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Does the GOP have a platform?

Does the GOP have a platform?

One of the secondary narratives that circulate around the leftwing media sphere is that the Republican Party does not have a Platform.  It is just about power – not issues.

It is true that the Republican National Convention in 2020 took a pass on producing the traditional “Platform” at the National Convention.  I have mixed feelings about that.  For many years, I have written of the meaninglessness of the national platforms.  They are often put together by the most ardent – and often one-issue – activists.

At the conventions, there is heated debate on the planks – and a lot of reporting about the process and the results.  However … that is about the last time anyone pays attention to THE Platform.  The policies of a political party in America are set by those we nominate and elect.  Presidents routinely ignore or even reject portions of the Platform with which they do not agree.  The issues arise from people – not paper.

Still, I do believe there is some value in issuing a Platform at the national conventions.  Flawed or meaningless as it may be in implementing real policy, it still serves to bring issues to public attention.  It still lets those running for office know what the people – at least the party members – are thinking.  But as a foundation for actual policy implementation – zippo.  

Just ask yourself how many times have you heard politicians, pundits or the press referring to the platforms of the political parties – or specific planks?  Me neither.  And I follow this stuff as a profession.

Still, I think the Republican Party made a mistake in not issuing the traditional Platform.  If nothing else, it would have avoided the cheap-shot criticisms from the Democrats who did produce a Platform – and immediately ignored it.

The larger issue, however, is the claims by Democrats that the GOP does not have a platform-of-beliefs.  Their accusations are another political narrative based on a lie.  

For the better part of five years, I have consistently explained my disdain for the Trump personality and my appreciation of the conservative issues he pursued in office – with some notable exceptions, of course.

We conservatives believe in stemming the growth of the federal government – lower taxes and fewer regulations.  We believe in the rule-of LAW and the courts-of-LAW as opposed to the vigilante-style court-of-public-opinion.  We believe in fundamental and honest education – as opposed to political indoctrination.  We support choice in education.  We believe in LEGAL immigration and secure borders.  We believe in funding police to do their jobs to “serve and protect.”  We believe that the developing human in the womb has a constitutional and moral right to life – with extreme exceptions.  We believe in a free-market economic system.  We believe in honest and secure elections in which every American has a reasonable ability to cast a ballot if they wish to do so.  We believe in the right of good folks to own guns – and the need to take them away from the bad actors. We believe in a strong defense.  We believe in American exceptionalism.  We believe in e pluribus unum as opposed to the divisive evil of identity politics and political correctness.

I could go on and on — and we could fairly debate the subtext of these “planks” in the conservative Republican Platform – but you get the point.  Both Democrats and Republicans – progressives and conservatives – have their juxtaposed beliefs.  To say that one side does not have a platform of issues and policy proposals is a political lie.  The difference in the policies between the parties is one side believes in the power of centralized government and the other side (the good folks, I might add) believe in freedom of the individual.  It is the difference from ruling from the top down and governing from the bottom up.

So. There ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Biglilsmoke

    For the 2016 election, Trump had a list of things he would do if elected. He was elected and he did what he said he would do, in spite of the false roadblocks thrown up by the Democrats. There was no visible “Platform” for 2020, and this was a major mistake! I believe he would have won again in 2020 had there been a “Business Like” Platform which was presented in a Business-like manner. With his track record for the previous 4 years it would be accepted by the American People. The RNC needs to reconstruct their approach to illegal immigration. They need to emphasize the impact flooding the country with foreign workers into entry level jobs is exacerbating the homeless, unemployment situation in this country and emphasize the positive side of Legal Immigration , citing improvements to be made to that program. The RNC, and the State RC’s need to do a better job of coaching their candidates to best present their beliefs to their audience.

    • Frank stetson

      Yes, his obamacare promise was well met.

      His 4% GDP growth promise was amazing.

      He brought down the debt as promised.

      And finished that wall.

      And we did see his taxes.

      You are deluded that he met all promises.

  2. Tim

    All you just said sounds like “TRUMPISM” to me, just don’t push back on him, as all the RINOs did !

  3. frank stetson

    Definition of weasel words: “For the better part of five years, I have consistently explained my disdain for the Trump personality and my appreciation of the conservative issues he pursued in office – with some notable exceptions, of course.”

    Question: Besides that, how did you like the play Mrs. Lincoln?

    Answer: For the better part of five years, I have consistently explained my disdain for the a few members of the play’s audience personalities and my appreciation of the conservative issues pursued by the play’s author – with some notable exceptions, of course.

    In for a peck, in for a pound, Larry. At some point, holding your nose to the bad smell just does not work. He stinks, he is a stinker, and now he is a sinker. If Nixon was bad, this is far worse. Funny part is that if he put the same effort into winning as he did into cheating, he probably would have won. When was the last time a President with a great economy lost re-election? That takes some effort. Apparently it was effort that Larry can overlook in return for his policy Judas-silver.

    • Howard mccloud

      And the truth is that you aren’t good enough to kiss Trump’s ass.

