Putnam County Florida

REPUBLICANS

Republicans at the National Level

Every four years the Republican National Committee (RNC), which consists of three party members from each state, holds a convention to determine the Party Platform.

Due to Covid restrictions the 2020 convention adopted the 2016 Platform in its entirety.

Click 2020-Republican-Party-Platform to download the entire document; an excerpt of beliefs is at right, and issue stands are below.

We believe in American exceptionalism.

We believe the United States of America is unlike any other nation on earth.

We believe America is exceptional because of our historic role — first as refuge, then as defender, and now as exemplar of liberty for the world to see.

We affirm — as did the Declaration of Independence: that all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We believe in the Constitution as our founding document.

We believe the Constitution was written not as a flexible document, but as our enduring covenant.

We believe our constitutional system — limited government, separation of powers, federalism, and the rights of the people — must be preserved uncompromised for future generations.

We believe political freedom and economic freedom are indivisible.

We believe that people are the ultimate resource — and that the people, not the government, are the best stewards of our country’s God-given natural resources.

As Americans and as Republicans we wish for peace — so we insist on strength.  We will make America safe.  We seek friendship with all peoples and all nations, but we recognize and are prepared to deal with evil in the world.

The Republican National Party Platform’s stand on the major issues confronting this country are many and diametrically opposed to the stand of the Democrat Party.

A shortened list of the Party’s stand on these issues is summarized here.

Click 2020-Republican-Party-Platform to download the entire document.

American Values:  We are the party of independent individuals and the institutions they create together — families, schools, congregations, neighborhoods — to advance their ideals and make real their dreams…Our society is at a crossroads.  For several generations, an expansive federal regime has marginalized and supplanted the institutions holding our society together.  No wonder, then, that so much seems to be coming apart now.  The question is whether we are going to reinvigorate the private-sector institutions under citizen control or allow their continued erosion by the forces of centralized social planning.  In that divide, the Republican Party stands with the people.

Strong families, depending upon God and one another, advance the cause of liberty by lessening the need for government in their daily lives.  Conversely, as we have learned over the last five decades, the loss of faith and family life leads to greater dependence upon government.  That is why Republicans formulate public policy…with attention to the needs and strengths of the family.

A Culture of Hope:  We have been fighting the War on Poverty for 50 years and poverty is winning.  Our social safety net — about 80 separate means-tested programs costing over $1 trillion every year — is designed to help people born into or falling into poverty.  It rarely lifts them out…intergenerational poverty has persisted and worsened since 1966.

Republican welfare reform of 1996…put millions of recipients on a transition from dependence to independence… Defying the law as it was plainly written, the current Administration has nullified any meaningful work requirement.

This is the progressive pathology: Keeping people dependent so that government can redistribute income.  The result is 45.8 million people on food stamps and 77 million on Medicaid…This is the false compassion of the status quo.  We propose instead the dynamic compassion of work requirements in a growing economy, where opportunity takes the place of a hand-out,  where true self-esteem can grow from the satisfaction of a job well done. 

Education:  Education is much more than schooling…It is the handing over of a cultural identity.  That is why American education has, for the last several decades, been the focus of constant controversy, as centralizing forces from outside the family and community have sought to remake education in order to remake America.  They have done immense damage.  The federal government should not be a partner in that effort, as the Constitution gives it no role in education…[Constitutional] truth rejects the dark view of the individual as human capital — a possession for the creation of another’s wealth.

Parents are a child’s first and foremost educators, and have primary responsibility for the education of their children.  Parents have a right to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing…We reject a one-size-fits-all approach to education and support a broad range of choices for parents and children at the state and local level.  We likewise repeat our long-standing opposition to the imposition of national standards and assessments.

More money alone does not necessarily equal better performance.  After years of trial and error, we know the policies and methods that have actually made a difference in student advancement: choice in education; building on the basics; STEM subjects and phonics; career and technical education; ending social promotions; merit pay for good teachers; classroom discipline; parental involvement; and strong leadership…We strongly encourage instruction in American history and civics by using the original documents of our founding fathers.

[W]e support the English First approach…We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with sexual risk avoidance education that sets abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior…We oppose school-based clinics that provide referral or counseling for abortion and contraception and believe that federal funds should not be used in mandatory or universal mental health, psychiatric, or socio-emotional screening programs. 

We emphatically support the original, authentic meaning of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972…That language opened up for girls and women a world of opportunities that had too often been denied to them.  That same provision of law is now being used by bureaucrats…to impose a social and cultural revolution..to fit the mold of an ideology alien to America’s history and traditions.

We call on state officials to preserve our public colleges, universities, and trade schools as places of learning and the exchange of ideas, not zones of intellectual intolerance or “safe zones,” as if college students need protection from the free exchange of ideas…We need new systems of learning to compete with traditional four-year schools… Public policy should advance their affordability, innovation, and transparency.

The federal government should not be in the business of originating student loans…private sector participation in student financing should be restored…accreditation should be decoupled from federal financing, and states should be empowered to allow a wide array of accrediting and credentialing bodies to operate.

