Rarely do we see a starker contrast of national priorities between the Democratic party and the GOP than is evident in the Republican platform.
The Republican platform is an absolute disgrace. Here are just five of the many mindboggling inclusions in their platform draft, revealing priorities that are deeply out of step with the majority of American voters.
1. Defense of Assault Weapons
What is there to say anymore? The Republican Party apparently values its defense of gun ownership over every life lost to violence committed by someone wielding an assault weapon, including the five Dallas police officers whose memorial was held just today.
2. Classifying Porn as a Public Health Crisis
“Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and wellbeing,” reads the amendment.
And, yes, there are certain kinds of porn that are indeed harmful. Hillary recently took a strong stand against revenge porn, for instance. But a broad declaration on porn, without regard for its content, isn’t helpful. To the contrary, sex-shaming is routinely used against marginalized people.
3. Condemning the Use of Title IX to Support Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault and Trans Students
We’ve already noted the Republicans’ reprehensible objection to the use of Title IX to support survivors of campus sexual assault. Which is bad enough all on its own.
But then there is this:
It wasn’t even enough for the GOP to disagree with the Obama administration’s use of Title IX to protect transgender students; they felt obliged to “salute” the state governments who have undertaken the profoundly hostile act of suing the federal government so they can be allowed to discriminate against trans kids.
Further, they complain that Title IX “is now being used by bureaucrats—and by the current president of the United States—to impose a social and cultural revolution upon the American people… They are determined to reshape our schools—and our entire society—to fit the mold of an ideology alien to America’s history and traditions.”
This othering language is absolutely chilling in its naked attempt to cast trans people as predators who are trying to force themselves onto a vulnerable populace, rather than reflecting the simple reality that trans people, like everyone else, just want to safely pee.
4.Hostility to LGBTx Americans
The GOP platform further reads: “Our laws and our government’s regulations should recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman and actively promote married family life as the basis of a stable and prosperous society. For that reason, as explained elsewhere in the platform, we do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to states.”
Rachel Hoff, a gay delegate from Washington, D.C., who works as a defense analyst at a conservative think tank, American Action Forum, tried to push back on this exclusionary nonsense by introducing amended language to recognize “diverse and sincerely held” views on the topic of same-sex marriage.
“We are your daughters, your sons, your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues,” Hoff told the committee, with her voice breaking. “All I ask today is that you include me and those like me.”
She was met with a tepid response, and her amendment went down to defeat.
5. Advocating Harsh Sentences for Undocumented Immigrants
Again: What is there even to say about this? We are, as President Obama and Hillary Clinton have been pointing out along the campaign trail, unless one is a Native American or Hawaiian, a nation of people who were brought or came here from someplace else. Immigrants are central to this country—to its culture, to its economy, to its very nature.
The idea of requiring long, harsh sentences for undocumented immigrants—especially at a time when we are having a necessary public debate on mass incarceration—is unconscionable.
This is not the country we are, and certainly not the country we want to be.
[Eric Kleefeld and Susan Madrak contributed to this article.]