Every once and a while, I wander to various sites to see what is cooking there. Kinda to get a bit of a change to our dialogue at Angry Bear. I found this one post on the Texas Part Platform by Infidel posted a few days ago to be interesting. Infidel had been featuring AB at “Crooks and Liars” too. To which I say, “Thank You.”
“About that Texas Republican platform,” Infidel753
The Texas Republican party platform has become notorious across the internet, mostly via second-hand descriptions and paraphrases. Rather than put my trust in these, I took a look at the actual document to see what’s really there. Most of it is pretty conventional boilerplate stuff, and there are some positive provisions, but yes, there is also plenty of material that plumbs embarrassing depths of dumbth. A sampling:
Point 36: “We support reform to Social Security that allows people to opt out.” In a few decades the US would be back to having millions of elderly people living in abject poverty, which is why Social Security was implemented in the first place.
Point 40: “No non-commercial vehicles should be required to obtain a state safety inspection.” Texas roads would quickly become the most dangerous in the developed world due to all the uninspected clunkers rattling around, and other states might need to restrict cars from Texas if they posed too much of a hazard to drivers and pedestrians.
Point 65: “federally mandated legislation that infringes upon the 10th Amendment rights of Texas should be ignored, opposed, refused, and nullified.” However, point 298 says: “State and federal funds shall be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws. Prosecute the responsible elected officials of Sanctuary Cities/Counties/States for obstruction of Immigration Laws.” So, states can ignore higher-level laws that Republicans don’t like, but states and lower-level entities can’t ignore higher-level laws Republicans do like. (They’re not so good with consistent use of capital letters, either.)
Point 65, further: “Texas retains the right to secede from the United States should a future president and congress change our political system from a constitutional republic to any other system.” No it doesn’t. States cannot legally secede. There are various claims that Texas was given special legal rights in this area when it joined the US in 1845, but even if that were true, any such provisions would have been voided when it seceded in 1861 and joined the Confederacy. People in Texas are US citizens, including the 45% or so who aren’t Republicans, and the federal government is obligated to protect their rights; it could not abandon them to whatever random abuses an “independent” Texas regime might inflict on them. As for “should a future president and congress change our political system from a constitutional republic to any other system”, neither the president nor Congress have any power to do such a thing. If the Constitutional system were replaced due to a coup or some such event, the legal federal government would have simply ceased to exist and there would be nothing to secede from.
Point 75: “We support….. repeal of the 17th Amendment….. and the appointment of United States Senators by state legislatures.” This would mean less democracy, since the composition of state legislatures is increasingly distorted by gerrymandering, and direct election for statewide offices is one of the ways the people can counter the effects of that.
Point 81: “We support the affirmation of traditional Judeo-Christian family values and oppose the continued assault on those values.” So presumably concubinage, polygamy, killing your own son if you hear voices in your head telling you to do so (Abraham/Isaac), offering your daughters to a rape gang to protect houseguests (Lot/Sodom), and all the other “family values” expounded and endorsed in the Bible.
Point 114: “We believe religious institutions have the freedom to recognize and perform only those marriages that are consistent with their doctrine.” As far as I know, this has never been challenged. Individual religions are free to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, mixed-race marriages, or any other kind of marriages they object to. The issue is access to civil marriage recognized by the government, and to the legal rights that go with it. Nothing to do with religion.
Point 136: “We support objective teaching of scientific theories, such as life origins and climate change. These shall be taught as challenge- able scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced.” What they mean by this, of course, is creationism in the schools and legitimization of global-warming denialism. What it tells us is that they don’t understand how the word “theory” is used in a scientific context, nor the fact that the origin of life and the development of life are two separate questions. Concerning the origin of life, there is, as yet, no theory; there are a dozen or so hypotheses about how it might have happened, but none of them has come close to meeting the exhaustive standards of supportive evidence and explanatory power needed to qualify as a scientific theory. Concerning the development of life, in all of history there has only ever been one theory — evolution. No other proposed explanation has even remotely met the standards needed to qualify as a theory. As for “subject to change as new data is produced”, it would indeed be of value to teach students how claims of new data and evidence are actually evaluated in science, such as peer review, as opposed to some idiot misunderstanding how mutations work or what the second law of thermodynamics means and having his nonsense go unchallenged. Politicians really need to stop babbling about science when all they do is demonstrate that they lack even a rudimentary grasp of it.
Point 245: “We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior….. and we oppose any civil or criminal penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.” I’ve never heard of anyone proposing any “special legal entitlements or special status for homosexual behavior”. For example, same-sex marriage is exactly the same entitlement and status as everyone has access to, available to same-sex couples exactly the same way it’s available to opposite-sex couples. Nothing special or different is being offered. Nor are there any “civil or criminal penalties against those who oppose homosexuality”. Preachers and politicians spout anti-gay hatred all the time without being penalized for it, as is guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Point 317: “We oppose homosexual marriage, regardless of state of origin.” This is “creation of special status for homosexual behavior”, in the sense of denying an otherwise-available legal right on that basis. Make up your minds.
As expected, the whole thing is laced with repetitious condemnations of abortion, but point 205 is especially weird: “We support the right of Texas municipalities to protect mothers and preborn children in their communities by passing enforceable city ordinances that ban abortions …..within their city limits.” It’s Orwellian to speak of “protecting” women by restricting their freedom of choice.
There are various proposals to ban pretty much everything that was done to mitigate the covid pandemic. The next pandemic might be a lot deadlier than covid; health officials will need the flexibility to respond appropriately.
The convention also approved a measure declaring that Biden “was not legitimately elected”, though this is not part of the platform. Well, I suppose they can declare that 2+2=5 if they feel like it, but this is just undermining democracy for the sake of the ravings of a disgraced former president whom everyone outside his own cult recognizes as a con man.
Texas was originally a cattle-based economy, and the amount of bull there should never be underestimated.
In brief, this platform is largely incoherent nonsense written by people who have no idea what they’re talking about. Political candidates aren’t bound by party platforms, but this one should serve as a rich source of embarrassing questions for journalists to ask them.