CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT 'PREAMBLE: REPUBLICAN PLATFORM 2018'
SUBMITTED BY HOUSE GOP LEADERSHIP
Dear Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Co-Chair Bob Paduchik, and Honorable Members of the National Leadership, The Republican National Committee:
On behalf of the House Republican Leadership, thank you for the invitation to submit our first draft of the proposed “PREAMBLE: REPUBLICAN PLATFORM 2018.” You will see this was quickly assembled. Please recognize it is a work in progress and needs some refining. We hope this will become a predicate for the full Platform 2018. We recognize you have invited competing submissions from the Senate, the White House and coalitions from certain Red States. We hope you will find our submission most closely aligned with current GOP philosophy. This draft certainly reflects the position of the GOP Congress, by design and default. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting the National Committee in refining the Preamble and, we trust, assisting in drafting the 2018 Platform itself.
House Republican Leadership Committee
This Platform lays out—in clear language—the path on which we the Republican Party have placed the United States of America toward greatness.
With this platform, we the Republican Party disavow most of the principles that once united us in a common purpose.
We hereby endorse and affirm a new set of principles, some of which stand in sharp contrast to those the Republican Party once embraced and symbolized. [What choice do we have?]
We the Republican Party still believe in a form of American exceptionalism.
[Start with the fear thing. That strategy always works.] We the Republican Party believe the United States of America is unlike any other nation on earth:
• The United States of American, the bastion of freedom, incarcerates a significantly higher percentage of its citizens than any other country in the world—for important reasons. [Note: important to continue the GOP's historic policy of inculcating and maintaining a sense of fear, particularly of non-whites, and portraying the Dems as soft on crime. See below.]
• We the Republican Party aim to keep it that way—especially as it relates to racial minorities who, for important reasons [GOP is the tough-on-the-criminal-elements in our Country], make up a vastly disproportionate ratio of the prison population—through creative enforcement of the laws, particularly those which have the statistical effect of scooping up law-breaking [i.e., minority] populations. [Works with Trump’s fear mongering about Mexicans and others pouring across the southern border.] We champion such laws and enforce them for important reasons. [Have to come up with some reasons that pass the smell test. Circular argument if we just continue pointing out the makeup of whom we incarcerate. Then again, our base seems to prefer circular arguments.]
• The Republican Party is committed to assuring unfettered access to firearms of all types by all [whites only?] people of all ages. [LaPierre insists on this language, so we have to include it. Ties in with the dangerous-people-thing (minorities, illegals) strategy.] The United States of America has more guns per capita, by a significant margin, than any other country in the world. Why? Because we cherish our god-given personal freedoms including the divinely inspired Second Amendment. Yes, as a Christian nation, we are the most blessed.
• We the Republican Party believe the Second Amendment assures the god-given right of individuals to own, possess and use any type, quantity or caliber of firearm for fun, sport, safety, self-protection and, most importantly, as means to defend against illegal intrusions and overreaching by the federal government. [Chairwoman and Committee Members: We recognize this is stupid and dangerous and has no meaningful constitutional or even rational basis, but we take seriously the NRA’s threats of targeted attacks on any Republican who backs away from this position in any respect. The private-citizen-military-defense-against-the-federal-government argument is laughable, as anyone who takes on the federal government better have surface-to-air missiles, cluster bombs, RPGs, fighter jets, etc. Though we don’t think the Second Amendment can be stretched quite that far—despite the NRA’s lobbying and threats—no member of this Caucus is willing to risk a lower NRA grade.]
• The United States of America kills more people per capita with guns than any other developed country in the world, confirming the Republican Party’s hypotheses that (a) the United States of America has more dangerous criminals per capita than any other country from whom law-abiding citizens must have a lethal means of self-protection, (b) firearms are protecting us rather than killing us and (c) the number of guns is unrelated to the number of deaths by gun. [Statistics and rational provided by NRA. Seems somewhat circular but we can figure out a way to tighten up this language. Then again, our base seems to prefer circular arguments.]
We the Republican Party once believed America was exceptional because of our historic roles — first as refuge, then as defender, ultimately as exemplar of liberty for the world to see.
We the Republican Party can no longer [with any degree of credibility] affirm — as did the Declaration of Independence—that all are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. [In all candor, Chairwoman, we never believed there was any risk of non-whites becoming the majority in the United States of America, so advocating for “equal” rights was a “truism” we tolerated as both window-dressing and a means to promote our numbers. We have now abandoned that as strategy. Nunes is pissed off about it but we convinced him he is “white enough.” Tom Perez will go nuts. Too bad Donna Brazile isn't at least Co-Chair. Would love to be flies on the wall when Perez sees this.]
We the Republican Party still believe in the Constitution as our founding document, but only as interpreted to protect the lives, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness of rich white men and their wives. [MAGA. We have little choice, given Trump’s obvious white nationalism strategy.]
