Another exercise in extremism. That’s our take on the new party platform adopted by Texas Republicans at their state convention on June 12 in Dallas. See our analysis of the platform here. The full platform is here. Among the planks:
- Separation of church and state is a myth.
- Teach junk science in public schools.
- Give politicians on State Board of Education — instead of teachers and scholars — even more power to decide what students should learn. (And give the SBOE authority over colleges and universities, too.)
- Promote the “independent and sovereign authority” of Texas — and form a “Constitutional State Militia” (apparently to protect that sovereignty).
- Undermine the national census.
- Keep teens ignorant about protecting themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases — teach abstinence-only-until-heterosexual marriage instead of sex education.
- Criminalize embryonic stem cell research.
- Demonize gay and lesbian people, criminalize their relationships and bar them from having custody even of their own children.
- Bar federal courts from hearing cases on issues involving religious freedom and gay rights.
- Get us out of the United Nations! And the World Trade Organization!
- Keep Islamic law out of America!
- Down with ACORN!
- Turn Martin Luther King Jr. into a Republican hero. (Seriously?)
- Repeal the Endangered Species Act.
- Abolish the Federal Reserve System.
- Completely privatize Social Security.
- Repeal the new health care reform law (and apparently permit insurance companies to discriminate against children and adults with pre-existing conditions).
- Divert public school tax dollars to private and religious schools.
- Repeal minimum wage laws and measures that make it easier for citizens to register and vote.
- Gut the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Pander to “birthers” and nativists.
It was particularly interesting, we thought, that Texas Republicans have decided to claim the heritage of the Civil Rights Movement by declaring Martin Luther King Jr. to have been a Republican. In fact, King supported Democrats John Kennedy (1960) and Lyndon Johson (1964) for president. He also called the 1964 Republican National Convention a “frenzied wedding . . . of the KKK and the radical right.” (See page 247 of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
It looks like GOP convention delegates had the same politicized understanding of American history as the State Board of Education does.