Nevada’s Republican Party and liberty
There is a national battle going on for the soul of the Republican Party. At the Nevada State Convention on April 12, Nevada Republicans passed a freedom-oriented libertarian/Tea Party State Platform. It probably is the most freedom-centric state Republican Party platform in the United States.
Behind this victory for liberty were two long-time Storey County activists. Cynthia Kennedy and Juanita Cox went to the Las Vegas convention with three objectives in mind. One was to take out as many conservative social platforms as possible. The second was to add as many liberty platforms as possible. And the third objective was to let the Republican establishment know that Nevada was upset about the new Republican campaign bylaws that make it even tougher for an insurgent candidate like Ron Paul to become a Republican nominee for president in 2016. To their delight they succeeded in all three goals. And as icing on the cake, the convention voted for Rand Paul in its presidential straw poll.
There is no pro-life plank in the 2014 Nevada Republican Platform. No mention of abortion at all. There is also no platform supporting or opposing gay marriage, although people of different sexual orientation are deemed to be as free as others. The platform correctly denounces attempts by government to force religious institutions and individuals to violate their conscience. The platform is almost as bereft of heavy government moralism as a Saturday night at Dennis Hof’s Bunny Ranch.
The platform is very strongly in favor of the Second Amendment. No one would expect otherwise. The cool thing is it singles out the Fourth Amendment as just as important as the Second. It urges repeal of provisions of the PATRIOT Act, the Military Commissions Act, Defense Authorization Act, NSA warrantless surveillance, and all other laws that “violate fundamental privacy rights afforded by the Constitution.” The platform urges the “reduction of military commitments around the world to their original mission of national defense” and asserts only Congress can declare war.
The Tenth Amendment and state control of the public lands receives much love.
There are inconsistencies and omissions. While the platform supports energy markets free from subsidies, it wants Yucca Mountain to be a “world class nuclear research reprocessing and science facility.” Sounds like a subsidy for nuclear power to me.
There are good sections on education and health care. Education reforms like having the money follow the child is a sound idea. Obama Care must be opposed, while free market health care reforms like purchasing insurance across state lines are proposed instead.
But then the platform calls for full funding for Medicare. It refuses to take on the paradox of supporting balanced budgets while opposing any cuts to Medicare.
I am disappointed with the immigration platform, but I concede that it could have been a lot worse. While hardly free market, it at least has toned down the rhetoric. While Republicans say they want government to run like a business, basic business practices like supplying services in a minority language must give way to their “English as the official language” silliness. All immigration laws must be slavishly obeyed at all levels of government, no matter how stupid and inhumane they are. They support state-level immigration laws presumably more restrictive than federal, but oppose sanctuary cities.
The major factions of the Republican Party, the neocons, big government social conservatives, the chamber of commerce establishment, and the libertarian/tea party faction, will continue to fight for power and for the votes of the electorate. Nevada has now declared where it stands.