The Platform of the Maine Republican Party

18:00 Fri 11 Jun 2010
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I came across this via slacktivist, and it makes for interesting reading. Much of it is laughable, including some dubious capitalization and article use. Perhaps surprisingly, I agree with significant portions of it—although this might be due to my and their meaning different things when using the same words…

For example, the final line (and the one that slacktivist discusses) is “Repeal and prohibit any participation in efforts to create a one world government.” I’m all for it. But when I look at the world, the most likely candidate for “OWG” is the nation with military bases in at least 63 countries, which I somehow doubt is what the Maine Republicans are talking about.

There’s also this:

Freedom and personal liberty are conditions of existence which are hard fought for and once won, must be maintained. Each generation must be taught anew the importance of eternal vigilance against those who would disregard the limits imposed on government, and usurp powers not granted to them by the people.

Today this state and the nation are in crisis precisely because we as a people have failed to maintain that vigilance. We have failed to pass down from one generation to another the critical knowledge and lessons that history provides.

Tough to argue with that, although one could certainly argue with the underlying premise that the US was ever a paradise of freedom and liberty. But perhaps my favorite coupling with the above lines is clause III.b:

Reassert the principle that “Freedom of Religion” does not mean “freedom from religion”.

Right… so eternal vigilance must be maintained to keep us free, but absolutely not free from religion? Even on its own, without the introductory piece purporting staunch belief in freedom, that line makes no sense. Religion can be many things, and the line between “free to practice any religion but not no religion” and “free to practice any or no religion” is extraordinarily fine. Too fine, certainly, to be enshrined in law without making “freedom from religion” itself a joke, as you would end up with government arbiters of what constitutes religion. This would be fine with the Maine Republicans as long as those arbiters were “good Christians” in their eyes, but clearly this misses the entire point of freedom of religion. That seems painfully evident (such that I’m tempted to delete this paragraph because it seems so obvious), but a frightening number of right-wingers (and others) in this country refuse to see this point.

There’s plenty of other dumb, bizarre, and objectionable stuff in there. I find myself often hesitant to mock the American right wing, mainly because I consider the “progressives” in this country to have plenty of their own ridiculous delusions, and also because I think that there are legitimate grievances about the power of the state and the erosion of personal autonomy caught up in the “tea party” stuff, but this piece of incoherence from the Maine Republicans screamed out for comment. And mockery.

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