A review of the 2008 IL GOP Platform – Preamble and Commitments

Last fall this column featured a walk-through of the national GOP Platform, and it’s time to take a similar jaunt through our state party’s platform. Our state party platform is only 12 pages, but there are some good passages our leaders and rank and file Republicans should be aware of during this election year and beyond.

From the preamble:

2008 Platform of the Illinois Republican Party

PREAMBLE

“We, the Illinois Republican Party, since the election of 1860, the Republican Party has had a special calling – to advance the founding principles of freedom, opportunity, and limited government and the dignity and worth of every individual…

These principles form the foundation of both an agenda for America in the year 2008 and this Platform for our Party. They point us toward reforms in government, a restoration of timeless values, and a renewal of our national purpose.

We commit ourselves to the values that strengthen our culture and sustain our nation: family, faith, personal responsibility, and a belief in the dignity of every human life.

We offer not only an agenda but also a vision of a welcoming society in which all who yearn for freedom and human dignity have a place. To all law-abiding Americans, particularly immigrants and minorities, we send a clear message: this is the party of freedom and progress, and it is your home.

We are the party of the open door to those who share our principles, determined to strengthen the social, cultural, and political ties that bind us together and make our country the greatest force for good in the world.”

As a nod to the inevitable disagreements within the party – there is this:

“Steadfast in our commitment to our ideals, we recognize, as did Ronald Reagan, that members of our party can have deeply held and sometimes differing views. This diversity is a source of strength, not a sign of weakness, and so we welcome into our ranks all who may hold differing positions on issues but who will not compromise on our shared bedrock principles. We commit to resolve our differences with civility, trust, and mutual respect.”

What exactly those bedrock principles might be isn’t mentioned.

Closing out the preamble is this:

To the citizens of Illinois, we commit ourselves to the following:

  • To conduct ourselves in such a way as to rebuild the public trust in the Republican Party and in government as institutions of public service and not personal gain;
  • To do all in our power to strengthen the families of Illinois;
  • To protect the fundamental right to life and dignity of every human life;
  • To provide a foundation for job creation and business expansion across the State and reduce regulations and taxes that smother the free market;
  • To enlist Illinois in defending America’s borders;
  • To endorse necessary resources and appropriate strategies to combat terrorist attacks and to fight and win the war on terror;
  • To make our communities safer through reducing crime and drug use;
  • To safeguard our way of life through adoption of sensible energy resource policies;
  • To promote Illinois’ advantage as a transportation hub for the nation;
  • To create an environment in which our public schools will become the best in the nation;
  • To reduce the size of government and the number of citizens dependent upon government;
  • To ensure that high quality health care is available, through the private sector, throughout our State in both rural and urban areas;
  • To restore fairness and balance to a legal system that has become unfair and unbalanced;
  • To safeguard Illinois’ fundamental crop – our agricultural sector; andTo maintain our stewardship of our natural resources through scientifically sound and economically balanced initiatives.”

That is a terrific list of commitments. The first bullet point is particularly good – especially in light of the pay-to-pay-for-personal-gain culture that has too often been dominant in the Illinois Republican Party. If it weren’t, we’d be much farther down the reform road in this state.

The second one – “To do all in our power to strengthen the families of Illinois” – I would like to refer our legislative and party leaders to the Heritage Foundation’s Family Facts website for the latest research backing up those of us who oppose left wing cultural experiments.

A little past midway in the list is this one: “To create an environment in which our public schools will become the best in the nation.” Unfortunately, tens of thousands of minority children were just denied that positive learning environment by 24 Republican state legislators. Here are their names:

State Senate:

John Jones             John Millner

State House:

Dan Brady Sid Mathias Raymond Poe Jim Sacia
Rich Brauer Bill Mitchell Robert Pritchard Skip Saviano
John Cavaletto Jerry Mitchell Randy Ramey Jil Tracy
Sandy Cole Don Moffitt Dennis Reboletti Jim Watson
Roger Eddy Rosemary Mulligan David Reis
Renee Kosel Sandy Pihos Chapin Rose

 

©2010 John Francis Biver