Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

Texas GOP’s Swing to Far Right Cemented With Party Platform-NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Ten years ago, the Texas Republican Party used its platform to oppose the teaching of critical thinking in schools. In 2014, it declared homosexuality a chosen behavior contrary to God and endorsed “reparative therapy” to reverse it. By 2020, the party is ready to remind the world that “Texas retains the right to separate from the United States.”

But now the GOP’s platform in the nation’s largest red state – long an ideological wish list that even the most conservative Texans know is largely filled with pipe dreams that can’t be policy – has been shattered to the new ground by pushing it to the far right.

Approved by 5,000-plus party delegates last week in Houston during the party’s biennial convention, the new platform marks President Joe Biden as an “acting” commander-in-chief who was never “legitimately elected. . “

It doesn’t matter who the president is, though, because the platform takes previous talk about the separation even further – urging the Republican -controlled legislature to put the question of leaving the United States to voters next year .

The platform also says homosexuality is “an abnormal lifestyle choice” and rejects bipartisan law in Congress that seeks to raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons from 18 to 21, which states that Texans under 21 “are most likely to be victims of violent crime and therefore most are likely to have to defend themselves.”

Even if not tied down, the platform illustrates how far Texas Republicans have moved to the right in the past decade-from championing tea party values ​​in 2012 to endorsing the former’s continued lies. President Donald Trump about the non -existent widespread fraud that cost him in an election he lost. with over 7 million votes.

“The platform shows the direction that party activists believe the party should take,” said Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist based in the Texas capital of Austin.

He said that, rather than deciding the election or dictating legislative action, the platform is more relevant as a signal of “where the key voters are and what they care about.”

Mackowiak said things like considering compliance aren’t taken seriously, but “Trump’s policy agenda is here to stay.” He said that, while the former president continues to question the results of the 2020 election, he will continue to seek an acceptable Texas GOP audience.

“Do people doubt that Republicans have concerns about how the election will be conducted?” Mackowiak asked.

Matt Rinaldi, a former state legislator who now heads the Texas GOP, said Republicans in the state “have no confidence in the results of the 2020 election and we don’t care how many times the elites tell us that we need. “

“We refuse to allow Democrats to rig the election in 2022 or 2024,” Rinaldi said in a statement.

Democrats are not deceived by anything. An Associated Press review of every potential case of voter fraud in the six warring states Trump has disputed found no 475 – a number that made no difference in the 2020 election. presidency.

Meanwhile, Texas ’2020 election is a romp even by the standards of Republicans who have dominated the state for decades. The party’s candidates outnumbered Democrats in key congressional and statehouse races as Trump quickly carried the election votes.

But that hasn’t stopped the former president from praising the party’s 2022 platform, posting on Tuesday: “Look at” the Great State of Texas and their powerful Republican Party’s 2020 Presidential Election Fraud Platform.

“Such courage,” he wrote, “but that is why Texas is Texas.”

Trump echoed the language stating, “We have rejected the certified results of the 2020 presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected.” That’s a departure from as recently as 2014, when the Texas GOP platform questioned “Barack Obama’s commitment to the constitutional rights of citizens,” but at least recognized him as president.

This year’s platform also states that “Texas retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called to pass a referendum in accordance with it.”

Ed Espinoza, executive director of advocacy organization Progress Texas, said some of the adherence to opening up to discriminatory language could have disappeared if not for Trump’s rise – showing that “he could have doubled the madness and not yet suffer the consequences.. “

“Usually what happens, when there’s crazy in a party, people try to soften it,” said Espinoza, former Western States Director of the Democratic National Committee. “In this case, they saw it work for Trump so they thought it would work for them.”

Texas was an independent republic for nearly a decade until 1845. With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Texas Republican Party convention was almost held and turned into a leadership struggle. But it also reflected the language of the platform stating, “Texas retains the right to secede from the United States if the future president and congress change our political system from one constitutional republic to another.”

That caveat about the system of government was dropped in the 2022 edition, which called for a referendum for voters “to determine if“ their state ”should re-state its status as an independent country. “

Texas’s right -wing push is evident in ways beyond the party platform. Delegates mocked Republican Sen. John Cornyn – who sat in his seat for 20 years and got more 2020 votes statewide than Trump did – for working on bipartisan legislation that seeks to impose moderate limits on gun. Those efforts began after a mass shooting last month in the Texas town of Uvalde, which killed 19 elementary students and two teachers.

However, such explosions at the state convention are also not new. Republican Governor Rick Perry was ridiculed in 2012 for praising his fellow GOPer and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is stuck in a major battle for an open Senate seat with Ted Cruz. Some delegates also previously walked out of a speech by former Republican Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.

“It shows you how much QAnon is not an outlier in the Republican Party,” Espinoza said. “Some people are easily swayed by conspiracy theory, and that’s like a higher percentage of the deeper you get into the Republican Party of Texas.”

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