity broke out in the ranks like Mad Cow Disease. How else could they come up with such as poppycock political platform? And worse, how could all these Republican officeholders and candidates mindlessly bind themselves to this covenant by blind oath of party loyalty?
Just when we thought idiocy had reached its all-time high-water mark, here comes the 2012 Republican Party of Texas political platform. [excerpts italicized]
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority. (p.12)
Did the Texas Republicans just say that they oppose “critical thinking skills”? Is the Party so devoid of critical thinking skills that it would oppose teaching such skills to school children for fear that it would dislodge their little fixed beliefs?
Oops! It was a mistake says Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Communications Director Chris Elam.
“[The chairman of the Education Subcommittee] indicated that it was an oversight of the committee, that the plank should not have included ‘critical thinking skills’ after ‘values clarification,’” Elam said. “And it was not the intent of the subcommittee to present a plank that would have indicated that the RPT in any way opposed the development of critical thinking skills.”
The Texas Republicans are stuck with the plank until the next state convention in 2014. Accident or not, ignorance is bliss for the state GOP.
· We support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions. (p.17)
This plank makes it clear that the GOP-dominated state legislature last session cuts in school funding was not due to fiscal constraints, but a purposeful act of undermining the education system throughout the state, except for private and charter schools.
· We urge Congress to repeal government-sponsored programs that deal with early childhood development. (p.12)
· We believe the Department of Education (DOE) should be abolished (p.13)
Footnote: Texas is 49th in verbal SAT scores in the nation, 46th in average math SAT scores, and 36th in high school graduation rates (68%). It ranks 44th in average per pupil expenditures and dead last (51st) in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas. Maybe this bespeaks the fact that Texas is now a minority-majority state.
· We encourage legislation that prohibits enrollment in free public schools of non-citizens unlawfully present in the United States. (p.12)
· We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within three years. (p.11)
· We support adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States (p.7)
We call on the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States to clarify Section 1 of the 14th amendment to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a citizen of the United States with no exceptions. (p.21)
· Applicants (for citizenship) must waive any and all rights to apply for financial assistance from any public entitlement programs;
· Applicant must show a proficiency in the English language and complete an American civic class;
Under the Republican Platform, it would no longer be enough to simply be born in the United States to become a U.S. citizen. A child born to an undocumented immigrant would not be allowed to receive an education in the public school system. And though their parents would be obligated to pay income and sales taxes, they would not be entitled to any of public benefits or social services of a regular taxpayer.
· We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. (p.11)
· We support school 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. We support curricula that are heavily weighted on original founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and Founders’ writings. (p.13)
What is “a multicultural curriculum”? And, how would it be “divisive”? There is enough ambiguity here for plausible denial. But using the GOP “Judeo-Christian” principle, all other cultural inclusions are negated by implication. In other words, if the curriculum does not fall within the guidelines of Judeo-Christian principles, then it is part of the multicultural curriculum; and, therefore, divisive.
Does that mean teaching a Black History Month lesson in the classroom is divisive? If so, then from who’s perspective? Note: political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. If it fosters alienation among racial and ethnic groups, it is NOT politically correct. If it were politically correct, it would be unbiased and inclusive.
Education is not a Judeo-Christian monopoly. In a globalized society, multiculturalism is an asset.
· We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed. (p.19)
· We urge the Legislature to resist making Workers’ Compensation mandatory for all Texas employers (p.19)
· We urge the Congress to repeal the Prevailing Wage Law and the Davis Bacon Act. (p.19)
· We oppose affirmative action. (p.3)
· We urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed and not reauthorized. (p.5)
The Texas Republican agenda creates a servile class, with no minimum wage guarantees and protections. There must be, however, protection for the worker against illegal exploitation.
Every worker is entitled to, at least, livable wages. Without affirmative action, equal opportunity through hiring and promotion would not exist. The proof is in the courts. As long as there is discriminatory hiring and promotion, there will be a need for affirmative action.
Selective hiring is reflected in the disparity in unemployment rates. Were it not for affirmative action EEOC, the defense industry would still be Lilly White.
Killing affirmative action would be like killing a baby before it is born.
