Removing Moral Planks From the Republican Platform

On April 12th the Nevada Republican Party stripped two important planks from its state platform.  After spending a long day discussing endorsements and other business, and with only half the delegates remaining on the floor, the NRP voted to remove long-standing planks that supported marriage and opposed abortion.  Should we in Pennsylvania be concerned that a demographically small, geographically removed state made this move at this time and in the way it did?  Yes, we should!


  • In unsettling circumstances that occur too often, the decision came during a time that precluded a robust discussion.   By 7:30 pm half of the GOP delegates had left the meeting, many to attend the associated Lincoln Day Dinner.  Conceivably, some also left due to the length of the day with the meeting having begun at 7 am.  By evening, after a day of wrangling over the endorsement process itself and individual endorsements, many delegates were not as attentive as they could or should have been.
  • Transparency and accountability were lost without a roll call vote.  On such an important decision one would expect delegates to be on the record and accountable to the constituents that sent them to the convention.
  • Members of NRP’s platform committee said they were choosing not to deal with social issues this year.  They fool only themselves.  By supporting a change of the party’s official position they certainly addressed social issues in a way that hasn’t been seen since the 1980s.
  • The proposed changes originated in the less conservative Clark County Republican Committee representing the area around Las Vegas.  Were such a resolution put forward from a county with many state committeemen, would the conservative rural “T” of Pennsylvania fare differently in having it voice heard?  How would PAGOP respond?
  • Similarly to the situation in Pennsylvania, the State Attorney General has refused to defend Nevada’s constitution which declares marriage as between one man and one woman.  In Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane has also refused to do the job she was elected to do, instead refusing to uphold laws that she finds objectionable.
  • It should be noted that the Nevada GOP is the second state party to remove the social planks from their platform.  In 2012 Indiana Republican Party made a similar change.  Using the language of President Ronald Reagan the 3-legged stool of the Republican Party includes fiscal conservatives, foreign policy/defense focused conservatives and religious conservatives.  What will become of a 3-legged stool that continues to saw off parts of one leg?  Eventually it will topple.  What remains may be named the Republican Party but the dynamics will have changed as to exclude those of us who stand for social conservatism.  What then?


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