The October issue of Harper’s contained a provocative sampler from the Iowa Republican Party’s platform, and there was enough eyebrow-raising bait there to warrant a more thorough investigation of the entire 387-plank document.
Whether you find the thing harrowing, inspiring, or just plain mystifying is purely a matter of personal politics, but whatever prevailing vision or version of America you might believe in there’s no denying that the Republicans in the Hawkeye State have coughed up a fair bit of zeitgeist bile in their rabblerousing blueprint for a government ruled by black-and-white (or black-and-blue) political and moral values.
Consider that the RPI platform requires that “each duly nominated candidate” and primary winner “sign the State platform once passed, and agree with 80% of the planks in order to receive funding.” Also keep in mind that “candidates running as Republicans for any local or state office should be required to complete and return to the Republican party of Iowa a signed questionnaire indicating whether the candidate agrees, disagrees or is undecided about each plank on the party platform.”
Now imagine that you’re a Republican candidate in Iowa and ask yourself whether you can swallow some of these horse pills:
The whole thing is pretty amazing, and it sort of makes you wonder what happened to the old kneejerk Patriot’s fallback line, “America, Love It or Leave It.”
Make of it what you will, but whether you consider yourself a Republican or a Democrat, you really owe it to yourself to check out your state’s party platforms to see exactly what sorts of things you’re signing off on when you step in the ballot booth in November.