The Republican Party of Arkansas sent out its proposed 2022 platform to local committees. The delegates to the state convention will vote on the new platform on July 23, 2022.
The party failed to provide committees and delegates with a markup showing the changes it is proposing. To help delegates, Conduit For Action prepared a markup and summary of their changes. Although it is not an official document, we offer it as an aid to delegates and other Republicans to help you get a head start on comparing changes. (For a copy of the markup see Platform Changes Proposed by The Republican Party in Arkansas)
HOT TOPICS SKIPPED
The party’s proposed platform does not address several recent topics of great interest to Republicans. Some of the issues have arisen because the radical left keeps pushing its agenda upon the public. While skipping such issues in the platform avoids controversy at the convention it is also a win for the left and woke corporations that support both left-wing social policy and some Republican candidates. Here are some hot topics among conservatives.
1. Racist indoctrination of children. Leftists are pushing racial theories such as Critical Race Theory which teaches that one race is the oppressor and another race is the victim and our government is systemically racist. Combatting CRT and other racist theories didn’t make it into the proposed platform but the party has proposed a resolution against CRT. Our first question is why banning CRT is not an important enough issue to make it into the platform and instead is relegated to a resolution that will soon be forgotten? Our second question is what does the resolution actually mean? Here is the key wording from the Resolution:
“be it resolved by the Republican Party of Arkansas that we request the Arkansas Legislature to affirm its opposition to the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and any other similar teaching that promotes racial disunity, racial superiority and/or racial inferiority and anti-American rhetoric.”
What does urging the legislature to “affirm its opposition” mean? Let’s look back to how the legislature handled the issue. While the Arkansas legislature passed legislation to prohibit state agencies from pushing such indoctrination, the legislature debated but FAILED to adopt any ban on such racist indoctrination in our public schools. With that in mind, when you say “affirm its opposition” does that only mean the opposition to state agencies teaching CRT while turning a blind eye to CRT in our schools? If the resolution was intended to also oppose CRT in schools, then the language needs clarification.
Again, we wonder why CRT is only addressed in a soon to be forgotten resolution and not in the platform. Is fighting CRT too controversial for some Republicans dependent on woke corporations?
2. Sexualization of children. The Arkansas legislature passed a law banning chemical castration and other gender altering procedures on children. The legislature’s action should be applauded, especially at a time when the State Chamber of Commerce and others have joined a lawsuit challenging this important protection of children. Shouldn’t the legislature be applauded in the platform to send a signal to the Chamber and woke corporations that donate to Republican candidates that the Republican Party of Arkansas supports the law passed by the legislature?
The left’s effort to sexualize children is bigger than just its desire to allow life altering gender procedures on children. The left is also working to introduce sexually explicit material into school instruction and school material. For example, recently a Seattle school board member announced a sex-ed workshop for nine year olds to talk about such things as sexual gratification and the workshop will be held in the sex shop she owns.[i] Meanwhile in Arkansas the woke corporations Walmart and Tyson supported a pride event on June 18 that included a youth zone with drag shows for children. Across the country the left is working to sexualize children even in early school grades.
Last year the Arkansas legislature passed a law to allow parents to review school materials but that is only a tiny step and fails to send a message to public schools. Should the platform specifically address opposition to schools sexualizing school children?
3. Women’s sports for genetic women. The Arkansas legislature protected women’s sports by prohibiting participation in women’s sports by genetic males who identify as females.[ii] The legislature should be commended and encouraged to hold fast even though campaign donors representing woke corporations don’t like it. The subject is not addressed in the platform.
4. Closed primaries. This election year there were overt efforts by the left to get Democrats to cross over and vote in the Republican primary to help elect weaker Republicans. The issue of closed primaries is not addressed in the platform but the party has proposed a resolution to study closed primaries. Unfortunately, the resolution is open ended and unclear. The resolution says:
“THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED, that the Republican Party of Arkansas calls for the study of the problems experienced in our state with Cross over Voting.”
It fails to say WHO should do such a study or WHEN the study should be completed (if ever). If the only action by the convention is a study, shouldn’t the study be completed by the end of 2022 with a recommendation to be made to Republican legislators before the beginning of the 2023 legislative session?
5. Mandatory vaccinations as a condition for continued employment. Terminating existing employees for refusing to submit to COVID-19 vaccinations was one of the most controversial and hotly debated issues in the Arkansas Legislature. The Arkansas legislature considered several bills to protect workers from losing their jobs over the COVID-19 shots or at least to make the employees eligible for unemployment benefits when terminated. For the most part, bills designed to protect workers failed and what passed was of such limited application that workers have not been protected. Vaccine mandates are not specifically addressed pro or con in the platform.
Even if the state convention fails to support workers from mandatory vaccination there is some language in the platform that should be clarified so that it is not misinterpreted as supporting mandatory vaccinations.
The platform applauds businesses that made or make innovative changes to keep Arkansans safe. The language was added to the platform at a time when businesses were trying to find ways to remain open despite state government restrictions. This was before vaccine mandates by corporations became a hot issue. The proposed platform only makes minor changes to the statement and says: “We salute the Arkansas-based businesses and entrepreneurs who make innovative changes to their work focus in order to protect their fellow Arkansans during emergencies and to weather the economic downturn inflicted upon them through no fault of their own.” Those who oppose the mandates may want to try to amend this provision to clarify that the party is NOT applauding vaccine mandates.
THE STATE CONVENTION AND THE 2022 PLATFORM
Even if the delegates to the Arkansas Republican Party do not address any of the issues mentioned in this article, the proposed platform will be somewhat better than the 2020 platform.
On the other hand, some of the issues mentioned above are issues that are driving more and more people to turn their hope to the Republican party.
We are not aware of any efforts to add any of these issues or other issues to the platform by amendment during discussion of the platform. If any delegate plans to propose an amendment to the platform we suggest the delegate’s amendment be written and circulated as soon as possible because you don’t want to blind side your fellow delegates with surprise amendments. Keeping delegates as informed as possible is an essential courtesy. Also, your amendment should be provided to the state party to ensure there are no glitches in your amendment that could interfere with the presentation of your proposed amendment.
The state convention of the Republican Party of Arkansas is July 23, 2022.
[ii] Act 461 of 2021