Healthcare:  Any honest agenda for improving healthcare must start with repeal of the dishonestly named Affordable Care Act of 2010: Obamacare…In its place we must combine what worked best in the past with changes needed for the future…To simplify the system for both patients and providers, we will reduce mandates and enable insurers and providers of care to increase healthcare options and contain costs…We will return to the states their historic role of regulating local insurance markets, limit federal requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid, and call on state officials to reconsider the costly medical mandates…that price millions of low-income families out of the insurance market…[W]e will promote price transparency so consumers can know the cost of treatments before they agree to them.  We will empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools in order to expand coverage to the uninsured…We look to the growth of Health Savings Accounts…that empower patients and advance choice in healthcare.

We respect the rights of conscience of healthcare professionals…We support the ability of all organizations to provide, purchase, or enroll in healthcare coverage consistent with their religious, moral, or ethical convictions without discrimination or penalty.  We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children.

Medical malpractice lawsuits have ballooned the cost of healthcare for everyone by forcing physicians to practice defensive medicine…We support state and federal legislation to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.

We call for expanded support for the stem cell research that now offers the greatest hope for many afflictions…without the destruction of embryonic human life.  We urge a ban on human cloning for research or reproduction and a ban on…human embryos for research.

The FDA has slowly but relentlessly changed into an agency that…puts the public health at risk by delaying, chilling, and killing the development of new devices, drugs, and biologics…We pledge to restore the FDA to its position as the premier scientific health agency…We commend those states that have passed Right to Try legislation.

We oppose the non-consensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, including newborns, the elderly, and infirm,  just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs: We are the party of a growing economy that gives everyone a chance in life, an opportunity to learn, work, and realize the prosperity freedom makes possible.

Government cannot create prosperity, though government can limit or destroy it.  Prosperity is the product of self-discipline, enterprise, saving and investment by individuals, but it is not an end in itself.  Prosperity provides the means by which citizens can maintain their independence from government, raise their children by their own values, practice their faith, and build communities of cooperation and mutual respect.

Fair and Simple Taxes for Growth: Republicans consider the establishment of a pro-growth tax code a moral imperative.  More than any other public policy, the way government raises revenue — how much, at what rates, under what circumstances, from whom, and for whom — has the greatest impact on our economy’s performance.  It powerfully influences the level of economic growth and job creation, which translates into the level of opportunity for those who would otherwise be left behind.  Getting our tax system right will be the most important factor in driving the entire economy back to prosperity.

The current tax code is rightly the object of both anger and mockery.  Its length is exceeded only by its complexity.  We must start anew…It cannot be engineered from the top down, but must have a common sense approach, and be simplified.

Responsible Homeownership and Rental Opportunities: Homeownership expands personal liberty, builds communities, and helps Americans create wealth.  “The American Dream” is not a stale slogan.  It is the lived reality that expresses the aspirations of all our people.  It means a decent place to live, a safe place to raise kids, a welcoming place to retire.  It bespeaks the quiet pride of those who work hard to shelter their family and, in the process, create caring neighborhoods.

There is a growing sense that our national standard of living will never be as high as it was in the past.  We understand that pessimism but do not share it, for we believe that sound public policies can restore growth to our economy, vigor to the housing market, and hope to those who are now on the margins of prosperity.

Transportation:  Our country’s investments in transportation and other public construction have traditionally been non-partisan.  Everyone agrees on the need for clean water and safe roads, rail, bridges, ports, and airports.

The current Administration has a different approach.  It subordinates civil engineering to social engineering as it pursues an exclusively urban vision of dense housing and government transit.

Building the Future —  Technology: The digital revolution has transformed how we work, learn, sell, shop, socialize — in short, how we live.

We envision government at all levels as a partner with individuals and industries in technological progress, not a meddlesome monitor.  We want to create a business climate that rewards risk and promotes innovation.

The survival of the internet as we know it is at risk…The internet’s independence is its power…We will therefore resist any effort to shift control toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations.  We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach

We salute the Congressional Republicans who have legislatively impeded…plans to turn over the Information Freedom Highway to regulators and tyrants.  That fight must continue, for its outcome is in doubt…The internet’s free market needs to be free and open to all ideas and competition without the government or service providers picking winners and losers.

Small Business and Entrepreneurship: More businesses are closing in our country than are starting.  Older firms are an increasing proportion of companies.  Productivity growth has slowed.  This is not the way to jumpstart a new era of growth.

We should reduce the occupational licensing laws that shut untold millions of potential workers out of entrepreneurial careers.  We must overturn the regulatory nightmare, created by the Dodd-Frank law, for the community banks…that provide nearly half of all small business loans…We must challenge established interests and traditional business patterns to facilitate market entry of new business models.

Auditing the Fed AND the Pentagon: Because the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions affect job creation, upward mobility for workers, and equitable prosperity, they should be transparent.  The Republican Party will advance legislation that brings transparency and accountability to the Federal Reserve…The first step is through an annual audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities.

No major part of the Department of Defense has ever passed an audit.  Republican leaders in Congress have called for a full financial audit of the Pentagon to ensure that every dollar spent is truly benefitting our national security.

Workplace Freedom: We intend to [bring] labor law into the 21st century.  It should encourage cooperation between management and workers, not conflict…We support the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws and call for a national law to protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce.