As Americans and Republicans we are fond of the idea of peace — but wars and threats of wars create a lot of jobs and improve the economy which takes precedence, so we insist on unstable brinksmanship between erratic world leaders. We won’t be making America safe, especially because our Commander-in-Chief, whom we the Republican Party embrace and protect, now answers to a hostile foreign power. [Might not want to concede this point even though it’s obvious. C'mon, the only people he doesn't criticize are Putin and Daniels, people who clearly have the goods on him.] But the industrial military complex is alive and well and providing the needed boost to an economy and military structure decimated by the previous administration.
We the Republican Party disavow friendship with all peoples and all nations except those who have undue influence over the Chief Executive, and through our inaction we are embracing and prepared to embrace evil in the world. [Might want to word this a more artfully, but you get the idea.]
For the past year America has been led in precisely the correct direction by a political party—The Republican Party—in control of all branches of government. [If people don’t think we control the Court, think again. Can you say Neil Gorsich? Thank you Mitch McConnell.] The progress is undeniable. [Have tasked our most creative people with conjuring a list, probably a short list, of what makes up that progress.]
Under Republican leadership, our standing in world affairs may appear to have declined significantly — our enemies no longer fear us and our friends no longer trust us. But it’s time to think of ourselves. [Might want to suggest there is some method to this madness, but if anyone asks what the method is, we better have an answer that passes muster. Will task our most creative people once they finish conjuring the above-mentioned list]
People wanted and expected, but have inescapably given up on, an America that is the most powerful and respected country on the face of the earth. [Again, what is the method to this madness? Something convincing. We will supplement this when we work through this explanation.] Again, it is time to think of ourselves as a country.
The President and we the Republican Party have abandoned our promise of being accountable to the American people but have done so for very important, national security reasons. [Such as?]
People living paycheck to paycheck are struggling, sacrificing, and suffering, as holdover from the prior administration.
We the Republican Party, in control of all branches of government, have grown the national debt exponentially through a bait-and-switch [come up with more elegant characterization, just put down the first thing that came to mind]—but we finally passed the largest tax cuts bill in history. As a means to right this wrong we are taking aim at Social Security, Medicare and other expensive entitlement programs that condition lazy people including illegal immigrants [the facts and stereotype might be false but it works with our base so let’s go with it] and people living in the inner-cities [race trigger dog whistle] to join and remain on the government dole.
We the Republican Party have directly attacked the production of American clean, renewable energy and related jobs in favor of those hard-working Americans in the fossil fuel industry which is making an historic resurgence and adding significantly to our economy [and assuring acceleration of the catastrophic consequences of global warming. Might want to add some “hoax” language here].
Our Republican President, whom the Republican Party embraces, has aborted many of the illegal regulations imposed by the previous administration that protect the environment, clean air, clean water and the safety of America’s labor force. People can now work harder for less money while investors earn more and corporations increase their values and profits without such unnecessary, expensive and inefficient government meddling.
Our Republican President, whom we embrace, defies the laws of the United States by refusing to enforce those with which he does not agree, particularly those that threaten exposure of what the Russians have on the President. [Might opt to leave out this paragraph.] But Obama didn’t enforce all the laws, especially against the Dreamers.
Our Republican President, whom we embrace, has assured that the interests of fossil fuel developers are protected over the interests of future generations to enjoy national treasures such as Bears Ears and Grand Staircase. [Delayed gratification is overrated, in any event.]
Our Republican President, whom the Republican Party embraces, appoints judges who are woefully partisan and unqualified but, most importantly, who won’t become liberal activists.
We, as Republicans and Americans, must assure this continues as a means to protect the judiciary from intellectual liberal judges who invariably legislate from the bench.
We, the Republican Party, believe in returning to the people and the states the control that belongs to them, except to blue states and as to those matters with which the Republican Party disagrees, including sanctuary cities, marijuana use, gun control, abortion and equal rights [i.e., non-religious rights].
This platform is many things but primarily a manual for the kind of growth that will continue to expand the racial, ethnic, religious, sexual and economic differences that divide our country. We are recommitting ourselves to the ideas and ideals that are the true greatness of America.
[Chairwoman and Committee Members: we also believe it necessary to address the President's relentless attacks on the media and continuing efforts to undermine the First Amendment. Some use of "fake news" would be appropriate.]
*My brother the very talented fiction writer and novelist, Robert Hodgson Van Wagoner, deserves considerable credit for offering both substantive and technical suggestions to lastamendment.com
*My daughter Angela Moore, a professional photographer, photographed nearly 500 pieces of my father's work. On behalf of the Van Wagoner Family Trust, she is in the process of compiling a collection of his art work. The photographs of my father's art reproduced in lastamendment.com are hers.