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Republican Party of Texas 2012 Convention

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Liberty Movement 101 (or Re-love-ution 10.1)

Check out the ongoing comments on my post at TexasGOPVote.org, if you’ve wondered about the philosophy of the Ron Paul supporters who are trying to win control of the Republican Party. They reaffirm my conclusion after years of flirting with (capital L)ibertarian philosophy: the Libertarian Party is not compatible with conservatism. Conservatism advocates small government, with a few rules, while utilitarianism, and especially objectivism, celebrate license rather than liberty and all too often de-volve into nihilism.

I can sympathize with the proponents of Libertarianism, having spent years participating on the Libertarians for Life list-serve in the ’90’s and early 2000’s. I even tried out to justify “Christian Libertarianism,” which I’ve concluded is an oxymoron. (Check out the blog, Vox Popoli, which, unlike most Libertarian groups, supports traditional marriage.)

The comments at TexasGOPVote.org by one man on marriage were probably the most enlightening:

If two men or women want to get into a contract we see as morally wrong, who are you or me to tell them no?? They don’t have to accept our definition of marriage, and we don’t have to accept their definition of marriage, but neither one of us have the right to use government force to make the other accept our values. That would be Statism. Additionally, faith is a gift, and not all are blessed with it. You, nor I have the right to claim we know that which is unknowable. We can speculate, and we can have faith, but we cannot judge others who may have different beliefs.

These aren’t the first time we’ve heard/read/countered these arguments. Remember the calls for “open marriage” and “do your own thing” in the ’60’s? Demands for restructuring marriage and the family are pervasive in virtually every historic “revolution” EXCEPT the American Revolution, which was based on Judeo-Christian principles:  from the enclave that gave us the Enlightenment, to the French Revolution, to the Soviet Revolution and the various social experiments of the 20th Century.

2010 RPT (original) Platform “Strengthening Families, Protecting Life and Promoting Health”

Here is the original 2010 platform – I’ve only copied the section that was disputed. The 2010 Platform was used by the 2012 Temporary Platform Committee as a beginning for our new 2012 Platform of the Republican Party of Texas. (At least for now, the entire 2010 document is online at the Tarrant County Republican Party website. The 2012 Platform is here at the RPT website.) (Thank you Tarrant County Republican Party!)

I’ve noted amended portions in red and deleted wording in blue. You can see the final version of this section here and the version proposed by my sub-committee is here.

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES, PROTECTING LIFE AND PROMOTING HEALTH

PROTECTING INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE

Party Candidates and the Platform on Protecting Innocent Human Life– We implore our Party to support, financially or with in-kind contributions, only those candidates who support protecting innocent human life. Further, we strongly encourage the State Republican Executive Committee to hear and recognize the longstanding and overwhelmingly consistent voice of the grass roots and revise its by-laws to make this action binding on our Party.

Partial Birth Abortion– We oppose partial birth abortion. We recommend that Congress eliminate from all federal court jurisdictions all cases involving challenges to banning Partial Birth Abortion.

Right To Life – All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We affirm our support for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection applies to unborn children. We support the Life at Conception Act. We oppose the use of public revenues and/or facilities for abortion or abortion–related services. We support the elimination of public funding for organizations that advocate or support abortion. We are resolute regarding the reversal of Roe v. Wade. We affirm our support for the appointment and election of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We insist that the U.S. Department of Justice needs to prosecute hospitals or abortion clinics for committing induced labor (live birth) abortion. We are opposed to genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. We oppose legislation allowing the withholding of nutrition and hydration to the terminally ill or handicapped. Until our final goal of total Constitutional rights for the unborn child is achieved, we beseech the Texas Legislature in consideration of our state’s rights, to enact laws that restrict and regulate abortion including:

1. parental and informed consent;
2. prohibition of abortion for gender selection;
3. prohibition of abortion due to the results of genetic diagnosis
4. licensing, liability, and malpractice insurance for abortionists and abortion facilities;
5. prohibition of financial kickbacks for abortion referrals;
6. prohibition of partial birth and late term abortions; and
7. enactment of any other laws which will advance the right to life for unborn children.

Sonograms – We urge the Texas legislature in its next biennial session to enact legislation requiring a sonogram be performed and offered as part of the consent process to each mother seeking an elective abortion.