All Americans deserve the opportunity to pursue their American dream free from discrimination.  Clear nondiscrimination policies ensure all employees have the chance to succeed based solely on their merits.  These policies are vital to creating an inclusive, innovative, and competitive workforce.

Federal Workforce: The federal workforce is large and more highly paid than ever.  Federal employees receive extraordinary pension benefits and vacation time wildly out of line with those in the private sector.

We urge Congress to bring federal compensation and benefits in line with the standards of most American employees…  The inability of federal managers to discipline and, if necessary, dismiss problem staff members is an affront to every conscientious worker, as is the misuse of funds for lavish conferences and routine bonuses.  The appointees of a Republican president will work with career managers to end those abuses and enforce high standards for all federal employees.

We call for renewed efforts to reduce, rather than expand, government responsibilities.

Federal Debt: Our national debt is a burden on our economy and families.  The huge increase in the national debt demanded by and incurred by the current Administration has placed a significant burden on future generations.  We must impose firm caps on future debt, accelerate the repayment of the trillions we now owe in order to reaffirm our principles of responsible and limited government…

A strong economy is one key to dbet reduction, but spending restraint is a necessary component that must be vigorously pursued.

The judiciary: The rule of law is the foundation of our Republic.  A critical threat to our country’s constitutional order is an activist judiciary that usurps powers properly reserved to the people through other branches of government.  

Only a Republican president [and Republican Senate] will appoint judges who respect the rule of law expressed within the Constitution…Only such appointments will enable courts to begin to reverse the long line of activist decisions…that have usurped Congress’s and states’ lawmaking authority.

Administrative Law: For more than a century…Congress has delegated increasing amounts of legislative authority to executive departments, agencies, and commissions, laying the foundation for today’s vast administrative state.  Unelected bureaucrats in the executive branch now write countless rules with the force of law and arbitrarily punish individuals who disobey those rules.

We call on Congress to begin reclaiming its constitutional powers from the bureaucratic state by requiring that major new federal regulations be approved by Congress before they can take effect…We further affirm that courts should interpret laws as written by Congress rather than allowing executive agencies to rewrite those laws to suit administration priorities.

First Amendment Rights: Our First Amendment rights are not given to us by the government but are rights we inherently possess.  The government cannot use subsequent amendments to limit First Amendment rights.

We support the right of the people to conduct their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs… We pledge to protect those business owners who have been subjected to hate campaigns, threats of violence, and other attempts to deny their civil rights.

We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage and further affirm the rights of religious students to engage in voluntary prayer at public school events…and to set their own membership standards.

We oppose any restrictions or conditions that would discourage citizens from participating in the public square or limit their ability to promote their ideas…We believe the forced funding of political candidates through union dues…violates the First Amendment.

Second Amendment Rights: We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a natural inalienable right that predates the Constitution and is secured by the Second Amendment.

Fourth Amendment Rights: Affor,omg the Fourth Amendment “right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” we call for strict limitations on the use of aerial surveillance on U.S. soil…We oppose any attempts by government to require surveillance devices in our daily lives…

No matter the medium, citizens must retain the right to communicate with one another free from unlawful government intrusion.  It will not be easy to balance privacy rights with the government’s legitimate need to access encrypted information [for security purposes]…A Republican president and a Republican Congress must listen to the American people and forge a consensus solution.

Fifth Amendment Rights:  The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can “be deprived of life, liberty, or property” deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that “all” are “endowed by their Creator” with the inalienable right to life.  Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.  We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.

The Framers of our government knew, from history and experience, that when private property is not secure, freedom is at risk…The Supreme Court’s Kelo decision undermined this safeguard by allowing local governments to seize a person’s home or land not only for vital public use, but also for “public purpose, which thus allowed the government to seize it for transfer to private developers…we join House Republicans in supporting the Private Property Rights Protection Act.

Civil asset forfeiture was originally intended as a way to cripple organized crime through the seizure of property used in a criminal enterprise.  Regrettably, it has become a tool for unscrupulous law enforcement officials, acting without due process, to profit by destroying the livelihood of innocent individuals…We call on Congress and state legislatures to enact reforms to protect law-abiding citizens against abusive asset forfeiture tactics.

By protecting the proprietary rights of creators and innovators, the Constitution promotes the general welfare by providing incentives for investment in all sort of technology and artistic works…Protecting intellectual property is also a national security issue…Today, the worst offenses against intellectual property rights comes from abroad, especially in China.  We call for strong action by Congress…to enforce intellectual property laws against all infringers, whether foreign or domestic.

Ninth Amendment Rights:  This provision codifies the principle that our national government derives its power from the governed and that all powers not delegated to the government are retained by the people.  We call upon legislators to give full force to this fundamental principle.  We welcome to our ranks all citizens who are determined to reclaim the rights of the people that have been ignored or usurped by the federal and intrusive state governments.

Tenth Amendment Rights:  The Constitution gives the federal government very few powers, and they are specifically enumerated; the states and the people retain authority over all unenumerated powers.  In obedience to that principle, we condemn the current Administration’s unconstitutional expansion into areas beyond those specifically enumerated…We pledge to restore the proper balance and vertical separation of powers between the federal government and state governments.

