By Richard Groves
The Local Reporter
And then there’s Texas.
The Texas wing of the GOP met in Houston on June 16-18 and approved a 40-page platform that is a laundry list of everything — 275 proposals in all — they would like to change about their state and about the country.
There are no surprises. It’s just that seeing a composite list of conservative objectives in a single document can be a bit of a jolt to the liberal or progressive psyche.
The GOP party platform calls on Texas legislators “to abolish abortion by immediately securing the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all unborn children from the moment of fertilization” and to prohibit “the teaching of sex education, sexual health or sexual choice or identity in any public school in any grade whatsoever.”
It refers to homosexuality as an “abnormal lifestyle choice” and demands that “the official position of the Texas schools shall be that there are only two genders: biological male and biological female. We oppose transgender normalizing and pronoun use.”
The delegates urged “the complete repeal of all hate crime laws” and demanded that “historical monuments (i.e., Confederate monuments) that have been removed should be restored to their historical locations.”
Delegates went on record as supporting “the abolition of all federal welfare programs” and calling for the elimination of state property taxes. Since there is no state income tax in Texas, the state government — or what is left of it — would likely be reduced to financing itself through bake sales and car washes.
At the federal level, the platform calls for abolishing the Federal Reserve, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Endangered Species Act, the Minimum Wage Law and the Department of Education and repealing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (replacing the income tax with a flat tax or a consumption tax), and the 17th Amendment and returning to the appointment of U.S. senators by state legislators.
It calls for an additional amendment to the U.S. Constitution “making English the official language of the United States.”
The delegates to the convention rejected critical race theory, describing it as a “Post-Marxist ideology that seeks to undermine the system of law and order itself and to reduce individuals to their group identity alone.”
As a rule, the proposals are straightforward, though I am puzzled by the one that requires that “curriculum of educational instruction shall include … mathematics, which has correct answers and focuses on how to arrive at them.” Are there schools in Texas that teach math that doesn’t have correct answers, or has correct answers but don’t teach students how to find them?
To be fair, there are items in the Texas GOP platform that a lot of people, regardless of political persuasion, would agree with, e.g., setting a term limit of 12 years on all elected state and federal officials.
In addition to approving the party platform, the delegates made the Big Lie official party doctrine, at least in Texas, by approving a resolution that rejected “the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and (held) that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”
Delegates also went on record as opposing the proposals of a bipartisan group of Senators on gun legislation. This was a week before the negotiators came up with a list of proposals they could agree on. The delegates were saying, whatever they come up with, if it’s about guns, we’re against it.
For good measure, they booed their own senator, John Cornyn, for having the temerity to sit down with Democrats and talk about gun laws.
Taken as a whole, the actions of the Texas GOP offer a conservative vision of America.
If you are a conservative, you have a right to be in favor of any or all of the planks in the GOP platform.
The rest of us have a right to know: Is the Texas GOP an outlier in the Republican Party, or does its platform give us a glimpse of where we are headed if Republicans take the House and Senate this fall and the presidency in 2024? Is this the vision of the national Republican Party?
Closer to home, we have a right to ask our lawmakers in Raleigh: Does this platform express your views? Is this your vision of America? Do you believe the election of Joe Biden was legitimate?
Your answers will simplify voting in November.
Richard Groves is a columnist who lives and writes in Winston-Salem.
Reprinted with permission of the Winston-Salem Journal.