Harassing Pregnancy Centers– We urge legislation to protect pregnancy centers from harassing ordinances to require pregnancy centers to post signs in violation of their Constitutional rights. We further oppose any regulation of pregnancy centers in Texas which interfere with their private, charitable business.

Choose Life – We ask the Legislature to provide Texans opportunity to purchase “Choose Life” license plates.

Parental Consent– We call on the Legislature to require parental consent for any form of medical care to minors. We urge electoral defeat of judges who through judicial activism seek to nullify the Parental Consent Law by granting bypasses to minor girls seeking abortions. We support the addition of a legislative requirement for the reporting of judicial bypasses to parental consent on an annual basis to the Department of State Health Services and such reports shall be made available to the public. Further, we encourage the Congress to remove confidentiality mandates for minors from family planning service programs operating under Title X of the Public Health Services Act and Medicaid.

Protection of Women’s Health– Because of the personal and social pain caused by abortions, we call for the protection of both women and their unborn children from pressure for unwanted abortions. We commend the Texas Legislature for the passage of the Woman’s Right to Know Act, a law requiring abortion providers, prior to an abortion, to provide women full knowledge of the physical and psychological risks of abortion, the characteristics of the unborn child, and abortion alternatives. We urge the state government and the Department of State Health Services to ensure that all abortion providers are in compliance with this informed consent law and to ensure that all pregnancy centers and other entities assisting women in crisis pregnancies have equal access to the informational brochures created by the Department of State Health Services.

Alternatives to Abortion– We urge the Department of State Health Services to provide adequate quantities of The Woman’s Right to Know Resource Directory to anyone that works with pregnant women.

RU 486 – We urge the FDA to rescind approval of the physically dangerous RU-486 and oppose limiting the manufacturers’ and distributors’ liability.
Morning After Pill– We oppose sale and use of the dangerous “Morning After Pill.”


Gestational Contracts– We believe rental of a woman’s womb makes child bearing a mere commodity to the highest bidder and petition the Legislature to rescind House Bill 724 of the 78th Legislature. We support the adoption of human embryos and the banning of human embryo trafficking.

Unborn Child Pain Protection – We support legislation that requires doctors, at first opportunity, to provide to a woman who is pregnant, information about the nervous system development of her unborn child and to provide pain relief for her unborn if she orders an abortion. (Language added here to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks.)

Unborn Victims of Violence Legislation– We urge the State to ensure that the Prenatal Protection Law is interpreted accurately and consider the unborn child as an equal victim in any crime, including domestic violence.

Abortion Clinics – We propose legislation that holds abortion clinics to the same health regulations as other medical facilities and that subjects clinics to the same malpractice liabilities. We oppose any public funding for Planned Parenthood or other organizations/facilities that provide, advocate or promote abortions.

Abortion Requirements for Hospitals– We propose legislation that entitles hospitals to refuse to perform abortions because government has no moral authority to require such an abortion.

Conscience Clause– We believe that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, any employees of hospitals and insurance companies, health care organizations, medical and scientific research students, and any employee should be protected by Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs, including but not limited to abortion, the prescription for and dispensing of drugs with abortifacient potential, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, eugenic screenings, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration. We call on the Texas Legislature to pass legislation to strengthen and clarify the current conscience clause in the Occupational Code to include the above-mentioned persons and practices. We further encourage legislation that requires hospitals and clinics to inform all health care personnel of their right to refuse to become involved in abortion or euthanasia, and their protection from prosecution and retaliation under Texas law.

Fetal Tissue Harvesting – We support legislation prohibiting experimentation with human fetal tissue and prohibiting the use of human fetal tissue or organs for experimentation or commercial sale. Until such time that fetal tissue harvesting is illegal, any product containing fetal tissue shall be so labeled.

Stem Cell Research– We oppose any legislation that would allow for the creation and/or killing of human embryos for medical research. We encourage stem cell research using cells from umbilical cords, from adults, and from any other means which does not kill human embryos. We oppose any state funding of research that destroys/kills human embryos. We encourage the adoption of existing embryos. We call for legislation to withhold state and/or federal funding from institutions that engage in scientific research involving the killing of human embryos or human cloning.