    • Larry kuhn

      Vote fraud really works. But it better not happen again. But someday the truth will come out. By then joe will be sun downing in a rest home

      • frank stetson

        Mike Pence no longer believes The Big Lie… The Heritage Group does not see The Big Lie. The Shredder President laid plans to have DHS seize voting machines; another plan to get the military to seize the voting machines. Trump’s fingers are all over this one, finally might be hard for The Don to slip the noose except for the Kuhn’s and Mccloud’s of the world. Soon, Larry H. will be telling us he really didn’t like him personally once a week…..

        GM to invest $7B in Michigan, 4,000 new jobs, 1,000 jobs retained. Good jobs. Union Jobs. Biden does what Trump rants. Brings factories back to America. That’s on top of the $11B Ford is putting into factories in Tennessee and Kentucky, 11,000 new jobs, all on Biden’s watch, none on The Shredder President, The Great White Grievance, The Sheep Rally Commander in Chief, Captain Bonespur himself, the one-time wonder, the unconquerable, un-concede-able BIG LIE master himself, Donald J. Trump.

        Under Trump, 2017, Foxconn announced a $10 billion investment with thousands of Wisconsin jobs. As of 2020, buildings are empty. Over 1,800 factories were disappeared in American under Trump out to the end of 2018.

        I can understand why you must target CNN as the devil. It shows Trump’s record for factory jobs sucks:

        Remember the Carrier plant Trump saved with a phone call? NOT:

        Even when you take the pandemic out, Trump’s record sucks. His story is great though. Food for the masses.

        Whether it be The Big Lie, the economy, whatever —– we keep telling Trump lies. You know that he lies all the time.

        “Don’t stop believin’
        Hold on to that feelin’
        Streetlight, people
        Don’t stop, believin’
        Hold on
        Streetlights, people”


  4. Ben

    Book burning
    Tax cuts for the 1%
    Anti Abortion
    Anti CRT
    AND “Fuck Biden”

    Looks like a great way to keep the base happy… winning the popular vote? Not so much.

    • frank stetson

      Ben, now you know Republicans DO have a great 2022 and 2024 platforms. It just that after every meeting to set the planks, they keep shredding it all up. And based on their 1/6 recollections, they have extreme difficulties remembering anything for more than a Trump minute.

      Today, they solved that problem. They boiled all the platform planks down to a single word for what they will do upon Trump’s resurrection to the throne: REVENGE. Four fucking years of retribution. l

    • Nancy Reyes

      Let’s go Brandon.!!!

      • Frank stetson

        Let’s go Big Bird.

      • Ben


        Brandon Won!

        WTF? You know this is the Internet, correct? You don’t need to use childish slang, you can just say “Fuck Joe Biden” Nobody cares.

        It’s like you’re saying, “ha gotcha, I didn’t really say what I wanted to say, you triggered snowflake”

        quit being a pussy and just say Fuck Joe Biden. We don’t care. It’s stupid, and the fact that you think it is clever is sad. Biden was not our first choice, but he is a dramatic upgrade over the Mango Mussolini.

        Thank goodness the protections of our Government actually safeguarded democracy from a incompetent would be Autocrat.

  5. Ac

    Keep repeating the Republicans’ company line enough and the “I believe …..” statements sound like a religion’s doctrinal covenant. Then, just like a religion its followers don’t know squat about what it is they are supposed to “believe”. None the less they identify as conservative Republicans religiously and profess hatred for all Democrats and damn the horse they rode in on.
    The usual Republican has never read the Constitution, the Preamble to it, or the Bill of Rights. Yet they ramble on and on demanding their rights guaranteed in those documents particularly the First and Second Amendments. In their estimation those two amendments pretty much sums up what they need to know about freedom and rights. If a garden variety Republican freely feels justified trampling all over another’s rights in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, so be it.
    The good folk fly the Trump MAGA flag from their front porch, don’t consider themselves racist, do cross over and walk on the opposite sidewalk when they see someone not like them
    (white) walking towards them. and I, too,
    could go on and on. Few Republicans who I meet and converse with daily educate themselves with information besides the constant stream of ridiculousness coming from FOX.
    The “I believe” doctrinal planks are foreign ideology to mainstream Republicans. But they would be all in if there was a plank answering the question asked most by Republicans. “What’s in it for me” is that question. The bulk of Larry’s conservative belief planks represent TMI about politics for the general population of Republicans.
    Larry’s litany naming party policy planks makes him a political nerd. Planks that Republicans idolize are unrealizable. Real world practicality demands more from the federal government than Republicans would allow. Small federal government during a pandemic, after a natural disaster, organized unified effort combatting a common enemy or climatic concern affecting the whole nation.
    Right now our country could not survive the turmoil and chaos the former President caused during his “watch” and continues creating every chance he gets, if in deed America’s government was small.

  6. John Hewett

    All Republicans have to do is run on correcting all of the things biden and and dems have broken in 2021. Couple that with a return to honoring Constitutional rights and personal freedom instead of the authoritarian edicts being imposed on the citizens by the government.