In Brief: the 2008 GOP National Platform – Preamble & National Security

The next few columns of mine will be used to travel through the Republican Party’s National Platform. For the sake of speed and convenience, I’ll highlight excerpts while providing links to the full passages. With all the filler, the downloadable version posted here runs 60 pages.

For any Republican candidates looking to fill out the issues section of a website, the National Platform has a lot of fine language that should be cut and pasted with a link back to their source. Illinois U.S. Senate candidate Pat Hughes refers to himself as a “mainstream Republican” candidate – which is a fine way to say it. Many of those mainstream values have already been articulated in the Platform and should be utilized.

Here is the Platform’s outline:

Chairman’s Preamble

National Security

Government Reform




Health Care




The Chairman’s Preamble opens:

“This is a platform of enduring principle, not passing convenience – the product of the most open and transparent process in American political history. We offer it to our fellow Americans in the assurance that our Republican ideals are those that unify our country: Courage in the face of foreign foes. An optimistic patriotism, driven by a passion for freedom. Devotion to the inherent dignity and rights of every person. Faith in the virtues of self-reliance, civic commitment, and concern for one another. Distrust of government’s interference in people’s lives. Dedication to a rule of law that both protects and preserves liberty.”

A paragraph later is this:

“This platform likewise rests on proven truths and tested wisdom as it looks ahead, both to deal with present challenges and to explore possibilities that may sometimes seem beyond our grasp. It shows what the American people can accomplish when government respects their rights, conserves their resources, and calls upon their love of country. It is not a tribute to bigger government.”

The National Security chapter is divided into three sections. For today let’s just take the first section: Defending Our Nation, Supporting Our Heroes, Securing the Peace.

Note the second sentence under “Defending Our Nation…” – with emphasis added – the preemptive poke at a would-be Obama Administration:

“Three decades ago, in a world as dangerous as today’s, Americans of all stripes came together to advance the cause of freedom. They had witnessed the wreckage of inexperienced good intentions at the highest levels of government, the folly of an amateur foreign policy. And so, in defiance of a world-wide Marxist advance, they announced a goal as enduring as the vision of Isaiah, to ‘proclaim liberty to the captives,’ and summed up America’s strategy for achieving that end in a timeless slogan: Peace through strength – an enduring peace, based on freedom and the will to defend it.”

In the next paragraph – a nod to an undeniable accomplishment of the Bush Administration:

“For seven years, the horror of September 11, 2001 has not been repeated on our soil. For that, we are prayerfully grateful and salute all who have played a role in defending our homeland. We pledge to continue their vigilance and to assure they have the authority and resources they need to protect the nation.”

Under the “Defending Our Nation” section are the following headings:

The Current Conflict Abroad

Homeland Security

Terrorism and Nuclear Proliferation

Better Intelligence – the Key to Prevention

Immigration, National Security, and the Rule of Law

Under “Better Intelligence…” is this text:

“Intelligence is America’s first line of defense. We must increase the ranks and resources of our human intelligence capabilities, integrate technical and human sources, and get that information more quickly to the warfighter and the policy maker.”

There is one sub-headings under “Better Intellegence…”:

Intelligence is Key to Fighting Bioterrorism and Cyberterrorism

Under the “Immigration…” is this text –

“Immigration policy is a national security issue, for which we have one test: Does it serve the national interest? By that standard, Republicans know America can have a strong immigration system without sacrificing the rule of law.”

– followed by these sub-headings:

Enforcing the Rule of Law at the Border and Throughout the Nation

Embracing Immigrant Communities

Welcoming Refugees

Under “Enforcing the Rule…”:

“Border security is essential to national security. In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, and criminal gangs, allowing millions of unidentified persons to enter and remain in this country poses grave risks to the sovereignty of the United States and the security of its people.  We simply must be able to track who is entering and leaving our country.”

Here are two more paragraphs from “Enforcing…” I’d refer readers to this page which provides a pretty good summary of the immigration issue:

“Our determination to uphold the rule of law begins with more effective enforcement, giving our agents the tools and resources they need to protect our sovereignty, completing the border fence quickly and securing the borders, and employing complementary strategies to secure our ports of entry. Experience shows that enforcement of existing laws is effective in reducing and reversing illegal immigration.

Our commitment to the rule of law means smarter enforcement at the workplace, against illegal workers and lawbreaking employers alike, along with those who practice identity theft and traffic in fraudulent documents.”

Here is the closing paragraph:

“We oppose amnesty. The rule of law suffers if government policies encourage or reward illegal activity. The American people’s rejection of en masse legalizations is especially appropriate given the federal government’s past failures to enforce the law.”

Again, in my humble opinion this section nicely summarizes what good candidates can and should be saying when they address this issue. You can find the full text here. The last sub-heading on this section is posted here in full:

Welcoming Refugees


“Our country continues to accept refugees from troubled lands all over the world.  In some cases, these are people who stood with America in dangerous times, and they have first call on our hospitality. We oppose, however, the granting of refugee status on the basis of lifestyle or other non-political factors.”

Up next: National Security continued.