Myths and Legends of the Immigration Plank of the 2012 Platform
by Nelson Spear on June 22, 2012 at 1:10 PM
Since the 2012 Republican Party of Texas Convention ended almost two weeks ago, there has been a lot of misinformation being spread about what the 2012 Platform (and especially the Immigration Plank) really says and what has been taken out. It is my hope that I can set the record straight about what happened on the Platform Committee and why it happened.
After I was first appointed to the Platform Committee in late May, I read the entire 2010 Platform. While reading the 2010 Platform, I discovered several things in the 2010 Platform that I believed took away from its purpose and credibility.
The 2010 Platform was unnecessarily long:
To begin with, the 2010 Platform is extremely verbose.
I do not have a problem with using a lot of words to describe something when it is warranted; however, I do have a problem when we take so many positions that it can be perceived that any excluded specifics could and would be deemed as irrelevant or not intended to be included within the list. For instance, the listing of values towards foreign nations within the Republican Party of Texas Platform may be a good thing; however, it can create a problem when you mention one country but not another. Israel, Mexico and China all had listed values. The region of Kashmir also had a listed value. At the same time, there was no value statement made toward either Canada or the United Kingdom. The relationships that the United States shares with Canada and the United Kingdom are much more important than the value expressed towards Kashmir, yet Canada and the United Kingdom were not mentioned within the 2010 Platform. And many, including ￼ myself, consider the United Kingdom to be our best friend in the international community. If I were from either country, I would consider the absence of the mentioning of a longstanding friendship in a very important document could be perceived as an insult.
Micro Expressions of Values versus Macro Expressions of Values:
I also found that the 2010 Platform contained many instances of micro-expressions of values on topics that are not worthy of platform recognition. Using the Kashmir value as an example, the 2010 Platform found the room to include a provision that expressed a value about who can take the Texas Bar Exam. In my opinion, the 2010 Platform has no reason to express a value on this issue when the impact is not near as far reaching as other important issues such as abortion, the Second Amendment and Texas sovereignty.
Related to the above mentioned problem of using micro-expressions of values is that the micro-expressions of values can become dated ... quickly. For example, I was proud to be the sponsor of a plank that included the specific mention of the Dune Sagebrush Lizard. This lizard is a very hot topic to those involved in the oil and gas business and could potentially cost a lot of jobs unless it was dealt with. Less than a week after the 2012 Platform passed, the Fish and Wildlife Service dropped their adverse proposals relating to the lizard. This was a great victory for all Texans. And while the Dune Sagebrush Lizard section of that particular plank is only nineteen words long, it has now become archaic and in need of redaction in 2014.
Additionally, I found that in many instances, a macro-expression of a value had already been adequately expressed on a topic when a micro-expression need not have been expressed. For example, the same 2010 Platform took 332 words to say that we should pull our membership from the United Nations and kick the United Nations out of the United States. While I support this value highly, the 2012 Platform reduced that value to 118 words! I still think that is too long.
Additional Struggles with the 2010 Platform:
Additionally, some of the things that I thought hampered the 2010 Platform included: grammatically challenged sentences and paragraphs and constitutionally unclear concepts.
Directions From Party Leadership:
At our first Platform meeting, we received a general directive from Chairman Munisteri and Platform Chairman Tom Mechler. That directive was specific: pass the Platform that you want to pass, but please be judicious with the amount of words that you use to say what you want to say.
What I tried to do:
Taking all of the above into account, I and several others tried to say in as a few words as possible what we needed to say within the 2012 Platform. We tried not to repeat in one portion of the plank what was already adequately stated in another portion of the plank. The result was a much leaner and meaner and more significant platform. We did not sacrifice values.
The Immigration Plank:
I served with five other good people on the “Defending Sovereignty At Home and Abroad” subcommittee. This portion of the 2012 Platform is last within the Platform. Part of the benefit to being placed last in the Platform is that all of the other subcommittees already adequately and succinctly addressed the other immigration issues that “seem” to be missing from the 2010 Platform. A thorough reading of the 2012 Platform reveals that nothing from the 2010 Platform is missing on the immigration issue. It may be located in a different section than the 2010 Platform, but it is there. What was added was a solution to the illegal immigration problem. And the first plank of that solution starts with the securing of the border.
Before anyone states that a particular item is not within the platform, they need to read it. Below is a synopsis of where to find the issues for themselves.