The document itself has some general internal inconsistencies, as well as demonstrating ideological inconsistencies of the Republican Party. For instance, the closing line in the “Preserving and Protecting Traditional Marriage” heading states: “We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.” It was noted here last week, but it bears repeating: This stands in direct contrast to the rest of the paragraph, including the sentence preceding it: “ ... we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage and promote through laws governing marriage.”
The line about respect and dignity also contrasts the Republican stance on “Protecting Individual Conscience in Healthcare.” This paragraph states that “No healthcare professional or organization should ever be required to perform, provide for, withhold, or refer for a medical service against conscience.” The authors’ intention, no doubt, is to protect those who have a religious objection to abortions and contraception and take issue with sexual orientation and gender minorities. But what, then, of the Hippocratic Oath, and its pledge to consider the health of the patient first and to not allow considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between duty and the patient?
In that same paragraph, the authors reaffirm their support of parents’ rights to consent for treatment of their children, including pregnancy, contraceptives and abortion. They also specifically “urge enactment of pending legislation that would require parental consent to transport girls across state lines for abortions.”
It’s worth noting that these relate specifically to controlling girls and women, though the mental-health treatment they mention would certainly be used for parents to force their gay children into therapy (possibly against their will and possibly causing harm).
Under the heading of “Protecting Human Rights,” the platform only mentions religious freedoms, specifically the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Not to put too fine a point on it, but many of those same “religious minorities” are using religion to persecute sexual and gender minorities. The promise to “return the advocacy of religious liberty to a central place in our diplomacy” is worrisome for a country that was founded on freedom of religion — and the flip side, freedom from religion.
As others have noted, the opening-night speeches of the RNC also elicited conflicting emotions, particularly with the wife of the Republican presidential candidate Ann Romney telling her story of love, and N.J. Gov. Chris Christie lauding respect over love.
At a point where the Republicans ought to be thinking about how to appeal to more voters, they are alienating those who don’t fit their mold. Big Tent, hardly.