A Republican or libertarian platform?

The debate is warming up in Nevada among Republican social conservatives about the planks that were left out of the 2014 Nevada Republican platform.

There will be platform and candidate debates about abortion, religious liberty, legalized marijuana and prostitution. In 2014, Nevada’s constitutional conservatives and libertarians eliminated the right to life and other social planks from the Nevada Republican platform. This year there will be a concerted push to reinstate them.

The abortion and gay marriage questions have been settled by the Supreme Court and no matter how many conservative Supreme Court judges manage to get confirmed by Republican administrations, a woman’s basic legal right to abortion on demand and gay marriage are not going to end. Social conservatives will push for more regulatory restrictions on abortions in the platforms, but it remains to be seen how far the conventions will accommodate them.

A libertarian expression that government should get out of marriage licensing altogether may work best now to address gay marriage.

What is more positive is the movement to affirm religious liberty. The left is widely perceived as going too far by demanding compliance with every LGBTQA demand. The intimidation of free speech and thought in universities and corporate offices by “social justice warriors” (SJW) as well as the organized disruptions of Trump events for the express purpose of shutting down his basic right to speak are revealing something else besides Bernie Sanders’s smile may lurk behind the facade of socialism.

Conservatives, however, are known to shoot themselves in the foot on these issues. The transgender bathroom panic in Elko revealed Republican legislators as more ignorant than correct.

Religious liberty means religious institutions should not be forced to provide insurance benefits that contradict core beliefs. Religious schools should not be forced to teach what is not in their catechism. Let free speech be answered by more free speech, not by intimidation and adverse regulations.

Republican women’s groups are already saying there will be a bill in the next Nevada legislative session to criminalize prostitution. What Nevada Republican men think of the idea is hopefully another matter. They are acting under the banner of sex trafficking. The Nevada law specifically defines sex trafficking as involuntary and coercive prostitution. Some Republican women want to change the law to include all prostitution, outlawing the legal brothels.

Even the most ardent sex trafficking activists admit that only a minority of prostitutes are “trafficked.”

The estimates based on academic studies shows probably 5-10 percent of prostitutes, mostly underage street walkers, are coerced into the life. These children do not need to be arrested—they need help. Toughening trafficking laws will only make their lives worse and will make it harder for them to get the help they need. There are already laws against pandering on the books. There are already laws against kidnapping and exploitations. Our legal brothels have an excellent record of cleanliness and safety. They are important revenue sources for local government. These Republican women risk looking like 21 Century Carrie Nations—unless there is a similar large scale movement from Nevada Democrats.

Hillary Clinton makes human trafficking a campaign issue. Since some liberals, like some social conservatives, benefit from portraying women as weak and submissive to “pimps and traffickers,” they organize to roll back legalized prostitution world wide as well as in Nevada. One side sees the devil and the other the pimp, but both want to use the force of the state to stop people from voluntarily paying for sex upfront in cash rather than after small talk and dinner.