Nel's New Day

June 26, 2012

If You Lived in Texas ….

Yesterday I had lunch with a Republican friend and commiserated with her on the state of the Republican party. She’s a firm believer in women’s reproductive rights, and her daughter went to Planned Parenthood for her health care, including birth control. During the conversation, she mourned the loss of her party, saying that there really isn’t a Republican party any more. Things are so bad now, she said, that we probably needed regulations because of banks’ dishonesty. Now her daughter lives in Texas, and my friend is visiting her this week.

Coincidentally, this week is when Texas’s Grand Old Party of Texas published its platform telling the world what they stand for. There’s the usual get rid of the UN and teach abstinence-only sex education as well as the following:

The Texas GOP supports “repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment,” which instituted a national income tax, and instead favors a wildly regressive national sales tax that would hit low- and middle-income Americans hardest. It does like a few taxes and supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent and repealing the capital gains tax and the estate tax. The state GOP wants to abolish property and business taxes as well as guaranteeing that there will be no state income tax, no Internet sales tax, no professional licensing fees, and no taxes on real estate transactions. Texas GOP thinks that they can “shift the tax burden to a consumption-based tax.”

The Texas GOP supports returning to the gold standard: “We support the return to the time tested precious metal standard for the U.S. dollar.” They ignore Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s statement that it is “not feasible for practical and policy reasons.” Most economists agree that the gold standard never worked and that returning to it now would have disastrous consequences for the American economy.

The Texas GOP supports privatizing Social Security. Instead of this popular program, the platform wants “an immediate and orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax.” With such a program, each retiree would have lost tens of thousands of dollars a few years ago because of the recession. Millions of Americans lost everything in private accounts during the recession, and Social Security was all they had left.

The Texas GOP opposes multicultural education and “critical thinking.” The platform states, “We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive.” Instead, the state GOP wants education to provide a “common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups.” (Arizona students in a now-banned multicultural program out-performed their peers.) Of course, the GOP also wants “controversial theories” such evolution and climate change “be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced.” In the icing on the education cake, the GOP believes that the teaching of “critical thinking skills” will “focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” No thinking–they might vote for Democrats!

The Texas GOP supports corporal punishment in schools because it “is effective and legal.” Also teachers and school boards should be given “more authority to deal with disciplinary problems.” The platform ignores research showing that corporal punishment is bad for children and their education, “associated with an increase in delinquency, antisocial behavior, and aggression in children,” according to the American Psychoanalytic Association. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents and schools use other forms of punishment because “corporal punishment is of limited effectiveness and has potentially deleterious side effects.”

The Texas GOP opposes alternative sexual orientation and gender identity so strongly that it supports criminalizing of sodomy and putting in jail anyone who issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple. The state GOP justifies this with the belief that same-sex relationships lead to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases and is against God, the nation’s founders, and the people of Texas. “Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle in our public education and policy.” The state should not only prevent marriage equality but also adoption or fostering children by same-sex couples.

Last Friday night, a teenage lesbian couple in Texas were both shot in the head and left to die in a Portland park. Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, died from her wounds, and Mary Christine Chapa, 18, is in serious but stable condition after surgery. Investigators said they believe Olgin and Chapa were shot with a large-caliber gun about midnight after being led down a trail and into a grassy area.

Republicans in the second largest state in the United States, the state that controls what is published in textbooks because of the large number that they purchase, want to put more of its residents into poverty, continue giving money to the wealthy, destroy the economy, eliminate thinking, beat kids, and foment enough hate for LGBT people that they live in danger of being killed. This isn’t the Republican party of my friend, but it may end up being the Republican party of the United States.

1 Comment »

  1. Unthinkable. Or is that the problem- unthinking?


    Comment by lynchly — June 26, 2012 @ 10:01 PM | Reply

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