The America Republicans Want

On Guns

What if I told you that the Republican Party, in one of America’s largest states, supports the right of convicted felons to own and freely carry, absolutely anywhere they want, machine guns? Actually it goes far beyond that. Said absolute right to machine guns would also apply to those found mentally incompetent, drug abusers, people dishonorably discharged from the military, spouse abusers, and even (believe it or not) illegal aliens.

Don’t believe such a thing could be true? Take a gander at the Official Platform of the Republican Party of Texas. § 32 (p. 6) states:

State and Federal Legislatures shall: Repeal and/or nullify the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968.

The Firearms Act of 1934 is the law that generally bans machine guns and fully automatic weapons (such as our military’s M-16) in our society. It was passed in reaction to the rise of the “Tommie Gun” as the weapon of choice for mobsters who were outgunning police. The Gun Control Act of 1968 is what bans convicted felons, mental incompetents, and the other groups mentioned from owning or possessing guns. In the Texas GOP’s America, those laws would be gone.

In addition, per § 227 (p. 32) there would be no gun free zones, anywhere. Not schools, not church, not movie theaters, not grocery stores. Nowhere. Per the platform the right of “Constitutional Carry” is completely “unrestricted” and the power of any legislature to “to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime” would be completely stripped. § 32, (p. 6).

Per Resolution 2 (p. 40) there would also be no mandatory waiting periods to purchase a gun, no “red flag laws” to remove guns from those shown to be a danger to abuse them, and no laws restricting access to guns for those over 18 but under 21. Because in the words of this document, “all gun control is a violation of the Second Amendment and our God given rights.”

You might have noticed the word “nullify” in the § 32 provision. It refers to the supposed power of a state to simply ignore and disregard federal law, and even federal (as in United States Supreme Court) interpretations of the United States Constitution, that the state disagrees with. The entire notion is in direct contradiction of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, but I guess that would just be another part of the Constitution they disagree with. Respect for our Constitution is not actually something the GOP gives force to, it’s just something they give lip service to, and only for the Constitutional provisions the GOP likes. Do you think the GOP believes a liberal state could “nullify” District of Columbia v. Heller and its support of individual gun rights?

Alas, a nation where even felons can own machine guns is not the only offensive objective of this Republican Party Platform. So let’s move on.

On Gays

The fundamentalist religious fervor perhaps extends most strongly to gay rights and others of alternative sexual lifestyles. The platform directly declares that “Homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice” and that “We oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity.” §§ 143–144 (p. 21). The Republican platform seeks to ban gay marriage.

“We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal, and moral covenant only between one biological man and one biological woman . . . the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, overturning the Texas law prohibiting same-sex marriage in Texas, has no basis in the Constitution and should be nullified.” §§ 208 and 213 (p. 30).

The hostility, and religious basis for it, for anyone different in this regards is perhaps best summed upin § 207 making clear that while gay people have no rights, that those who would discriminate against them have the absolute right to do so:

“We affirm God’s biblical design for marriage and sexual behavior between one biological man and one biological woman, which has proven to be the foundation for all great nations in Western civilization. We oppose homosexual marriage, regardless of state of origin. We urge the Texas Legislature to pass religious liberty protections for individuals, businesses, and government officials who believe marriage is between one man and one woman . . . We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose non-traditional sexual behavior out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.”

If you are gay in Texas I don’t know how you can be a Republican. If you have a family member who is gay, or just have a friend who is, I don’t understand how you can be a Republican.

On Voting And Elections

I would now like to address any Texans who voted by mail in the last election, that would be about 1 million of you including over a quarter million who voted in the Republican Primary. Don’t expect to do that again. In fact, expect voting to be a real pain in the ass.

You must request your mail in ballots and you must prove that you “cannot physically appear in-person.” § 241 (p. 34). Are you okay with voting in person but want to do it early? It can’t be more than three days before election day. § 240.

Of course you can’t vote if you are not registered to vote and Republicans want to make that harder too. Per § 242 you can’t register while getting your driver’s license, if you don’t vote in five years you must reregister, and you must present photo ID and proof of citizenship when registering. Also, you can’t register at all within 30 days of the election.

Republicans would repeal The Voting Rights Act of 1965 protecting minorities from discriminatory voting practices. § 244.

By the way Texans, you will no longer elect, by popular vote, your Governor, your state legislators, or any other state wide officials. Rather, you will vote for state “electors” who, as a state level electoral college, will decide for you who is your Governor, state representative, railroad commissioner, etc.