Big government undermines federalism…[M]oney originating from state taxpayers is returned to the states, usually greatly reduced, with myriad strings attached.  These grants turn state and local elected officials into agents of the federal government…We call upon Congress to reduce and ultimately eliminate this system of conditioned grants so that state and local taxpayers can decide for themselves what is best for their own communities.

Honest Elections:  We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College…as every ballot box in every state would offer a chance to steal the presidency.

Honest elections are the foundation of representative government.  We pledge to protect the voting rights of every citizen, as well as their rights of conscience when they are harassed or denied a job because of their contributions to a candidate or a cause…We urge state and local officials to take all approriate steps to allow voters to cast their ballots in a timely manner.  We are concerned, however, that some voting procedures may be open to abuse.  For this reason, we support legislation to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote and secure photo ID when voting…In addition, to guarantee that everyone’s vote is counted, we urge that electronic voting systems have a voter-verified paper audit trail.  We urge every state to join the Interstate Voter Registration Cross Check Program to keep voter rolls accurate.

In order to preserve the principle of one person, one vote, we urge our elected representatives to ensure that citizenship, rather than mere residency, be made the basis for the apportionment of representatives among the states.

Natural Resource Use:  We are the party of…all those who bring from the earth the crops, minerals, energy and the bounties of our seas that are the lifeblood of our economy.

Under [Republican leadership] America’s trade negotiators will insist that our global trading partners adhere to science-based standards with regard to food and health regulations.  We will not tolerate the use of bogus science and scare tactics to bar our products from foreign markets, nor will we allow insufficient health and safety standards for products imported for our consumption.

The Democratic Administration’s sustained support for additional regulation of agriculture has directly resulted in…higher food prices for Americans…States, not Washington bureaucrats, are best equipped to engage farmers and ranchers to develop sound farm oversight policies…[S]tates can best manage our forests to improve forest health and keep communities safe.

Our country has greater energy resources than any other place on earth…Planning for our energy future requires us to first determine what resources we have in reserve…That is why we support the opening of public lands and the outer continental shelf to exploration and responsible production, even if these resources will not be immediately developed…Congress should give authority to state regulators to manage energy resources on federally controlled public lands within their respective borders.

The Democratic Party’s campaign to smother the U.S. energy industry takes many forms, but the permitting process may be its most damaging weapon…We intend to finish [the Keystone] pipeline and others as part of our commitment to North American energy security…Climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security issue.  This is the triumph of extremism over common sense, and Congress must stop it.

We support the development of all forms of energy that are marketable in a free economy without subsidies…We oppose any carbon tax.  It would increase energy prices across the board, hitting hardest at the families who are already struggling to pay their bills…We urge the private sector to focus its resources on the development of carbon capture and sequestration technology still in its early stages here and overseas.

Environmental Progress:  Conservation is inherent in conservatism.  As the pioneer of environmentalism a century ago, the Republican Party reaffirms the moral obligation to be good stewards of the God-given natural beauty and resources of our country.  We believe that people are the most valuable resources and that human health and safety are the proper measurements of a policy’s success.  We assert that private ownership has been the best guarantee of conscientious stewardship, while some of the worst instances of degradation have occurred under government control.  Poverty, not wealth, is the gravest threat to the environment, while steady economic growth brings the technological advances which make environmental progress possible.

The environment is too important to be left to radical environmentalists.  They are using yesterday’s tools to control a future they do not comprehend.  The environmental establishment has become a self-serving elite, stuck in the mindset of the 1970s…Their approach is based on shoddy science, scare tactics, and centralized command-and-control regulation.

The central fact of any sensible environmental policy is that, year by year, the [U.S] environment is improving…These successes become a challenge for Democratic Party environmental extremists, who must reach farther and demand more to sustain the illusion of an environmental crisis…Information concerning a changing climate, especially projections into the long-range future, must be based on dispassionate analysis of hard data.  We will enforce that standard throughout the executive branch, among civil servants and presidential appointees alike.

Our agenda is high on job creation, expanding opportunity and providing a better chance at life for everyone willing to work for it.  Our modern approach to environmentalism is directed to that end…We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation from the federal bureaucracy to the states and to transform the EPA into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science…We will put an end to the legal practice known as “sue and settle”, in which environmental groups sue federal agencies whose officials are complicit in the litigation…That deceit betrays the public’s trust; it will no longer be tolerated…We will enforce the original intent of the Clean Water Act…We will restore to Congress the authority to set…Air Quality Standards and modernize the permitting process…so it can no longer invite frivolous lawsuits..

Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to states…The residents of state and local communities know best how to protect the land where they work and live.  We firmly believe environmental problems are best solved by giving incentives for human ingenuity and the development of new technologies, not through top-down, command-and-control regulations that stifle economic growth and cost thousands of jobs.

Government Reform:  We agree with Tomas Jefferson that “[t]he multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.”…The Republican path to fiscal sanity and economic expansion begins with a constitutional requirement for a federal balanced budget…Republican budgets will prioritize thrift over extravagance and put taxpayers first.  We support the following test: is a particular expenditure within the constitutional scope of the federal government?  If not, stop it.  Has it been effective in the past and is it still absolutely necessary?  If not, end it.  Is it so important as to justify borrowing, especially foreign borrowing, to fund it?  If not, kill it.

