An aparently sub-quorum number of Washington State Republican Platform Committee Representatives met last weekend (there’s another meeting set up for today) under Platform Chair, Matt Manweller, and gave us the first look at the much anticipated McCain Platform.
The document is just a Draft and could get better, or even worse in the two anticipated remaining meetings, but what we publish, below, is now the “working document” and that is rather significant. For any of the majority of the Committee members who did not attend the first meeting to now change the course of the “mini-platform” paradigm will require major surgery and it will be very difficult parliamentary work to accomplish any serious changes.
Manweller and his committee, not surprisingly, have virtually thrown out all previous versions and Platform philosophies to institute the “Mainstream” idea: that the Republican Platform should be a collection of unenforcable platitudes that make people feel good, but do not constrain the actions of legislators, do not give any idelogical direction to Party leadership and do not affect our Candidate recruitment or support. Far from being a mandate for change in public policy, it is a political pamphlet, a puff piece to placate the plebians. Far from being a contract with the grassroots, it is a get-out-of-jail-free card for slippery pseudo-Republican politicians.
Most notable is the absense of any serious Pro-Life Plank and the removal of the strong anti-illegal-alien-AMNESTY language that we have in our current platform.
For a comparable document, go HERE.
2008 WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM
SPOKANE, WA – May 29th, 2008
Platform Committee Chair: Dr. Mathew Manweller
Platform Committee Vice-Chair: Christine Webb
“For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us”
John Winthrop, 1630Washington State Republican Party
Luke Esser, Chairman
The Washington State Republican Party is dedicated to helping elect Republicans at the county, state, and national levels. We believe that active participation by citizens is absolutely necessary to protect and preserve conservative values which include: preserving a free society, free markets, free trade, the sanctity of life, limited government, low taxes, a minimal bureaucracy, a strong national defense, private property rights, and the concept that government should do for individuals only those things they cannot do for themselves.
Washington State Republicans believe that good government is based on respect for, and trust in, the ability of individuals to chart the course of their own lives. We believe that respect for each person’s ability, dignity, and liberty is the foundation for a free and prosperous civic body politic. Good citizenship begins with protected rights and ends with accompanying responsibilities.
It is our belief that individuals are more enlightened than governments, that markets are more efficient than bureaucracies, and that the citizen is more visionary than the collective. To this end, we reaffirm the words of our Founders as written in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these Truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”
The Republican Party supports the principle of federalism and local control. To that end, we respect the wide-ranging diversity of opinion that exists within the 39 county Republican Party platforms. Respecting honest and strongly held differences of opinion allows the people a greater voice in and choice of approaches to public policy. We encourage grass roots activists, elected legislators, and Republican candidates to read and consider all ideas offered in each of our 39 county platforms.
It has been over two centuries since our Founders established the American creed. We believe their vision is best preserved by supporting the policies outlined below.
SECTION 1: PERSONAL LIBERTY
We believe all the civil liberties found in the US Constitution are inalienable. These fundamental rights were guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and reaffirmed in Article I of the Washington State Constitution. It is the obligation of every government to perpetually observe and respect those rights. The role of the judiciary is to uphold the law in a manner faithful to the state and federal constitutions, the Bill of Rights, and legislative intent, and at all times understanding that the power to write law is vested in the legislature or the people.
SECTION 2: ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
Because governments spend other people’s money, the state should practice fiscal responsibility. Believing that the power to tax and regulate are some of the most dangerous powers held by the state, Republicans support policies that create jobs, encourage entrepreneurship, and protect our economic base while minimizing the need to seize the wealth of its people.
SECTION 3: NATIONAL DEFENSE
We believe that a free America is a strong America. Republicans support and honor the past and continuing service of all veterans and members of the Washington State National Guard. At a time when the United State faces a variety of external threats ranging from Jihadist terrorism, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and emerging regional powers, it is important to endorse policies that will ensure peace through strength, security, and human rights at home and abroad.
SECTION 4: BORDERS, IMMIGRATION, AND HOMELAND SECURITY
We are a people of optimism and compassion. The individual rights, political stability, and the economic opportunity, growth, and prosperity we enjoy in America and which attracts immigrants from all over the world are only possible and secure because of our system of law and order. We welcome those who wish to build a new and better life in America and Washington State, and who recognize that the only price of such opportunity is their willingness to embrace our legal system, beginning at our national borders.
SECTION 5: FAMILY
The family unit is the cornerstone of a moral society. It is the primary responsibility of parents to guide their children to be good citizens. Government’s responsibility is to uphold and respect traditional institutions, such as marriage between one man and one woman, protect the elderly and children from the harmful elements of society, and nurture a culture of life.
SECTION 6: EDUCATION
The primary authority and responsibility for educating children resides with parents. School boards should be free to determine priorities, emphasizing basic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics. It is also important that schools teach the Constitution, civics, history, economics and provide opportunities for vocational and technical training. As public teachers and professors are in a position of power and paid by taxpayers, it is important that instructors educate but do not indoctrinate their students. We believe that competition in education, as it does in business, commerce, healthcare, and other free-market endeavors would result in wider choices, higher quality, more innovation, more efficiency, and lower costs.
SECTION 7: HEALTH CARE
Individuals and families should have the freedom and opportunity to make healthcare decisions that are best for them. Our healthcare system should be focused on individual responsibility and healthy living, the ability to choose a healthcare plan to meet individual needs, and the ability of people to choose their own doctor. Changing the culture of healthcare to that of prevention and personal responsibility instead of over utilization and entitlement will best save our health care system.
SECTION 8: PROPERTY RIGHTS
As John Locke observed, the proper role of government is to protect “life, liberty and property”. Washington Republicans believe there is a fundamental relationship between free societies and the protection of private property rights. When governments abuse the power of eminent domain and regulatory takings, everyone’s freedom is at risk. While no rights are absolute, and there are appropriate times to regulate private property for the betterment of the general population and the environment, we believe that the government should seize and regulate property only when it is exceedingly necessary to promote the general welfare and never done to enrich some members of society at the expense of others.
SECTION 9: LAW AND JUSTICE
SECTION 10: ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
We also believe that creativity and technology offer the best solutions to improve energy efficiency and to protect clean air. This market based approach is superior to a top-down approach that emphasizes limits on personal freedom and the economy, expensive government programs and regulation. We also believe that market-driven improvements in efficiency are the best solution to reducing harmful pollutants.
SECTION 11: TRANSPORTATION
Investment in our transportation infrastructure is critical to both rural and urban economies in Washington State. Washington taxpayers deserve accountability for the money they provide to transportation agencies. Assurance that money is being spent efficiently can only be achieved through practical performance measures, regular performance audits of transportation agencies, and the enforcement of audit recommendations.
SECTION 12: DIRECT DEMOCRACY
By the way, you read that correctly. We no longer have a “Preamble,” but rather, now, a “PRE MABLE”