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 proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not to ensure equality.
We believe animal husbandry decisions and production practices should be decided by individual farmers, not the state or federal government.
We call for fewer EPA controls on agriculture.
We believe all individuals and business owners have the freedom to choose the quality of air in their homes and establishments.
We call for the repeal of all mandatory minimum wage laws.
We call for the elimination of the Federal agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
We support the elimination of the Iowa Department of Education and of the U.S. Department of Education.
We oppose duplication of educational programs for bilingual consideration. Every child should become proficient in English by being immersed in English.
We oppose teaching multicultural based curriculum.
We oppose the “Bullying Law.”
We believe that claims of human caused global warming are based on fraudulent, inaccurate information and that legislation and policy based on this information is detrimental to the well being of the United States.
We call for the abolition of the U.S. Department of Energy.
We support the abolition of the IRS.
We call for the repeal of sexual orientation in the Iowa Civil Rights Code and we oppose any other legislation or executive order granting rights, privileges, or status for persons based on sexual orientation.
We oppose unconstitutional “hate crime” laws.
We support the continued use of Guantanamo Prison as long as needed.
We believe that the term “assault weapon” should not be used as a term applicable to a semiautomatic weapon.
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.