In Brief: the 2008 GOP National Platform — Crime

Only two chapters remain in our review of the Republican National Platform – today we’ll review the section on Crime and tomorrow on Values.

Protecting Our Families

Stopping Online Child Predators and Ending Child Pornography

Internet Gambling

Ridding the Nation of Criminal Street Gangs

Locking Up Criminals

Reforming Prisons and Serving Families

Protecting Law Enforcement Officers

Improving Law Enforcement

Continuing the Fight against Illegal Drugs

Protecting the Victims of Crime

Securing Our Civil Liberties

Renewing Neighborhoods, Building Communities

The intro sums it up well:

Republicans remain the party of vigorous action against crime and the party that empowers the law-abiding by protecting their right to keep and bear arms for self-protection. Our national experience over the past twenty years has shown that vigilance, tough yet fair prosecutors, meaningful sentences, protection of victims’ rights, and limits on judicial discretion protect the innocent by keeping criminals off the streets.

I found this second section, “Internet Gambling” – and its two sentences – rather interesting especially in light of certain Republican gambling profiteers here in Illinois.

Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support the law prohibiting gambling over the Internet.

Regarding the third section — “Ridding the Nation of Criminal Street Gangs” — it’s important to note that nearly every large urban area in America is run by Democrats. That is not to say that the GOP has a record of smashing success in this area. It’s my personal view that the Bush-Hastert years allowed the federal District of Columbia to suffer unnecessarily while they held power. The local D.C. government, after all, answers to the federal government.

Under that section “Ridding the Nation…” is this:

Gang violence is a growing problem, not only in urban areas but in many suburbs and rural communities. It has escalated with the rise of gangs composed largely of illegal aliens, most of whose victims are law-abiding members of immigrant communities.

We call for stronger enforcement and determined prosecution of gang conspiracies.  Illegal alien gang members must be removed from the United States immediately upon arrest or after the completion of any sentence imposed. Aliens convicted of crimes that render them removable from the United States must be removed as soon as possible after the completion of their sentences through the immediate transfer of their custody to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The “Reforming Prisons and Serving Families” section is just one of the many issues that never seems to rise to the level of importance when Republicans are in charge – but it is critical. Here are the two paragraphs under this heading:

Public authorities at all levels must cooperate to regain control of the nation’s correctional institutions. It is unacceptable that prison officers should live in fear of the inmates they guard. Similarly, persons jailed for whatever cause should be protected against cruel or degrading treatment by other inmates. We cannot allow correctional facilities to become ethnic or racial battlegrounds.

Breaking the cycle of crime begins with the children of those who are incarcerated. Deprived of a parent through no fault of their own, these youngsters should be a special concern of our schools, social services, and religious institutions. Government at all levels should work with faith-based institutions that have proven track records in diverting young and first offenders from criminal careers through Second Chance and similar programs. Individuals, including juveniles, who are repeat offenders or who commit serious crimes need to be prosecuted and punished.

Under “Renewing Neighborhoods, Building Communities” is this:

The two most effective forces in reducing crime and other social ills are strong families and caring communities. Both reinforce constructive conduct and ethical standards by setting examples and providing safe havens from dangerous and destructive behaviors. Given the weight of social science evidence concerning the crucial role played by the traditional family in setting a child’s future course, we urge a thoughtful review of governmental policies and programs to ensure that they do not undermine that institution.

Decentralized decision-making in the place of official controls empowers individuals and groups to tackle social problems in partnership with government. Bureaucracy is no longer a credible approach to helping those in need. This is especially true in light of alternatives such as faith-based organizations, which tend to have a greater degree of success than others in dealing with problems such as substance abuse and domestic violence. To accomplish their missions, those groups must be able to rely upon people who share their faith; their hiring must not be subjected to government regulation and mandates.

Up next: Values.