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Has Donald Trump Read The Republican Platform?

Yesterday, on NBC's Today show, Donald Trump said he "absolutely" wants to change the GOP platform to add right-to-life exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother, which he supports but upon which the Donald Trump Today Showplatform is silent. 

Trump’s comments make us wonder if he has actually read any of the 2012 Republican Platform, let alone the section dealing with the right-to-life, so we reproduce that section here in its entirety:

The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life 

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide. 

Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. 

We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives. 

The 2012 Republican Platform is indeed silent on the matter of right-to-life exceptions, but it is not silent on another matter upon which Trump opined without really thinking – penalizing women who have an abortion. 

On that issue the Platform directly contradicts Trump’s position by clearly stating “we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy.” 

Unlike Trump’s “shoot from the lip” comments, the pro-life language in the 2012 Republican Platform was the culmination of decades of work by cultural conservatives serving on the Republican Platform Committee, such as our good friend the Founder of the Eagle Forum and First Lady of the Conservative Movement Phyllis Schlafly. 

And we might add, decades of opposition from establishment Republicans who every four years seem to forget that when Republicans make cultural issues part of their campaign they win, and when they ignore them or hide from them they lose. 

In his book The Case for Polarized Politics our friend Jeffery Bell incisively made the point that, “Social issues were nonexistent in the period 1932 to 1964… The Republican Party won two presidential elections out of nine, and they had the Congress for all of four years in that entire period… When social issues came into the mix—I would date it from the 1968 election… the Republican Party won seven out of 11 presidential elections.” 

The Democrats who won since 1968, including even Barack Obama in 2008, did not play up social liberalism in their campaigns. In 1992 Bill Clinton was a death-penalty advocate who promised to “end welfare as we know it” and make abortion “safe, legal and rare.” Social issues have come to the fore on the GOP side in two of the past six presidential elections—in 1988 (prison furloughs, the Pledge of Allegiance, the ACLU) and 2004 (same-sex marriage). “Those are the only two elections since Reagan where the Republican Party has won a popular majority.” Bell says and I agree, “It isn’t coincidental.” 

In August 2012, at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention, Phyllis Schlafly – now a Trump supporter – argued in a forceful op-ed in The Washington Times that the 2012 Republican Platform was “the best yet.” 

You can read Phyllis Schlafly’s entire piece by clicking here

Mrs. Schlafly argued that the 2012 platform represented a return to the platform that won Ronald Reagan two national elections, including his 49-state victory in 1984.  Reagan won, Mrs. Schlafly argued, because he built a “three-legged stool” based on “fiscal, social and sovereignty issues” and addressed them all as part of a national campaign. 

On day one of his campaign Donald Trump sounded like a candidate who wanted to reconstitute that Reagan coalition. However, since those first heady weeks almost everything he has said has taken him further and further from those early commitments, especially on the cultural issues. 

If the 2012 Republican Platform was “the best yet,” Trump’s comments on the-right-to-life, make us wonder how long and on how many issues Donald Trump’s cultural conservative supporters, such as our friends Phyllis Schlafly, Sam Clovis and Jerry Falwell, Jr., can and will continue to give him a pass. 

To review the 2012 Republican National Convention Platform in its entirety click here.

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He is opposed to any conservative or Christian values

Wake up Republicans - this liar is not one of us! Baby killing, socialist medicine, property stealing are all what the Rump believes in. Ted Cruz is our last chance to save America!

gop platform

I consider this not terribly relevant what the platform says.. if one looks at the voting records of most in congress it has little relevance to what the so called platform stands and says... 9 trillion in new unfunded spending by the so called republicans.. is far from holding conservative values..

While Trump does not hold all of these values true.. he is clearly less of a traitor to the country than the GOP has shown themselves to be..

He is not going to be bought and paid for like the high price spread we have populating the congress.

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly has endorsed Donald Trump and is actively campaigning for him in Missouri. Donald won the state of MO by 2/10 of a point (.2) over Ted Cruz. That win was due to Phyllis' campaigning across the state for him. Mrs. Schlafly is a turn coat and a traitor. She has lost all credibility. Stop using her as a point of reference. Phyllis no longer belongs to the conservative movement. She would rather have Donald Trump be the nominee and lose to Hillary.

I am from Missouri and knew Phyllis quite well in St. Louis. She was never like this until The Donald came along and offered her "goodies." She has been bought and paid for by the worst Republican candidate to ever run for president.

Republican Platform

Could you tell me why you find it unacceptable that a Candidate would suggest change??? Why is that so important that you write about it ?? Sounds like you don't want change, or at least suggestions. It should be the choice of the mother, if she is raped,or her life is at risk to decide yes or no abortion. These 2 minor changes would make sense, or is that now not allowed. OK, let's not make sense, lets stick to the same ol, same ol even if it don't work. That is exactly what we have lived with for the past 8 years. Not sure about you, " article writer" but change that makes sense and not news is a good thing for America

Dear GOPe Dopes - Cruz is your Platform, personnified

As the article points out, we have platforms (National and State) forged by the activists, often over the objections of moderate squishes, which tend to be actually conservative, and then we have candidates who are sometimes "campaign conservatives", but often not even that.
Dole, McCain, Romney, twice-failed senator Scott Brown, NH's finger in the eye of the TEA party failed gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein....

As Limbaugh says: "Conservatism wins every time it's tried"

Dear Delegates - Trust Ted - There is no alternative!

Cruz is your Platform, personnified

Amen.