As some readers here are aware, I've been very involved in the Republican Party here in Texas and am a past and current delegate to the state party convention. I've also been an outspoken critic of past Texas Republican Party platforms which have drifted from a core message of economic and personal liberty and become a hodgepodge of overly specific planks pandering to special interest groups.
The process is fundamentally broken, but this year I have been making an effort to engage with the committee before they produce another terrible platform, both directly and through intermediaries and through writing about and publicizing my efforts and those of others who share my concerns. My hope is that this year things may change and it won't be necessary to write more scathing articles about another embarrassing platform.
The platform committee is meeting in Fort Worth this week and in response to reports that they were planning to add even more planks to the already cumbersome platform and not edit out the many problem sections, I wrote this appeal to their better instincts with some strong general suggestions.
We'll see if they listen.
Dear Members of the RPT Platform Committee:
Initial reports from your meetings suggest that the procedure being followed by the committee is to use the 2010 platform as a starting point and add new resolutions received this year as additional planks to the platform without significantly editing or trimming the content significantly. I do not believe that this will produce a platform which reflects well on the Republican Party of Texas or performs the basic function of expressing the common beliefs of party members. Nor will it result in a platform on which our candidates can effectively run for office. If you are serious about producing a platform the party can be proud of you must also find this process to be inadequate.
The 2010 platform was the target of derision and harsh criticism from within the party, from our political opponents and from the media. It became a national laughingstock for several months after it was made public. It contained so many different and sometimes contradictory positions on so many specialized issues that it was impossible for any candidate to run on honestly or for any Republican to fully embrace as reprsenting their beliefs. It was a cumbersome monstrosity produced solely to satisfy the demands of vocal special interest groups without regard for the best interests of the party and the beliefs of the general membership.