Medicare/Medicaid:  More than 100 million Americans depend on Medicare or Medicaid for their healthcare; with our population aging, that number will increase.  To preserve Medicare and Medicaid, the financing of these important programs must be brought under control before they consume most of the federal budget, including national defense.  The good news is that it can be done.

We intend to save Medicare by modernizing, empowering its participants, and putting it on a secure financial footing…[W]e propose these reforms:

  1. impose no changes for persons 55 or older
  2. give others the option of traditional Medicare or transition to a premium-support model
  3. guarantee to every enrollee an income-adjusted contribution toward a plan of their choice, with catastrophic protection
  4. set a more realistic age for eligibility in light of today’s longer life span

Medicaid presents related, but somewhat different challenges.  As the dominant force in the health market with regard to long-term care, births, and persons with metal illness, it is the next frontier of welfare reform.  It is simply to big and too flawed to be administered from Washington.  Most of the vaunted expansion of health insurance coverage under Obamacare actually has been an unprecedented expansion of the Medicaid rolls in many states.  We applaud the Republican governors and state legislators who have undertaken the hard work of modernizing Medicaid.  We will give them a free hand to do so by block-granting the program without strings…Using block grants would allow states to experiment with different systems to address mental health.

Social Security:  We reject the old maxim that Social Security is the “Third Rail” of American politics, deadly for anyone who would change it…As the party of America’s future, we accept the responsibility to preserve and modernize a system of retirement security forged in an old industrial era beyond the memory of most Americans.  Current retirees and those close to retirement can be assured of their benefits…As Republicans, we oppose tax increases and believe in the power of markets to create wealth and to help secure the future of our Social Security system.  Saving Social Security is more than a challenge.  It is our moral obligation to those who trusted in the government’s word.

Immigration:  The greatest asset of the American economy is the American worker.  Our immigration system must protect American working families and their wages, for citizens and legal immigrants alike, in a way that will improve the economy…We are also thankful for the many legal immigrants who continue to contribute to American society.  To that end, we both encourage the preservation of heritage tongues and support English as the nation’s official language, a unifying force essential for the advancement of immigrant communities and our nation as a whole.

In a time of terrorism, drug cartels, human trafficking, and criminal gangs, the presence of millions of unidentified individuals in this country poses grave risks to the safety and sovereignty of the United States.  Our highest priority, therefore, must be to secure our borders and all ports of entry and to enforce our immigration laws…

  1.  We support building a wall along our southern border and protecting all ports of entry.
  2. We insist upon workplace enforcement of verification systems so that more jobs can be available to all legal workers.
  3. We reaffirm our endorsement of the SAVE program…to ensure that public funds are not given to persons not legally present in this country.
  4. We demand tough penalties against those who engage in identity theft, deal in fraudulent documents, and traffic in human beings.
  5. We support stiffer penalties, such as a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, for any illegal alien who illegally re-enters our nation after already having been deported.
  6. Because “sanctuary cities” violate federal law and endanger their own citizens, they should not be eligible for federal funding.

Treaties:  We intend to restore the treaty system specified by the Constitution: the president negotiates agreements, submits them to the Senate, with ratification requiring two-thirds of the senators present and voting.  The United States will withdraw from all agreements and arrangements failing those standards.

Internal Revenue Service:  Many good civil servants work at the IRS, but the agency itself is toxic…  Republicans believe the federal government, specifically the IRS, is constitutionally prohibited from policing or censoring the speech of America’s churches, pastors, and religious leaders.  We support repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which restricts First Amendment freedoms of all nonprofit organizations by prohibiting political speech.  We also support making the federal tax code so simple and easy to understand that the IRS becomes obsolete and can be abolished.

Regulation — The Quiet Tyranny: The ability of the American people to govern themselves has been undermined by a vast array of agencies with sweeping power to regulate every aspect of American life…Sensible regulations can be compatible with a vibrant economy.  They can prevent the strong from exploiting the week.  Right now, the regulators are exploiting everyone.  We are determined to make regulations minimally intrusive, confined to their legal mandate, and respectful toward the creation of new and small businesses.

Criminal Justice and Prison Reform:  The men and women of law enforcement…deserve our gratitude and support.  The current Administration’s lack of respect for them…has been unprecedented…The Republican Party, a party of law and order, must make clear in words and action that every human life matters.

Two grave problems undermine the rule of law on the federal level: over-criminalization and over-federalization.  In the first case, Congress and federal agencies have increased the number of criminal offenses in the U.S. Code from 3,000 in the early 1980’s to more than 4,500 today.  That does not include an estimated 300,000 regulations containing criminal penalties…The power of career civil servants and political appointees to criminalize behavior is one of the worst violations of constitutional order perpetrated by the administrative state.

The over-federalization of criminal justice is one of many ways in which the government in Washington has intruded beyond its proper jurisdiction…We applaud the Republican governors and legislators who have been implementing criminal justice reforms.

[W]e condemn the Supreme Court’s erosion of the right of the people to enact capital punishment in their states.  In solidarity with those who protect us, we call for mandatory prison time for all assaults involving serious injury to law enforcement officers.

