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|VOL. 38, NO. 3||P.O. BOX 618, ALTON, ILLINOIS 62002||OCTOBER 2004|
|What Do the Two Parties Stand For?|
On only two issues did the Democratic Platform speak out loud and clear: abortion and gay rights. In obedience to the Democrats' pro-abortion constituency, their Platform advocates "a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay." In obedience to the Democrats' gay constituency, their Platform endorses "equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections" for "gay and lesbian families," and opposes a federal marriage amendment.
By contrast, the Republican Platform states that "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed," and continues with language that is practically identical to the pro-life plank in every Republican National Platform since 1984. The 2004 Platform supports traditional marriage as the "unique and special union of one man and one woman." It endorses a constitutional amendment to protect marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act.
The Republican Platform is long and specific about a multitude of issues, including many that are longtime favorites of conservatives such as building an anti-missile defense and creating Health Savings Accounts that allow people "to save, earn interest, and spend tax free on their health care needs." Many specific planks are quoted later in this Report.
The platitudinous Platform produced by the Democrats is most significant for what it did not say. It is silent about same-sex marriage, hiding behind the excuse that marriage should continue to be defined at the state level. This pretense of John Kerry and the Democrats to be born-again state's righters is as phony as a $3 bill. John Kerry voted against DOMA, which is the perfect state's rights answer to the marriage issue because it assures the right of the other 49 states to refuse to recognize Massachusetts same-sex marriage licenses.
When the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed Congress in 1996 and was signed by President Clinton, Kerry was one of only eight current Senators who voted against traditional marriage. The vote in the Senate this summer on the marriage amendment gave Kerry a chance to clean up this embarrassment, but he declined to do so. Kerry's own state of Massachusetts is now issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The usually loquacious candidate doesn't even criticize this travesty and he opposes every effort to stop it.
The Kerry Democrats' game plan is clear! They are counting on Democratic-appointed activist judges to order same-sex marriages so the Democratic politicians won't have to take the heat for it.
Kerry and the Democratic Platform are also mum about the Pledge of Allegiance issue, hoping that activist judges will ban "under God" from the Pledge. (The Pledge issue also has Massachusetts overtones the Democrats' 1988 presidential candidate Michael Dukakis's veto of a Pledge of Allegiance bill helped to cause his defeat at the hands of the first President George Bush.)
The Republican Platform praises the Republican House of Representatives for stepping up to the plate and passing two bills to withdraw jurisdiction from the federal courts over matters where the activist judges are trying to overturn centuries or decades of our culture. The House passed John Hostettler's Marriage Protection Act, H.R. 3313, to stop the courts from forcing 49 states to recognize Massachusetts gay marriage, and then passed the Todd Akin's Pledge Protection Act, H.R. 2028, to keep judicial activists' mitts off of our Pledge of Allegiance.
These votes should be the beginning of the end of the runaway judiciary's assault on our culture. Will the supremacist judges try to resist this limitation of their power? The 247-to-173 vote by which the Pledge Protection Act passed shows that there are enough votes in the House to impeach any judge who defies these constitutional laws. The House can adopt Clint Eastwood's approach: "Go ahead; make my day."
Excerpts from the 2004 Republican Platform
The Republican Platform is 93 pages and covers scores of issues, including an extraordinarily long section on foreign policy. The Bush Administration presented a complete working draft to the members of the Platform Committee (consisting of one man and one woman from each state) when they reported for their first meeting in New York City on August 25. The draft was divided into five sections, which were considered and voted on by five subcommittees, and then the full Platform was considered and voted on by the full Committee. After all changes were made, the completed Platform was adopted unanimously by the Delegates to the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden on August 30, 2004. Below are a few verbatim excerpts that are of particular interest to conservatives. The italicized passages below were not in the Bush Administration draft but were added by motions made by Platform Committee members and then adopted by the full Committee.
Winning the War on Terror
We must strengthen our Border Patrol to stop illegal crossings, and we will equip the Border Patrol with the tools, technologies, structures, and sufficient force necessary to secure the border. We will seek stiff penalties for those who smuggle illegal aliens into the country and for those who sell fraudulent documents. We urge continued support for state, local, and federal law enforcement to work in a cohesive manner in securing our borders to prevent illegal entry.
