Jonathan Kraut | GOP Platform Tries to Have it Both Ways

Jonathan Kraut

The Republican Party platform of 2016, which was largely adopted “as is” in 2020, states the GOP stands for many noble views and aspirations. 

While proclamations are simply projections about what should be, reality is reflected by what real actions and positions are taken. Just like a carefully crafted recipe, it takes a fine cook to bring out the best from what is written. 

Regarding immigration, the Republican platform states, “Our party is the natural home for those who come in search of freedom and justice. We welcome all to the Great Opportunity Party.” 

We can recall Donald Trump’s executive orders banning immigration from Muslim-majority countries and his promises to build a wall to protect us from, in his own words, “criminals, including rapists and murderers and drug dealers,” coming across the border.   

Are Muslims, Central American migrants, the impoverished, and those fleeing lawlessness excluded from those being considered in search of freedom and justice? It would seem so. 

The Republican platform calls for “fair and simple tax for growth” and budgetary conservatism. A Politico analysis puts the cost of the Trump tax cut at $2.3 trillion. As we now know, almost all the allocated cuts benefitted the wealthy and big corporations while we taxpayers never got “fair and simple tax” relief.  

I guess GOP “fair” means only rewarding those who donate millions to Republican campaigns. 

The platform confirms the Republican position that there is an inherent right of “to keep and bear arms.” This GOP tenet is ascribed as one that is intended to improve personal and community safety.   

Yet, Republicans are vocal about wanting to keep in place background check loopholes, perpetuate availability of ghost-gun part sales online, and support undocumented transfer of firearms between individuals.  

While fighting the very steps needed to promote and improve personal and community safety, it seems that Republican plan to make us safer is to proliferate the possession of a deadly device to anyone who wants it. 

The GOP platform makes a big stink about reducing the federal debt and advancing toward a balanced budget. Trump’s administration embraced the opposite approach by incurring an estimated $4 trillion in new taxpayer debt.  

This new debt includes “discretionary spending” approved by the Republican-controlled Congress of over $1.3 trillion in non-ascribed expenditures. This blank check enabled Trump to disburse massive funds, oddly in the name of reducing debt. 

Despite touting the need for “religious liberty,” the platform states, “Foremost among those institutions is the American family. It is the foundation of civil society, and the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of one man and one woman.” 

This is a pure contradiction when applied to marriage and abortion.  

Marriage is a civil matter, not one of faith. However, the official Republican position on marriage is from a religious perspective, and not a secular one. In other words, the Christian and evangelical position held by many in the GOP interpret a licensing matter through the lens of faith instead of neutrality.  

This religious context applies to abortion as well. While abortion is a medical procedure, we can say that the GOP’s interpretation of religion would deny options for those believing otherwise regarding abortion in the name of faith. 

Speaking of choice, another contradiction occurs when Republicans argue their right to the freedom of choice to disobey medically validated vaccine and mask requirements, and yet wish to prevent a woman from having the same liberty of choice regarding her own body.  

And as though GOP double-talk needs more examples, in the Republican platforms in black and white are sections called “honest elections and the right to vote,” “environmental progress” and “constitutional government.” 

These positions are promoted by the same political party that is removing and restricting polling options, denies global climate change and supports interrupting or preventing constitutional procedures regarding elections. 

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “hypocrisy” as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.” 

The Greek word “hypocrite” originally referred to a person who was wearing a figurative mask and pretending to be someone or something they were not. 

Hypocrisy should be the heading of the Republican platform. 

Proclaiming to exalt virtues on the one hand and vigorously acting to undermine these same virtues is the new GOP.  

I would consider swapping sides if Republicans actually pursued their stated goals with actions in a manner that matched their words. Until then I must rely on another cook. 

Jonathan Kraut directs a private investigations agency, is the CEO of a private security firm, is the COO of an accredited acting conservatory, a published author, and Democratic Party activist. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations. “Democratic Voices” appears Tuesdays and rotates among local Democrats. 

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