Public officials must regain control of their correctional institutions…Courts should not tie the hands of prison officials in dealing with these problems.  We encourage states to offer opportunities for literacy and vocational education to prepare prisoners for release to the community.  Breaking the cycle of crime begins with the children of those who are prisoners.

Drug Abuse:  The progress made over the last three decades against drug abuse is eroding, whether for cultural reasons or for lack of national leadership…[There are] continuing conflicts and contradictions in public attitudes and public policy toward illegal substances.  Congress and a new  administration should consider the long-range implications of these trends for public health and safety and prepare to deal with the problematic consequences.

Foreign Policy:  We are the party of peace through strength…Tyranny and injustice thrive when America is weakened…Quite simply, the Republican Party is committed to rebuilding the U.S. military into the strongest on earth, with vast superiority over any other nation or group of nations in the world.  We face a dangerous world, and we believe in a resurgent America.

A Republican administration will restore our nation’s credibility.  We must stand up for our friends, challenge our foes…[and seek] to assist in the establishment of comprehensive and lasting peace.

China’s behavior has negated the optimistic language of our last platform concerning our future relations with China.  The liberalizing policies of recent decades have been abruptly reversed, dissent brutally crushed, religious persecution heightened, the internet crippled, a barbaric population control…continued, and the cult of Mao revived…For any American company to abet those offenses, especially governmental censorship and tracking of dissenters, is a disgrace…and [we] call upon American colleges to dissociate themselves from this increasing threat to academic freedom and honest research.

Foreign aid must serve America’s interests first.  In today’s world of complex challenges, international assistance is a critical tool for advancing America’s security and economic interests by preventing conflict, building stability, opening markets for private investment, and responding to suffering and need with the compassion that is at the heart of our country’s values.  A strong commitment ot international development and diplomacy, alngside defense, was a key component of President Reagan’s “peace through strength” strategy.

Click 2020-Republican-Party-Platform to download the entire document.

What the Republican Party believes in its heart, and stands for with its brain, has not often translated into actions by its elected officials in recent decades.

This is mostly due to its minority status in Congress from the 1930s to the 90s, then barely a majority after that.  Compromise with Democrats seemed a necessity if anything was to get accomplished.

This was also due to rogue actions by a few elected Republicans who were able to block Party efforts by voting with a Democrat minority.

It was not always so and shall not always be.

If the Republican Party is to “walk the talk” it must convince a greater number of voters of its sincerity and strength of purpose.  The actions proposed by its platform MUST be converted into reality by ALL its elected officials. 

Read more to learn what the Party has done and plans to do.

History of the Republican Party

Grand New Party-
It began in a little schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854. A small group of dedicated abolitionists gathered to fight the expansion of slavery, and they gave birth to a Party dedicated to freedom and equal opportunity.

The name “Republican” was chosen, alluding to Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party and conveying a commitment to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The Party was formally organized in July 1854 by thousands of anti-slavery activists at a convention in Jackson, Michigan. And it was no accident that two years later, in 1856, the first Republican National Convention took place in Philadelphia, where the Constitution was written.

Party of Freedom-
Though popularized in a Thomas Nest cartoon, the GOP’s elephant symbol originated during the 1860 campaign, as a symbol of Republican strength. Republicans envisioned “free soil, free speech, free labor.” Under the leadership of President Abraham Lincoln, the GOP became the Party of the Union as well.

Republican President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, but it was the entire Republican Party who freed the slaves. The 1864 Republican National Convention called for the abolition of slavery, and Congressional Republicans passed the 13th amendment unanimously, with only a few Democrat votes.

The early women’s rights movement was solidly Republican, as it was a continuation of abolitionism. They were careful not to be overly partisan, but as did Susan B. Anthony, most suffragists favored the GOP. The 19th amendment was written by a Republican senator and garnered greater support from Republicans than from Democrats.

Party of Prosperity-
Low taxes, sound money, regulatory restraint: these were among the commonsense economic policies established by the GOP that brought about decades of prosperity after the Civil War. Republicans encouraged innovation and rule of law. Buttressed by Republican control in Congress, the McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Taft administrations cleared away obstacles to economic growth.

President Dwight Eisenhower and congressional Republicans appreciated the fact that the private sector, not government, is the engine of wealth creation. With his bold tax-cutting agenda, President Ronald Reagan revived the economy after years of Democrat malaise.

Party of Vision-
Theodore Roosevelt embodies our Party’s traditional concern for the environment, but the Republican commitment to the environment actually goes back much further than that. For example, the world’s first national park, Yellowstone, was established during the Ulysses Grant administration.

President Eisenhower advocated groundbreaking civil rights legislation and vigorously enforced the Brown v. Board of Education decision, sending the 101st Airborne to Little Rock when chaos erupted following integration at Central High.

Ronald Reagan explained the difference between Democrats and Republicans in a way that cannot be improved upon: “Two visions of the future, two fundamentally different ways of governing- their government of pessimism, fear, and limits, or ours of hope, confidence, and growth. Their government sees people only as members of groups. Ours serves all the people of America as individuals.”

