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The Republican Platform
Ever since a small group of anti-slavery activists met in 1854, the Republican Party has been a strong influence in American government and politics. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln firmly set the Republican Party as one of the two major political parties, when he became their first President and then won the Civil War. Then in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan, widely famed for his conservatism, highlighted the Republican Party’s key principles of freedom, equal opportunity, and God-given rights. Today, Republicans seek to reinstall America’s legacy of freedom and conservatism in the hearts of all Americans with their domestic, economic, and foreign policies.
Republicans aim to protect individual freedoms, restore power and influence to communities, and encourage self-sustainability both locally and nationally through their domestic policy. First, the Republican Party holds a very strong view on the heavily debated topic of education. When the public education system first started, Republicans fought against the radical idea. They wanted individual communities to be able to instill their own beliefs into their people. As a result, current Republicans support private schools and home-schooling, which both return the power of teaching closer to the family level (“Republican Party (United States),” 2014). Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that prayer is illegal in the school. Feeling that this infringes our religious rights, Republicans strongly promote returning prayer to the school (“Republican Party on Education,” 2013). Another current issue is that of higher education. With the cost of college quickly rising, student debt is soaring to new heights. In fact, the national student debt has now exceeded the national credit card debt (“Student Debt,” 2014). To help solve this problem, Republicans seek to stop all federal loans for college and help promote private loans, making long term debt less likely. Another problem is that, more than half of all recent graduates find themselves either working in areas outside their field of study or unemployed. As a result, Republicans say that more students should be encouraged to attend community colleges and technical institutions to get more practical training (“Republican Party on Education,” 2013).
Also hitting the headlines, the energy crisis brings the Republican’s domestic views to light. Specifically about production methods, Republicans support “increased Federal investment into the development of clean alternative fuels, increased nuclear power, as well as fuels such as ethanol, as a way of helping the U.S. achieve energy independence, as opposed to supporting less use of carbon dioxide-producing methods of generating energy” (“Republican Party (United States),” 2014). With coal accounting for 37% of energy produced in the United States, they support improving coal plants and continuing to make them more environmentally-friendly. Also, nuclear energy should be promoted as a great energy source for America. Renewable, green energy sources should be thoroughly researched and promoted, but not as the primary source of energy. When it comes to resources, the Republican Party’s primary goal is for America to achieve self-sustainability. By legalizing and promoting the drilling for oil in many places, such as Alaska, Republicans hope to create many jobs and expand America’s energy resources. However, because of burdensome government regulations, the oil and natural gas industries have been greatly stifled. But by lightening these regulations, Republicans hope to get the American economy moving once again (“Energy – The All-American Plan,” 2014).
A rapidly growing problem, the executive bureaucracy, is the subject of much discussion among Republicans. Although most Republicans believe that the bureaucracy as a whole is violating many American rights, many target regulatory agencies as the main problem. Because regulation has become a punitive threat instead of a beneficial guide, Republicans want new major regulations to have to pass congressional approval before they are applied. Another way through which the Republican Party seeks to reduce the power of the bureaucracy is by removing many of the regulations on businesses. Saying that current regulations are essentially a stealth tax on Americans, Republicans want to remove the regulations that are counter effective and only implement ones that are cost-effective (“2012 Republican Platform,” 2013). After removing many powers from the federal bureaucracy, Republicans hope to restore those powers back to the state and local levels. For they believe that the level closest to the area dealt with should be the one to receive the governing authority on it (“Jefferson Perspective: Bureaucracies,” 1996).
The Republican stance on gun control rights is very conservative and protective. Republicans think that the right to own a gun is part of the fundamental right of self-defense; therefore, it should not be infringed upon by the government. Also, Republicans believe ammunition should also be able to be obtained and stored freely without registration. Furthermore, they want to stop lawsuits targeted at gun manufacturers as an attempt to deprive Americans of the rights given to them by the 2nd Amendment. They say that when a tragic event occurs involving a gun, the gun is not the thing that should be regulated. The criminal should be punished, not the rest of the nation. Just like if a person killed someone with a spoon, spoons should not be banned across the nation (“Republican Party on Gun Control,” 2013R).
Showing its Christian heritage, the Republican Party has widely made known its pro-life stance. Their main goal is to make abortion banned except for in cases of incest or rape. Republicans support the human life amendment, which would ban abortion. They support adoption and abstinence instead of adoption clinic referrals (“Republican Party on the Issues,” 2013). Most Republicans believe that abortion is simply a moral issue. While believing in the Christian principle that every human has a right to life, Republicans claim that abortion is simply murder. Furthermore, they state that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution never state that an unborn baby does not have the Creator-endowed right to life (“The Republican Party is the Pro-Life Party,” 2001).
