Republican Party on Principles & Values

Party Platform

OpEd: GOP has proven tone-deaf in courting Hispanic voters

The strong work ethic, devotion to family, and conservative social values prevalent among Hispanics should make large numbers of them natural Republicans--and many fewer of them Democrats. Most are devoutly religious. A minuscule 7.7% of Hispanic adults in the US are divorced. The principal magnets attracting Hispanics to the US are work and entrepreneurship. Fully 60% of Hispanic registered voters own their homes.

And yet Republicans have proven themselves remarkably tone-deaf when it comes to courting Hispanic voters--to the extent that they court them at all. Attracting Hispanic votes does not require abandoning conservative principles--quite the contrary. Rather, it means seeing Hispanic voters as individuals, most of whom fervently cherish our nation's ideals.

To win Hispanic votes--and those of immigrants generally--Republicans should play to their strengths while avoiding alienating rhetoric that makes them appear anti-immigrant.

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.209-210 , Mar 5, 2013

Support prayer in public schools

We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our country's Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the right of students to engage in prayer in public schools and to have equal access to public schools and other public facilities to accommodate religious freedom in the public square. We assert every citizen's right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs.
Source: 2012 Republican Party Platform , Aug 27, 2012

The GOP is the Great Opportunity Party

Republicans believe in the Great American Dream, with its economics of inclusion, enabling everyone to have a chance to own, invest, build, and prosper.

Excessive taxation and regulation impede economic development. Lowering taxes promotes substantial economic growth and reducing regulation encourages business formation and job creation. Knowing that, a Republican President and Congress will jumpstart an economic renewal that creates opportunity, rewards work and saving, and unleashes the productive genius of the American people. Because the GOP is the Great Opportunity Party, this is our pledge to workers without jobs, families without savings, and neighborhoods without hope: together we can get our country back on track, expanding its bounty, renewing its faith, and fulfilling its promise of a better life.

Source: 2012 Republican Party Platform , Aug 27, 2012

K Street Project: get Republicans into lobbying firms

By 2001, parochialism and partisanship had undermined the foundations of the Republican Party. The divide between conservatives and party insiders was getting wider. Conservatives were aghast that Republican appropriators were embarking on an orgy of pork-barrel spending unparalleled in human history. Meanwhile, lobbyists and party insiders Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist were helping Tom DeLay (R-TX), the Republican whip at the time, on the K Street Project--a project that was designed to populate K Street lobbying shops with loyal Republicans instead of reducing the size of K Street by reducing the ways in which government interferes with our lives and necessitates lobbying.
Source: The Debt Bomb, by Sen. Tom Coburn, p. 54 , Apr 17, 2012

Social conservatism is central reason politics is polarized

Much of the elite Republican and conservative opinion has remained hostile to a political role for social issues, preferring they be paid no more than lip service and removed completely from political debate whenever this can be managed.

Such tension would not be possible in any other affluent democracy, because in those democracies nothing remotely resembling social conservatism exists. Its absence is the main reason the politics of Western Europe and Japan have not become polarized, and the continued presence and strength of social conservatism is the central reason politics is polarized here. Understanding why this is so, and why it is likely to continue well into the future, goes a long way toward explaining why American politics has such a different feel from the politics of other affluent democracies, as well as where our very different politics may lead.

Source: The Case for Polarized Politics, by Jeff Bell, p. 4-5 , Mar 6, 2012

1988: Curbs on public prayer sparked Christian activism

A series of rulings dating back to the 1940s began to set sharp limits on the role of religion in public life. A particular shock was the Supreme Court's near unanimous 1962 decision banning all school-sponsored prayers, including blandly written nonsectarian ones, from America's public schools.

Liberal-backed judicial curbs on public prayer and other symbols and expressions of faith were making believers more and more uneasy. The year 1988 television evangelist Pat Robertson's ability to mobilize previously uninvolved Christian activists began a new era in GOP presidential politics.

Source: The Case for Polarized Politics, by Jeff Bell, p. 21 , Mar 6, 2012

Pass laws against those who desecrate the flag

Everyone knew the flag desecration vote would be close. Veterans groups, the American Legion in particular, were energized on the issue. Everyone knew the margin was razor thin. The veterans reminded me: "We vote in Republican primaries."

In meetings with veterans I argued that almost no one desecrates the flag. To the contrary, September 11 had inspired millions of Americans to start flying the flag for the 1st time in their lives. Republicans were whipping up veterans over a nonissue for short-term political gain in November.