President George H.W. Bush championed community and volunteer organizations and the tremendous power they have for doing good. He famously described them as “a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”

In the first decade of the 21st century, President George W. Bush made an unprecedented commitment to helping those in need beyond our shores through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an aid program for countries devastated by HIV/AIDS. Since its inception, PEPFAR has saved over a million lives and currently provides over 5 million people with life-saving treatments.

Party of Strength-
President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush led western democracies to victory over Soviet tyranny in the Cold War. The George W. Bush administration maintained the military second-to-none and projected that power in the fight against international terrorism.

Party of the Future-
Drawing inspiration from our Party’s history, today’s Republicans believe individuals, not government, make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home.

At the state level, the nation’s thirty Republican governors are making government more effective and efficient, spurring economic growth and striving to put more power in the hands of the people.

Nationally, under the leadership of the People’s Champion, President Donald J. Trump, Republicans recognize that the slow, bloated, top-down Washington bureaucracy is out-of-date in the 21st century. Our Party works to give the American people more choices–in healthcare, in education, in energy, and in the economy-and to free individuals and families from the intrusive overreach of federal bureaucrats.

The Party’s core principles of freedom and equal opportunity are as relevant today as at our founding, and they are the road map for American renewal in a new and interconnected world.

Fighting for America’s Future

The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action are fighting to save America. Conservatives must set the agenda, earn a mandate for that agenda, and govern accordingly. Over the next three years, we will engage, along with our allies, in Washington and in the states. We are committed to restoring human flourishing through self-governance for all Americans and championing the policies that get us there.

Today, we’re casting a vision for seven of the most important challenges facing America—some familiar and others new. Policymakers must address these challenges to make America solvent, stronger, and safer today and for generations to come.

Empower parents to make education choices:  The education system is failing our children—from the scourge of critical race theory and gender ideology to the lack of accountability and transparency. Parents, not bureaucrats, should be making teaching and learning decisions that align with their values. Taxpayer dollars should help students succeed, not prop up school systems. The Heritage enterprise will spearhead reforms at the state level to ensure parental rights and expand school choice and work to narrow the federal government’s role, ultimately eliminating the U.S. Department of Education.

Secure America’s borders and reduce crime:  Upholding the rule of law is paramount for a healthy society. The American people should be able to live peacefully without constant fear of crime or incursions across our borders. A strong justice system enforces existing U.S. law, prosecutes criminals, secures our borders, and preserves our national identity. America’s current crime and border crisis is out of control and the human costs are staggering. The Heritage enterprise will expose the threats posed by criminals and illegal immigrants and take steps at the federal and state level to restore the rule of law.

Ensure free and fair elections:  The right to vote in a free and fair election is the most basic civil right. Americans can have confidence in election outcomes only if they trust that the process is fair.  Heritage will restore faith in elections and protect the right to vote for all Americans by advocating for commonsense reforms in the states like requiring an ID to vote and ending the practice of vote trafficking. We will always oppose a federal takeover of our elections by Washington elites.

Reverse the growth of spending and inflation:  Government spending and inflation are a tax on all Americans, especially working families who struggle to make ends meet. Prudent fiscal decisions can enable American families to flourish without politicians and bureaucrats controlling our lives. The Heritage enterprise will advance a blueprint to reduce the size and scope of the federal budget, spend less of our money, and save us from falling off the fiscal cliff.

Counter the threat of communist China:  The Chinese Communist Party is the most persistent and consequential threat facing the American people today, even as Vladimir Putin deserves the world’s unmitigated scorn in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China is expanding its military and stealing American jobs and technology, posing a direct threat to our security and prosperity. We will expose China’s aggressive military buildup, growing cyber capabilities, gross violations of human rights, and rising use of global economic coercion. We will push for concrete steps—like resurrecting the China Initiative in the U.S. Department of Justice and barring members of the Chinese Communist Party from national security-related research funded by federal contracts and grants. To preserve our freedom, the Heritage enterprise will advance policy to confront China’s attack on American interests and values, develop a Chinaresistant economy, and ensure our capabilities during this great power competition.

Hold Big Tech accountable:  Big Tech is an enemy of the people, actively undermining everything great about America. Tech giants and social media companies are silencing facts later deemed to be true, colluding with authoritarian governments, and disproportionately silencing conservatives. The Heritage enterprise will put power back in the hands of the American people by holding Big Tech accountable using antitrust and other laws and proposing new measures to end their abuses.

Protect the unborn:  Everyone has a right to life. Americans must protect unborn babies and their mothers from the gruesome realities of abortion. Roe v. Wade has poisoned our courts, our culture, and our laws. From the moment of conception, every human being has inherent dignity and worth. Women and their children deserve better options than abortion. In a post-Roe America, the Heritage enterprise will mobilize with definitive action to advance life-saving policies at the state and federal level, and ultimately make abortion unthinkable.

OUR OFFICIALS

House Representitive for District 3 Kat Cammack

Congresswoman Kat Cammack proudly serves Florida’s 3rd Congressional District as the youngest Republican woman in the 117th Congress. 

Kat is a third-generation sandblaster who grew up on a cattle ranch and she understands the hard work and determination it takes to run a small business, navigating labor challenges, interpreting regulation, and more. A proud alumnus of the Naval War College, Kat knows the issues and constituents of Florida’s 3rd intimately, having served as the longtime former deputy chief of staff for the district prior to her election in 2020.