· We support the repeal of the Community Reinvestment Act. (p.20)
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted because of the discriminatory practice of “redlining”. When bank deposits come out of a community, instead of lending back to the businesses in that community, the banks would take minority funds and lend to Lilly White developers in another part of town. One side of town flourish, while the other side languish.
The CRA has since been almost amended out of its existence. Then also, there was a turn for the worse in housing lending by banks on over-inflated priced housing. Therefore, instead of abolishing CRA, the Act needs to be strengthened.
We support a favorable business climate of low taxes and deregulation to encourage capital investment, ensuring retention and creation of American jobs. (p.19)
· We recommend repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, with the goal of abolishing the I.R.S and replacing it with a national sales tax collected by the States (p.17)
· We urge repeal of the Texas business tax.
· Abolishing property taxes
· Shifting the tax burden to a consumption-based tax
· We urge outright repeal of property taxes on inventory.
· Oppose all professional licensing fees and real estate and similar transaction fees or taxes
· Oppose Creation of a state income tax or state property tax
· We urge the income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax, and all other tax reductions be made permanent. The death tax is immoral and should be abolished forever.
· We believe Congress should repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 (p.19)
The aim here is clearly to abolish the federal government by strangulation on taxes. The Texas Republicans have been gradually eliminating, not only legitimate sources of federal tax revenue, but undermining federal taxing authority itself. This proposal to eliminate the IRS and impose a sales tax upon all consumers is merely another shifting of the tax burden more upon the backs of the middle-income and poor consumers.
Eliminating the monetary system and returning to the gold standard, as alluded to in this document, is a regressive step backwards. Doing away with the Federal Reserve System would cut off the circulation of government IOUs, known as Federal Reserve notes or simply greenback dollars.
What would we have in its place? Gold bonds? And, how would money circulate, from bank to bank, without the Federal Reserve central banking system. The economy needs an arbiter of value and a pipeline for liquidity.
We support abolishing all federal agencies whose activities are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution; including the Departments of Education and Energy. (p.16)
· We believe the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished. (p.3)
· We call for the disbanding of the TSA and place airport security into the more accountable and capable hands of the state and local law enforcement. (p.14)
· We demand the immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we believe to be unconstitutional. (p.11)
Environmental pollution almost brought us to our knees before conceded the need for air and water quality monitoring. EPA came into being as a long-range survival agency for a short-sighted generation.
On the other hand, airport security, with its Interstate Commerce range and regulations, cannot be overseen and managed by any single state or through local law enforcement. State and local governments do not have the intelligence capacity.
· We support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from U.S. soil. (p.20)
· We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (p.10)
· We support U.S. withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank. (p.22)
· We oppose the influence, promotion and implementation of nongovernmental organizations, metropolitan and/or regional planning organizations, Councils of Government, and International Council for Local Environmental initiatives and the use of American (Texas) citizen’s taxes to promote these programs. (p.20)
The Texas Republicans take an isolationist perspective on the global community. It would disassociate itself from every world body. It would refuse to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which rights would also be protected in the United States.
The universal acceptance of Children’s Rights leaves the United States as one of only two countries who have not ratified it. This shows how alienated our country is from the rest of the world.
Note also that the GOP lists of disassociations would also include Councils of Government, such as the North Central Texas Council of Governments. This notion goes against regional planning and collaboration on the local, state, national, and global scale.
This myopic perception impedes our broader view of our relative place in the global community.
We oppose the abusive use of class action lawsuits. (p.19)
Parties who pay greater fines, penalties, and awards are the greater culprit. Lawsuits are a necessary arrest to illegal and harmful practices. It is the check in Checks-and-Balances.
The size of the award should not be an incentive to continue violating. It must be a deterrent.
We call for truckers working within the state of Texas to enjoy the full benefits of the Texas Concealed Handgun License law irrespective of unreasonable and intrusive federal regulations. (p.14)
Only in Texas.
We reaffirm Texas’ state sovereignty, as reserved under the 10th Amendment. Texas retains its sovereignty, freedoms, independence, power, jurisdiction and rights which are not delegated to the federal government by the U. S. Constitution. (p.20)
· We oppose all unfunded mandates by the federal and state governments. (p.16)
Every Republican is responsible for implementing this platform. Party candidates should indicate their positions on platform planks before their acceptance on the ticket and such information should be available on the Party website. (p.6)