What is a Party Platform?

2014 Texas Political Battle

Since the recent Republican revival meeting, I mean Party convention, there has been much hue and cry about the platform.

The platform included language that appears to be out of step with societal norms, even among conservatives. The most obvious of these was a statement calling for the “reparative therapy for gays” which means that gays can be rehabilitated. There are also statements on the role of women and children in society and bashing of international organizations. Overall, it is a most entertaining document to peruse and will make you wonder when it was written, this century or the 19th century.

Party conventions are even more conservative than party primaries. As you know, this blogger always refers to party primaries as the “family feud.” If the primary is the family feud, the convention is the gathering of the family, with plenty of discord and debate over who will ultimately inherit and all the dysfunction of any family. If only 10-15% of eligible voters vote in primaries and only a few of them become delegates to a convention……. Hopefully you are getting the picture. This is the most loyal and committed element that plays at the convention level.

The Democratic platform will also represent the most extreme version of its party membership. Granted, after 20 years out of power in Texas, they are a smaller bunch with less discord. They are not arguing over slices of the pie but to even move from the children’s table and have access to the pie.

Many bloggers and other inside players have written extensively about the Texas Republican platform and the national media loved playing with it to illustrate those crazy Texans, once again.

Ultimately, though, that is the last you will hear about it. Will Wendy Davis dangle the Republican platform in front of her opponent? Will he remain loyal to it? He has to win a general election with many urban voters and will distance himself from the more radical elements of the document. He will claim that he doesn’t believe this or that and couch his phrases carefully.

This is the way it has always been. The state conventions of summer provide a modicum of entertainment for the insider crowd of political theater observers. In the end, the platforms are not relevant to the campaigns and the focus will turn to personalities.

The question remains – will anyone vote or does anyone out there even care about the leadership of Texas?


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