Human Cloning– Each human life, whether created naturally or through an artificial process, deserves protection. We confirm that somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is the process by which a human being is cloned, and that SCNT creates a unique human being with the same properties of a human embryo created through the union of sperm and egg. We seek a ban on human cloning for reproductive purposes (where a cloned human embryo, created through SCNT, is implanted in a womb and the human clone is birthed). We also seek a ban on research cloning (where a cloned human embryo, created through SCNT, is created, grown in the laboratory, and then destroyed when its stem cells are extracted for research purposes). Furthermore, criminal penalties should be created and experimenters prosecuted who participate in the cloning of human beings. No government or state funding should be provided for any human cloning.

Patient Protection– We support patients’ rights by calling on the state legislature to amend the Advance Directive Act to establish due process of law and ensure that a physician’s decision to deny life saving treatment against the patient’s will or advance directive is not due to economic or racial discrimination or discrimination based on disability. We also support the passage of legislation to amend the Advance Directive Act by requiring hospitals intending or threatening to withdraw life-sustaining treatment against the patient’s wishes or their advance directive to continue all treatment and care for such patients pending transfer to another facility.

Gene Manufacturing – We support a ban on research that alters human DNA in living human beings at any stage of life, including the altering of artificial, manufactured, and natural genes and chromosomes.

The “Legion,” Anarchists at the RPT Convention

I’m working on a couple of blog posts concerning the controversies that occurred at the 2012 Republican Party of Texas  held in Fort Worth last week, but thought I’d report on the oddest event of the week, which happened during the last few minutes of the Convention.

All week a small group of young men and women who claimed to represent college and high school students testified in several subcommittees (including the one I served on, the “Family, Life, and Health” subcommittee) and then at the full Rules and  Platform Committees.

For the most part, the group members were super-serious and neatly dressed in suits and skirts or dresses. They all used very much the same language, telling us that we shouldn’t run off all the young people with our platform. They testified that college-aged voters have ‘moved on” and that we were dividing the party by making statements about life, marriage and homosexuality. They also were part of the group that wanted to record videos of all meetings and persuaded the Rules and Platform Committees to allow video and audio recording of our meetings. (I voted for this change, since so many people have the equipment on their phones and we wouldn’t refuse the local TV station if they asked to video tape us for the news.)

One young man, Ian Quisenberry, who calls himself “the Cynical One” on Facebook, appeared to be learning to wear his green suit and to translate his debate club experience to action in the real world.  The 18 year-old, soon to be 19 year-old, red-headed delegate testified to the Family, Life and Health Sub-Committee and then to the larger Platform Committee on Wednesday. When encouraged by the Chairman of the Platform Committee and commended for his talent in speaking, Ian explained that he was a new high school graduate, about to turn 19, and heading for college.

During the last few minutes of the very last General Session, Ian twice attempted to get the attention of the Chair, Steve Munisteri by approaching the microphone and hitting the light switch indicating that he had an “interrupting action,” under Robert’s Rules of order.  Each time Ian stood at one of the microphones asking to make a motion, Steve explained that there were no motions that would be appropriate, but allowed him to speak the second time.

The boy introduced himself by name and then said, “I’d like to motion for ‘We are legion, expect us,'” before turning to leave the Arena. You can watch the video, here. Ian’s statement is at about 14 minutes in.

That quote is a slogan used by anarchists, most notably the Anonymous group that “hacks” into the websites of its supposed enemies.

Now, I don’t know why these people didn’t spend their time at the Libertarian Convention, held nearby this weekend.They should know that we Republicans are conservatives and we respect laws and facts. We understand that the “egg” ceases to exist when fertilized, just as the sperm does. What exists then is an embryo, an organized organism. We know that “marriage” can’t be redefined for a political fad or social “eugenics.” We grow weary of their implication that the young are are better prepared to lead than the older, wiser, and more experienced. We certainly don’t want a tent big enough to include same sex unions or redefined marriage.

But how disturbing is it that an 18 year old boy would identify with a group whose symbol is an empty suit and whose motto came from the story of demons that committed suicide after Jesus cast them into pigs?

28And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes,e two demon-possessedf men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 32And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. 33The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.

 Many of us suspected that they were Ron Paul supporters, but it appears that at least one identifies with anarchists.

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