The Changing GOP platform by Nelson LewisThe first draft of the document that will become the GOP platform last night as the Republican National Convention started up.  While it remains opposed to abortion, it’s starting to look a bit different than in previous years.  In a major shift, the platform would drop the pursuit a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.  Instead, it would oppose the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, calling on states to decide the matter themselves.  It would also slightly alter the party’s position on Israel, removing a reference to Palestine in support of a two-state solution.  The document will be forming the basis of discussions for the panel, which will be meeting this week to adapt the language and vote on a final proposal.  

The major changes to the 2012 platform came on trade, which has been a major point of contention for GOP candidate Trump with the US Chamber of Commerce and other bakers.  The language of this new platform sounds a lot like Trump, even if it stays away from some of his more controversial beliefs, such as renegotiating NAFTA.  It says that while international trade is beneficial to the American economy, “massive deficits” are a major issue, and it speaks of a “worldwide multilateral agreement” promoting open market ideals.  It continues with language similar to the talk of negotiating and deal-making that characterizes Trump’s speeches.  The document, currently 58 pages long, is going to be worked through in the next few days; there has also been an idea to shorten the document to under 2,000 words, much like the 1860 platform.

The platform will no longer call for an amendment to declare marriage between “one man and one woman”, but rather leaves the issue up to state governments.  The draft spoke of “religious freedom” laws that seek to protect businesses who deny services based on religious objections to gay marriage.  The one thing unchanged is the party’s position on abortion; it still says that unborn children are protected by the Constitution, and that abortion is therefore murder.  Although Trump has expressed support of exceptions to abortion in certain cases, the draft platform includes no such language.

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