Republican Convention 2016

Did GOP Platform Writers Not Realize the Republican Party Was Nominating Donald Trump For President?

Make party platforms great again!



The Republican party's 2016 platform is finally out for all to see! It says a lot of things. Many of them are pretty stupid.

Among them: The platform complains that President Obama and his fellow Democrats have "nearly doubled the size of the national debt." This is true. However, it seems like kind of an empty complaint given that the tax plan put forth by Donald Trump, the Republican party's presidential nominee this year, would add nearly $10 trillion to the national debt, according to the Tax Policy Center. Trump's other ideas to reduce the debt and annual deficits are total nonsense.

More in keeping with the nominee, the platform adopts Trump-like language on international trade, declaring that "we need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first." We know that such trade deals would be good for Americans because, the platform says, "when trade agreements have been carefully negotiated with friendly democracies, they have resulted in millions of new jobs here at home supported by our exports." Tellingly, it does not say which trade agreements count under as "carefully negotiated" or what current deals would look like if they had been negotiated better.

Also somewhat oddly, the platform, in a section on constitutionally protected speech, says that Republicans "call for an end to the so-called Fairness Doctrine" and instead "support free-market approaches to free speech unregulated by government."

That all sounds fine, except that Trump is perhaps the most overtly anti-free speech candidate in memory, having threatened the owner of a newspaper that reported on him, and having called for an expansion of libel laws in order to go after news organizations that say things he doesn't like.

Also, the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to air opposing views, hasn't been enforced since the late 1980s. In fact, it was wiped from the federal government's rulebooks entirely in 2011. 

And then there are the portions of the platform that lay out the Republican party's commitment to restoring faith in constitutional government and opposing discrimination.

"Our most urgent task as a Party is to restore the American people's faith in their government by electing a president who will enforce duly enacted laws, honor constitutional limits on executive authority, and return credibility to the Oval Office," the platform says.

"We denounce bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, and religious intolerance," it declares in another passage.

Donald Trump—who, again, is set to officially become the Republican party's presidential nominee this week—has all but promised that he would ignore the Constitution if elected president. He has run the most divisive, racially charged major party presidential campaign in decades, attacking Mexican immigrants as criminals as rapists, criticizing an American born judge for his parents' Mexican heritage, calling for a total ban on Muslim immigration, repeatedly playing coy about thinly veiled appeals to anti-Semites and white nationalists. Far from "denouncing" bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, and religious intolerance, Trump has made all of these things part of his political appeal.

Maybe the GOP platform writers just didn't quite realize that Republicans were on their way to nominating Donald Trump for president?