Friday, August 17, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (v 43): Thoughts on the Texas Republican Party's 2012 Platform

I know that it's been out for a while, but I didn't really have time to really read through the Texas' Republicans' 2012 Platform until more recently. I am working on a much longer post about the part where they say they oppose teaching HOTS/OBE/critical thinking which has the purpose of behavior modification or questioning fixed beliefs. That will appear on the Nicene Guys site (probably) next week. Therefore, I will be ignoring that part. Here are some thoughts about the rest (some of which may make their way into the footnotes/aside/etc on the longer post).

The 11 principles are good. In fact, I might go so far as to say that the biggest problem with them is that very few Republican candidates are willing to do more than pay lip service to them. They get into some specifics while forgetting others--see the protection of innocent human life from conception til natural death--while ignoring others (e.g. the dignity of the human person requires that conceptions should be natural, too), though to be fair most the ignored points are expanded on later in the document. Still, in these principles there is nothing about the virtues (and chiefly prudence), nor about respect for custom, convention, tradition, prescription or the need to recognize and reconcile both permanence and change. For a good set of broad principles, see Dr Russell Kirk's 10 conservative principles.

"If It’s Good Enough For Us It’s Good Enough for Them - The Government shall not, by rule or law, exempt any of its members from the provisions of such rule or law."

Amen. I might go a step further and state that (in accordance with the principle of prudence) perhaps we should consider forcing government officials to live under whatever rules they create before the rest of the citizens, to give those same officials some time to reconsider.

 Patriot Act - We urge review and revision of those portions of the USA Patriot Act, and related executive and military orders and directives that erode constitutional rights and essential liberties of citizens.
Emergency War Powers and Martial Law Declarations - We strongly urge Congress to repeal the War Powers Act and end our declared state of emergency. Any Declaration of Martial law should be approved by Congress.
Elimination of Executive Orders - We reject the unconstitutional use of Executive Orders and other mandates lacking congressional approval.

I mostly agree with them here, but it's funny how much things have changed now that we have a Democrat in power. When the shoe is on the other foot...

Almost everything in the sections on "Celebrating Traditional Marriage" and "Protecting Innocent Human Life" is good. It's especially nice to see them taken a (token) stand against pornography, though I think that they should push for a strengthening of the laws against it in some cases (e.g. that all porn sites must use a ".xxx" or ".sex" domain name). I would also make an exception for rape in the use of the morning after pill, but only if strict provisions can be made to ensure that it is used to prevent conception and not to prevent implantation of an already conceived child.

They are a bit overzealous with their "right to keep and bear arms" stuff. I am all about the right to keep and bear arms, but thee are some reasonable limits (such as having a background check, perhaps requiring some gun safety courses, etc).

Traditional Military Culture – To protect our serviceman and women and ensure that America's Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.

This one was especially ironic to me. What military is traditionally made up of both men and women? Specifically as frontline/combat troops? So I am stuck wondering what, exactly, they mean by a "traditional military culture."

Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted by Mrs Jennifer Fulwiler at her Conversion Diary blog.

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