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June 21, 2012

Delegates and the GOP Party Platform(s)

Chris Cavey

Today is the summer solstice and the daylight hours will slowly decrease from now until just before Christmas. However, the heat of summer and the intense campaigning for President of The United States is just getting underway.


The Republican National Convention will be the last week of August. I am a delegate and have the honor, at this convention, of serving on the Platform Committee.


Although all the standing committees of the Republican National Committee are important – the Platform Committee is what should drive the party for the next four years. It creates policy statements which guide the party (and its candidates) for the four-year cycle between presidential elections.


This committee is made up of two delegates from each state. These delegates are selected by their individual delegations at its organizational meeting. Kathy Szeliga and I have the honor of representing Maryland as we cobble an updated guide for our party.


All standing committees of the Republican National Committee meet prior to the convention. The Platform Committee meets seven days before the call to order of the first convention session! We will meet for three days to create the GOP's new policy statement, which will then be printed and ready for ratification by the full body at the second convention session.


The current platform of the Republican Party is actually a fairly conservative document. You can find it here: It was created by about 120 delegates in 2008 and received over 13,000 suggestions and testimony via the Republican National Committee's website.


Over the past four years, I have had a good time pointing out to skeptics the actual policy statement which was developed to guide our party from 2008 until now. If you read the document you will understand it is not the philosophy of the Republican National Committee, or the 2008 Party Platform which would cause any drift of the Republican Party to the center of the political spectrum.


The current document should actually satisfy almost every card carrying, right-wing Republican, and everyone who claims to be active in the Tea Party. Just read it and you will see. The GOP problem is not the policy statement (platform) but the enforcement of the philosophy by the rank-and-file.


Yep, you read right. It is the rank-and-file that needs to hold GOP elected officials and candidates to the guidelines of the party. What is the sense of associating yourself with a party or other organization if you do not believe in their policies or philosophies?


It is the job of party activists, GOP club members and state and local central committee members to enforce the beliefs of the party. When we get complacent in our enforcement (I, too, am to blame) the party drifts aimlessly in whatever direction an elected official or candidate feels is prudent for self preservation.


The example of GOP philosophy is the defense of traditional marriage. The GOP stance on traditional marriage is very clear in the 2008 platform. Maryland citizens have also spoken and this issue had been petitioned to referendum on the November ballot. All the voting citizens of Maryland need to know traditional marriage is part of the philosophy of the Republican Party... and has been.


Hopefully the 2012 Republican National Committee platform will continue to be a strong conservative voice for the next four years. I pledge to you, as a member of that committee, that I will work hard not to allow my party's values to drift too far afield.


If you have suggestions please send them to me at the email below. Read the current platform first – before you send your thoughts. Once the Republican National Committee has the website up and active, I will notify all who have responded to me of where you can make your "official" request to the committee.


This is your chance to share your voice... hope to hear from you.


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