I had not seen an American protester burn an American flag in 30 years. It was just plain wrong and irresponsible to use our own partisan political agenda to poison 50 statehouses with the emotional nonissues. We would be sabotaging the real work our state lawmakers had to accomplish.

The House passed the amendment and Pres. Bush was delighted to announce that he would sign the legislation if the Senate followed suit [but it failed].

Source: Against the Tide, by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, p.183-184 , Apr 1, 2008

1980s: Gained southern Whites plus southern Evangelicals

Between the Southern White Man, angry at the world in general and black people in particular, and the hard core evangelical Christian, determined to make the Bible the law of the land, you have 2 of the 3 supporting legs Republicans have used to rule the South. The 3rd leg is the traditional Republican, the economic conservatives--the quasi-libertarian most concerned about keeping government small and taxes low.

The one thing they all have in common: they always know that no matter how weak the Republican candidate is on any of their particular issues, the Democrat can only be worse. Bubba knows that a modern Florida Democrat, even a moderate Democrat, will owe his election to blacks and liberals. The evangelicals know that a Democrat will be unlikely to put biblical creationism back in the public schools.

These 3 groups in total account for 40% to 45% of the electorate. The difference was, by the late 1980s, all 3 were voting, for the first time, in lockstep with the Republicans.

Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.104 , Feb 15, 2007

Obama: GOP wins elections by vilifying Democrats

Increasingly, the Democratic Party feels the need to match the Republican right in stridency and hardball tactics. The accepted wisdom something like this: The Republican Party has been able to win elections not by expanding its base but by vilifying Democrats, driving wedges into the electorate, energizing its right wing, and disciplining those who stray.

I am convinced that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. For it is the predictability of our current political debate, that keeps us from finding new ways to meet the challenges we face. It is what keeps us locked in “either/or” thinking: the notion that we can only have big government or no government; the assumption that we must either tolerate 46 million uninsured or embrace “socialized medicine.”

It is such partisanship that have turned Americans off. What is needed is a broad majority who are re-engaged and who see their own self-interest as inextricably linked to the interest of others.

Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p. 39-40 , Oct 1, 2006

We saw the spirit of courage and optimism on 9/11

On 9/11, we saw the spirit of courage and optimism of the American people - that greatest assurance of the ultimate triumph of our cause. Courage and optimism led colleagues to help each other in escaping from collapsing buildings. Courage and optimism led policemen, firefighters, emergency medical professionals, public works employees, our men & women in uniform, and selfless volunteers to run into burning buildings to save others and undertake a mammoth rescue and recovery effort
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 4 , Sep 7, 2004

Credo of free market economics & less government

Republicans have a clear credo. They promise free-market economics, less government, lower taxes, strong defense, local control, and individual liberty. Republicans are more accepting of the free-market economy and its results. They want to rely totally on our system of capitalism to render just consequences. They believe that the wealthy are the engines of our economy and that a tax system that benefits the most affluent will have long-term benefits for the middle and lower classes. Republicans fear government will hold back America's potential. They believe that left to its own devices, business can be trusted to make the right decisions for the public--"the business of America is business and what's good for General Motors is good for America."
Source: Crossroads, by Andrew Cuomo, p. 65 , Oct 14, 2003

Bush will nominate conservative judges only

Many judges make up laws, invent new rights, free vicious criminals, and pamper felons in prison. They have arbitrarily overturned state laws, utterly disregarding the right of the people and the democratic process. A Republican president will restore the separation of powers. We applaud Governor Bush’s pledge to name only judges who have demonstrated that they share his conservative beliefs and respect the Constitution.
Source: Republican Platform adopted at GOP National Convention , Aug 12, 2000

A distinctly American internationalism for the 21st century

The Twenty-First Century opens with unique promise for the United States. There is every reason for Americans to be extraordinarily optimistic about their future.

Few nations in history have been granted such a singular opportunity to shape the future. Even after World War II the United States had to reckon with a divided world and terrible dangers. Now America can help mold international ideals and institutions for decades to come. Handed the torch by generations that won great battles, our generation of Americans with its allies and friends can build a different and better world, promoting U.S. interests and principles, avoiding the economic convulsions and perilous conflicts that so scarred the century just past. Through a distinctly American internationalism, a new Republican president will build public support for a new strategy that can lead the United States of America toward a more peaceful and prosperous world for us, our children, and future generations.

Source: Republican Platform adopted at GOP National Convention , Aug 12, 2000

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Page last updated: Apr 28, 2015