“State Electoral College: The State Legislature shall cause to be enacted a State Constitutional Amendment creating an electoral college consisting of electors selected by the popular votes cast within each individual state senatorial district, who shall then elect all statewide office holders.” § 34, (p. 6).

The elites must choose your leaders. You common folk just aren’t good enough to do so yourselves. So maybe making it harder to vote doesn’t really matter much since you really don’t get to vote on much of anything anyway.

Of course, if the vote still turns against Republicans the party endorses simply declaring it invalid. Resolution 1 of the platform (p. 40) deems Biden only an “acting President” and adopts the Big Lie that the election was stolen:

“We believe that substantial election fraud in key metropolitan areas significantly affected the results in five key states in favor of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. We reject the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”

The Big Lie is an official Republican Platform.

In the end Texas declares that if it doesn’t get its way it has the right to secede and argues that steps should be taken that direction.

“Therefore, federally mandated legislation that infringes upon the 10th Amendment rights of Texas should be ignored, opposed, refused, and nullified. Texas retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called upon to pass a referendum consistent thereto.” § 33 (p. 6).

On Abortion

The official Texas Republican Platform position is that abortion, all abortion, for any reason, at any stage in pregnancy, must be illegal:

“We urge lawmakers to enact legislation to abolish abortion by immediately securing the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all preborn children from the moment of fertilization, because abortion violates the US Constitution by denying such persons the equal protection of the law.” § 36 (p. 6).

The Republican Platform defines human life as beginning at conception in a manner that certainly seems to preclude any exceptions to banning abortion for rape, incest, or even risk to the mother:

“Since life begins at fertilization, we urge the Texas Legislature to abolish abortion through enacting legislation that would immediately secure the rights to life and would nullify any and all federal statutes, regulations, orders, and court rulings that would deny these rights . . . All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn, the aged, and the physically or mentally challenged have a fundamental individual right to life, which cannot be infringed.” §§ 217- 218, (p. 31).

“Fetal anomaly” is expressly banned as a basis for abortion. § 167. Per § 165 fetal tissue harvesting and all stem cell research is banned, devastating news for people with illnesses that can be treated by therapies that depend on these procedures.

A physician performing an abortion may be charged with murder. § 175 (p. 25).

Indoctrination of Children

It is remarkable to read this document to see the open bias when it comes to what is taught children in school. Republicans deem indoctrinating children wrong, unless it is indoctrinating them with their values and beliefs.

In § 111 (p. 16) the Republicans reject Critical Race theory and they would compel the removal of it from schools. However, the very same paragraph would compel students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States and Texas flags, and require teaching “the tyrannical history of socialism/communism throughout history.” The next section requires teaching that theories related to evolution are “challengeable scientific theories subject to change.”

Religious indoctrination is fine, so long as it is Christian religious doctrine. The Republican Platform states that they “support prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments being returned to our schools.” § 31 (p.6).

Naturally, indoctrinating children to their prolife agenda is also just fine:

“Education on Humanity of the Preborn Child: Texas students should learn about the Humanity of the Preborn Child, including life-affirming definitions of life and the study of life, life begins at fertilization, milestones of fetal development at two-week gestational intervals, use of fetal baby models, witnessing of a live ultrasound, viewing the Miracle of Life type video, and (for high school students) the contents of the Woman’s Right to Know booklet.” § 116 (p. 17).

The attack on free speech rights for corporations who fail to adhere to the doctrine of the state is worthy of comparison to the worst of fascist dictators. Unstated “penalties” would be imposed for simply advocating against things the Republican state opposes:

“Add penalties in Texas law for corporations operating in Texas who lead boycotts against Texas due to legislative action to protect the rights of Texans to decline vaccination, protect the unborn, stop the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools, compete in sports with those of their own biological gender, or to protect children and juveniles against sexual organ mutilation and hormones and puberty blockers designed to fake transition from one gender to another.” § 56 (p. 9).

A Texas corporation’s support of a prochoice organization that calls for boycotting the state could be punished. By the way, that exercise of raw state power to suppress ideas the state does not like is all in the paranoid name of protecting “the citizens of Texas from corporate violation of their rights in the Great Reset/Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) scheme.”

Republicans of Texas, this your party’s platform. Do you really support it? Americans, look at this carefully, it is where many Republicans want to take your country. Perhaps it is time for you to look at this insanity, and hypocrisy, and walk away.

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Keith

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80