Seeking to restore both freedoms and productivity to America, the Republican Party holds strongly to their economic policy. One of the cornerstones of the American success is its free-market economy, so Republicans hold strong opinions on it, encouraging economic prosperity through free markets and individual achievement (“Republican Party (United States),” 2014). “Republicans believe in the importance of sensible business regulations that promote confidence in our economy among consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses alike. However, they oppose interventionist policies that put the federal government in control of industry and allow it to pick winners and losers in the marketplace” (“2012 Republican Platform,” 2013). When it comes to income tax, Republicans claim it is harmful, for they say it punishes people that save and has grave implications for seniors living on fixed incomes (“Republican Party on Budget and Economy,”2013). They oppose a graduated income tax, because it targets those that create jobs and wealth, stifling our free market economy. Supporting the worker, the GOP believes that workers should have the right to decide whether to join a union or not (“Republican Party (United States),” 2014).
While welfare can be an honorable thing, Republicans do not want it to be abused. While most Republicans agree that a welfare system should be implemented to assist the poor, they prefer the government leave welfare in the hands of the individual and local level. As a result, religious organizations and other charities would become the target for welfare spending. Unfortunately, however, the welfare system is often abused by individuals. So Republicans seek to crack down on these incidents by tightening restrictions on welfare application and benefits (“Republican Party (United States),” 2014). Because of poor management many people now use welfare as a means of living. Republicans want welfare only to help people, not to support them (“Republican Party on Budget and Economy,” 2013).
Overall, Republicans are opposed to government-run healthcare. Although many Republican politicians are in favor of Medicare and Medicaid, all are against a government health care program (“Republican Party (United States),” 2014). “We oppose government-run health care, which won’t protect the physician-patient relationship, won’t promote competition, and won’t promote health care quality and choice” (“2012 Republican Platform,” 2013). Republicans also state that government healthcare is used as a method to gain governmental power. For example, many Republicans believe that Obamacare was never really about health, but about government power. Through it, Obama would have taken control of over one-sixth of the economy. Also, if it is fully implemented, Republicans predict that it would itself collapse, demonstrating the inefficiency and uselessness of government healthcare (“Republican Party on Health Care,” 2013).
When it comes to their foreign policy, the Republican Party holds a very proactive stance. In general, most Republicans believe that peace is best acquired though having a strong military. For example, the current Obama Administration wants to cut the members of the military by about 100,000, but Republicans seek to raise the number by that much! (“Republicans seek to add more in defense spending,” 2014). Further, Republicans acknowledge that America is in a national security crisis. Many people do not realize that China and North Korea are building up long-distance weapons to fire on us; therefore, Republicans say a strong military is key to our safety. They do not however believe America should go policing everybody; instead America should regulate the world just enough to keep us safe (“John Bolton at CPAC,” 2014).
The Republicans seek to completely curb terrorism. Republicans are almost always in agreement with sending American troops abroad to fight terrorist groups. However, when it comes to our homeland, Republicans are split. Some say the government should observe private phone calls and emails in an effort to tighten national security. Others say that this is unconstitutional and that it violates Americans’ right to privacy (“Differing Views on Terrorism,” 2006). Another point brought up by Republicans is that terrorists will be fighting us no matter where the location is, so it is best to keep to keep a presence in other parts of the world in order to keep the fighting overseas. And moreover, since terrorists do not negotiate and keep fighting to the end, we must annihilate them for any hope of peace (“Republican Party on War and Peace,” 2013).
Republicans believe that America should have the strongest and most modernized nuclear stockpile in the world in an effort to deter any attacks. The GOP thinks that the only way to stop a nuclear war is if all nations reduce or eliminate their nuclear stockpiles. They also know that if America takes the front of this movement, America must keep enough nuclear weapons to deter any other nation. They are worried because the Obama Administration has abandoned America’s nuclear force. This puts America in a vulnerable spot compared to the rest of the world. Also, by abandoning our missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, the current administration is undermining America’s missile defense. With nations developing nuclear missiles that can reach the U.S., Republicans state that it is foolish to undermine our own missile shield (“What Does Your…,” 2012).
Through their conservative platform, Republicans seek restore liberty and prosperity to America. Founded on Christian morals and principles, the GOP seeks to use its conservative stance to draw American’s back from the invading concept of social liberalism. As the economy of America is rapidly degrading, the Republican Party is trying to reform the government to bring back America’s prosperity. And by having a strong military presence in the world, Republicans hope to make the world a safer place for our nation. As expressed by the GOP themselves, “The Party’s core principles of freedom and equal opportunity are as relevant today as at our founding, and they are the roadmap for American renewal in a new and interconnected world” (“Our History,” 2013).
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