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Donald Trump Drives the GOP’s New Platform

The former president is very much back in the driver’s seat of the Republican Party bus.

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Articles, Opinion, Politics

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has approved a new proposed platform heavily influenced by the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump. The last time the GOP revised its platform was in 2016. Those 66 pages of policy proposals have now been replaced by a new platform that is just 16 pages long. There are a couple of significant moves away from previous Republican Party positions, and these policy shifts demonstrate that the 45th president – and perhaps soon-to-be 47th – is firmly in control.

The RNC has long advocated for a national ban on abortion. That stance is out of line with the majority of American voters, and Republicans have been punished in recent elections because of it. Whether one supports or opposes abortion, the reality today is most Americans want women to have access to abortion services – in certain circumstances, at the very least.

The GOP’s new proposed platform recognizes that, in overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court sent the issue of abortion access back to the states. That is where it always belonged, which is one of the main reasons why Roe v. Wade was troublesome legislation from the get-go. One could argue that removing this authority from the states once again, via a national abortion ban, would cause the same issues that were finally corrected when the Dobbs decision overturned Roe. Certainly, it is not an idea that would be supported by most Americans, and Trump has drawn the ire of some conservatives by making it clear that he, too, is not in favor of a federal ban.

Other significant changes include the erasing of any language supporting gun rights and the removal of the Republican Party’s previously stated position that marriage was between “one man and one woman.” These two alterations to the platform will likely also displease many conservatives.

It is entirely reasonable to suggest that, on the subject of same-sex marriage, the horse is long gone from the barn. On the other hand, the new platform is very much a statement of principles and priorities. Many would argue that even if Republicans are never seriously going to move toward a new ban on same-sex marriage, they could still at least have stated their continued support for the more traditional view.

The omission of any language supporting the Second Amendment is perhaps just as troubling. The old platform Included support for constitutional carry. In today’s America, it may be politically toxic to talk about abortion bans or traditional marriage, but shying away from supporting gun rights seems to smack of timidity. A significant percentage of Americans either own guns already or they are considering purchasing one. A multitude of studies – along with the sales figures and ever-growing volume of gun permit applications – bears this out. Yet, it appears the RNC has tipped its hat to the clamor from the political left for an end to the so-called “gun violence epidemic.”

Donald Trump in Charge

Still, Donald Trump himself has made his pro-Second Amendment stance very clear. What is not clear is whether he and the RNC had any discussion about including support for gun rights in the proposed new platform.

The party platform always mirrors the candidate and it appears Team Trump has decided to move to the center on these stalwart conservative issues perhaps so they don’t provide easy fodder for the left.

Meanwhile, Trump is touting his own framework he calls “Agenda 47.” It’s a list of sweeping policy proposals, including ending welfare to illegal aliens, rebuilding the military, reducing the cost of American energy, and radically overhauling the education system.

The GOP establishment was never at ease with anyone who holds firm views that might threaten to upset the status quo or derail the Washington, DC gravy train. Thus, there has always been a certain amount of resistance to Donald Trump from within his own party. While there are still a few congressional Republicans who are not totally comfortable with the former president, the beginning of the end for the somewhat Trump-averse establishment may have begun after the 2022 midterms. Trump was out of power, and Republicans were going it alone. They failed – some would say quite spectacularly. A much-anticipated red wave turned out to be barely a ripple. The party seemed a little lost without Trump, and, since then, it has tacked gradually toward him – until now, a time when he seems very much in control of the Grand Old Party, while the Old Guard fades into the background.

Read More From Graham J Noble

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