We affirm traditional military culture, and we affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. The Republican Party created the all-volunteer force and opposes reinstitution of the draft, whether directly or through compulsory national service. We support the advancement of women in the military, support their exemption from ground combat units, and support the implementation of the recommendations of the Kassebaum Commission, which unanimously recommended that co-ed basic training be ended.
. . . double investment in missile defense systems to put America on track to field an operational system in 2004; . . .
. . . as a matter of U.S. sovereignty, American troops must never serve under United Nations command. . . . We support full implementation of the American Servicemembers Protection Act, whose provisions are intended to ensure and enhance the protection of U.S. personnel and officials.
Any effort to address global social problems must be firmly placed within a context of respect for the fundamental social institutions of marriage and family. We reject any treaty or convention that would contradict these values. For that reason, we support protecting the rights of families in international programs and oppose funding organizations involved in abortion.
Ushering in an Ownership Era
We believe that good government is based on a system of limited taxes and spending. Furthermore, we believe that the federal government should be limited and restricted to the functions mandated by the United States Constitution.
We believe that everyone who participates in the Social Security program should use legal and accurate identification.
Health Savings Accounts allow people to own and control their health care. They are an important step toward creating a system of consumer-driven health care that puts patients and doctors at the center of decision-making not government bureaucrats. . . . Health Savings Accounts are now available to all Americans thanks to the efforts of President Bush and the Republican Congress.
Building an Innovative, Globally Competitive Economy
We oppose all attempts by the United Nations to impose a global tax and reject any claims of authority by United Nations to do so.
We recognize that under the American Constitutional system, education is a state, local, and family responsibility, not a federal obligation. Since over 90 percent of public school funding is state and local, not federal, it is obvious that state and local governments must assume most of the responsibility to improve the schools, and the role of the federal government must be limited as we return control to parents, teachers, and local school boards.
The Reading First initiative brings scientifically based reading instruction, including phonics, to children in the early grades.
The Republican Party supports the efforts of parents who choose faith-based and other nonpublic school options for their children.
Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support legislation prohibiting gambling over the Internet or in student athletics by student athletes who are participating in competitive sports.
With English as our nation's common language, people from every corner of the world have come together to build this great nation. English empowers. For newcomers, it is the fastest route to mainstream American life, better paying jobs, and owning a piece of the American Dream. Furthermore, fluency in English should be the goal of bilingual education.
. . . we reaffirm our Party's firm rejection of any measure aimed at making health care a government-run enterprise.
Strengthening Our Communities
Our President and our Party strongly oppose the Kyoto Protocol and similar mandatory carbon emissions controls that harm economic growth and destroy American jobs.
Republicans and President Bush strongly support an individual right to own guns, which is explicitly protected by the Constitution's Second Amendment. . . . We believe the Second Amendment and all of the rights guaranteed by it should enable law-abiding citizens throughout the country to own firearms in their homes for self-defense.
Recent events have made it clear that these judges threaten America's dearest institutions and our very way of life. In some states, activist judges are redefining the institution of marriage. The Pledge of Allegiance has already been invalidated by the courts once . . . because a handful of activist judges threaten to overturn commonsense and tradition. And while the vast majority of Americans support a ban on partial birth abortion, this brutal and violent practice will likely continue by judicial fiat. We believe that the self-proclaimed supremacy of these judicial activists is antithetical to the democratic ideals on which our nation was founded. . . .
The sound principle of judicial review has turned into an intolerable presumption of judicial supremacy. A Republican Congress, working with a Republican president, will restore the separation of powers and re-establish a government of law. There are different ways to achieve that goal, such as using Article III of the Constitution to limit federal court jurisdiction; for example, in instances where judges are abusing their power by banning the use of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance or prohibiting depictions of the Ten Commandments, and potential actions invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Additionally, we condemn judicial activists and their unwarranted and unconstitutional restrictions on the free exercise of religion in the public square.
The Republican Party . . . supports measures to ensure that the immigration system is structured to address the needs of national security . . . . There must be strong workplace enforcement with tough penalties against employees and employers who violate immigration laws. We oppose amnesty because it would have the effect of encouraging illegal immigration and would give an unfair advantage to those who have broken our laws.
Protecting Our Families
We strongly support President Bush's call for a Constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage, and we believe that neither federal nor state judges nor bureaucrats should force states to recognize other living arrangements as equivalent to marriage. We believe, and the social science confirms, that the well-being of children is best accomplished in the environment of the home, nurtured by their mother and father anchored by the bonds of marriage. We further believe that legal recognition and the accompanying benefits afforded couples should be preserved for that unique and special union of one man and one woman which has historically been called marriage.