An Obama-era program forced Kat’s family to lose their cattle ranch in 2011, evicting them from their home and livelihood. After months of homelessness, Kat was motivated to fight back against the failures of big government and dedicated her life’s work to becoming part of the solution in Washington. Representative Cammack fights for Florida’s 3rd District to ensure no other family has to endure what hers experienced. 

Kat is a proud wife to her husband Matt, a Gainesville native, who serves with the Gainesville Fire Department as a firefighter/paramedic and SWAT medic.

Heritage Action rates Kat’s voting performance in the last session as 100% conservative!  Unfortunately, due to congressional redistricting still in progress, there may be a chance Putnam County is moved out of her district.  Stay tuned; decisions must be made by June 2022!

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio was born in Miami, Florida, one of the four children of Cuban immigrants who came to America in 1956. Both of his parents earned their way to the middle class by working humble jobs — his father as a bartender in hotels and his mother as a maid, cashier, and stock clerk. Thanks to their loving, powerful example, Senator Rubio learned the importance of family and hard work and came to realize that all things are possible in America. He believes in the American Dream because he’s living it.

Senator Rubio has spent most of his life in West Miami, and he lives there today with his wife Jeanette and their four children. One of the many reasons he loves living in Florida and representing its people is the diverse backgrounds and stories of those in his community. Some have made it in America, others are just starting out, and many more are mid-pursuit of their own dream. There are homes led by heroic single parents or grandparents, homes with two hard-working parents, and homes with multiple generations living together.

For as far back as he can remember, Senator Rubio’s neighbors have helped shape his impression of the American Dream. It wasn’t long after he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in 1993 and a juris doctor from the University of Miami Law School in 1996 that he felt drawn to serve his community in public office.

Senator Rubio started as a City Commissioner for West Miami before being elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000, and then speaker in November 2006. Before taking this post, he authored 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future, a book based on conversations he had with Floridians at “idearaisers” that he and his colleagues hosted around the state.

As speaker, Senator Rubio helped enact many of the book’s ideas and was proud to champion smarter, limited government at the state level. But after seeing the impact of his work in state government, Senator Rubio wanted to take his ideas for conservative reform to where they were needed the most: Washington, D.C.

When he launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2009, the political class predicted that he would lose big to his better-funded and better-known Republican primary opponent. But with a come-from-behind victory, the people of Florida elected Senator Rubio on the promise of bringing conservative ideas to the United States Senate.

Since arriving in the Senate in January 2011, Senator Rubio has fought against the Washington establishment’s big government vision, supported replacing ObamaCare with a better health care system, and opposed bloated budgets that increased taxpayer debt at the expense of creating jobs and real prosperity.

Heritage Action rates Marco’s voting performance in the last session as 98% conservative!   However, in the previous three congressional sessions he was in the mid 70s, falling from 98% when he was first elected.  Marco is up for re-election in 2022 and isn’t expected to have strong primary opposition.

U.S. Senator Rick Scott

U.S. Senator Rick Scott was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 and is currently serving his first term representing the state of Florida. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Rick Scott served two terms as the 45th Governor of Florida, working every day to turn around Florida’s economy and secure the state’s future as the best place for families and businesses to succeed. Rick Scott grew up in public housing in the Midwest as his adoptive father, a World War II veteran and truck driver, and his mother, a store clerk, struggled to financially support their family. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Ann, Rick Scott joined the Navy, where he served active duty as a radar man aboard the USS Glover. He used the G.I. Bill to attend the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and eventually opened his first business – a donut shop. Rick Scott went on to run the world’s largest healthcare company and continues to fight every day so families across the state can have the same opportunities he had to live the American dream.

Rick Scott knows firsthand that a good paying job is one of the most important things for a family, and following Florida’s economic collapse ten years ago, he made the decision to run for governor as a businessman with no political experience. During his term as Governor, he successfully championed more than $10 billion in tax cuts and cut thousands of burdensome regulations that led Florida businesses to create nearly 1.7 million new jobs. Under his leadership, the unemployment rate dropped from 11 percent to 3.3 percent, Florida paid down $10 billion in state debt, and record investments were made in what matters most to Floridians – education, the environment, and public safety.

Rick Scott and his wife, Ann, have been married for 49 years and have two daughters, Allison and Jordan, six grandsons, Auguste, Quinton, Sebastian, Eli, Louie and Jude, and one granddaughter, Zelda Ann.

Heritage Action rates Rick’s voting performance in the last two sessions as 94% and 98% conservative!   Rick is not on the 2022 ticket.

Senator Marco Rubio is up for re-election in 2022.  He has no primary opposition.

Due to re-districting we are no longer in Kat Cammack’s District.  View the new district boundaries HERE.

If you need help choosing who to vote for in the primaries, check out our RESOURCES page or visit our NEWS page, candidate section for links to articles members have submitted about various candidates.

The following offices are on the ballot in 2022.  Named are the current office holders. Republican primary opponents are now confirmed and their names with links to biographical material, scorecards are below.

SENATOR:

HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE D6:

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