President Bush said, "We will not stand for judges who undermine democracy by legislating from the bench and try to remake America by court order." The Republican House of Representatives has responded to this challenge by passing H.R. 3313, a bill to withdraw jurisdiction from the federal courts over the Defense of Marriage Act. We urge Congress to use its Article III power to enact this into law, so that activist federal judges cannot force 49 other states to approve and recognize Massachusetts' attempt to redefine marriage.
As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children. Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.
Excerpts from the 2004 Democratic Platform
We support affirmative action to redress discrimination and to achieve the diversity from which all Americans benefit. . . . We will enact the bipartisan legislation barring workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. . . .
. . . we stand proudly for a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay. We stand firmly against Republican efforts to undermine that right. . . . Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. . . .
We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families. . . . We repudiate President Bush’s divisive effort to politicize the Constitution by pursuing a "Federal Marriage Amendment."
The Scam of Voting by Noncitizens and Felons
Since the country appears closely divided between the red and blue states, the Democrats are seeking odd-ball constituencies to enhance their numbers. They and their liberal-advocacy law firms and lobbyists have been working for months to get convicted felons credentialed to vote for John Kerry, and now they are going after the votes of noncitizens.
Many millions of noncitizens live in the United States, some legal and some illegal, and the Democrats see this as a win-win effort to get them to the polls on election day. They figure the percentages are pretty good that those constituencies will vote Democratic.
Local decisions to allow noncitizens to vote in city, county and school board elections should not give them a pass to vote in federal elections, but once they are on the precinct registration rolls, who is going to stop them? Certainly not the Democratic polling officials.
Five Washington, DC City Council members (fortunately, not a majority) announced their support for a bill that would allow thousands of noncitizens to vote in local and school board elections. They are waving signs and slogans such as "Democracy for all" and "No taxation without representation." The District may have as many as 40,000 resident noncitizens, enough to provide the margin in a close election.
Americans don't have to stand by and tolerate this impertinence since, as in so many dilemmas, the U.S. Constitution provides the remedy. Article I, Section 8, gives Congress the power to pass "exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever" over the District of Columbia, and the Republican Congress should nip this mischief in the bud.
The DC City Council isn't the first to think up this thoroughly bad idea. San Franciscans will vote in November on whether to allow noncitizens, including even illegal aliens, to vote in school board elections even though this is probably a violation of the California state constitution which requires U.S. citizenship to be eligible to vote. Other efforts to reward noncitizens with the franchise have emerged in New York City, Hartford, Los Angeles, Colorado, New Jersey, and Texas. Giving voting rights to noncitizens is a thoroughly bad idea from every point of view. It cheapens citizenship and it could give legal cover to would-be terrorists who come to this country with hate in their hearts. Several of the 9/11 hijackers were registered to vote.
Many of these problems are caused by the Motor Voter Law, under which voting registration is offered to everyone getting a driver's license, even in states that grant driver's licenses to illegal aliens. But a driver's license does not and should not confer citizenship. According to U.S. law, lawful residents must also speak English and swear allegiance to the United States before they can become citizens. And they must become citizens before they can vote. We don't want immigrants voting unless they have made the conscious and sincere decision to renounce loyalty to the country they came from and pledge allegiance to the United States of America.
The Constitution should also be our starting point in the matter of allowing convicted felons to vote. The U.S. Constitution reserves the matter of voting regulations to state legislatures and, in the 14th Amendment, Section 2, specifically authorizes the disenfranchisement of felons.
The Democrats have been whining about people who were mistakenly listed as felons on a state database during the 2000 Florida election. But the Democrats are silent about the convicted felons who actually did vote illegally in the 2000 Florida election, as well as the 60,000 persons who were registered to vote in both New York and Florida.
Those who are worried about groups of people not being able to vote, or not having their votes counted, should look into the matter of guaranteeing that U.S. military personnel serving overseas will have their ballots counted. In the uncertainties that followed the 2000 presidential vote count in Florida, an untold number of military ballots were never counted. Today, about 150,000 of our service men and women are in Iraq or Afghanistan, and they above all deserve to have their right to vote assured and their ballots counted.
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