GOP Announces Convention Platform

The draft does not propose dramatic departures in a GOP environmental policy that favors cooperation with private interests and an emphasis on state regulation over mandates from Washington.

But it scales back criticism of the Endangered Species Act, celebrates advances in wetlands restoration and air and water quality, and asserts, “There should be a strong federal role in environmental protection.”

A Dose of Compassion

In a section billed in advance by platform leaders as an example of the “compassionate conservatism” promoted by Bush, the document supports large increases in spending on behalf of women’s health, in particular, and medical research in general.

Such research is “one of the few areas in which government investment yields tangible results,” the draft says.

But overall, “we will promote a health care system that supports, not supplants, the private sector.”

On immigration, the draft drops language from the 1996 platform that sought to forbid giving social services to illegal immigrants and said even legal immigrants should not depend on taxpayers for help.

Instead of favoring making English the official language, the new platform would consider English “our common language.” It encourages “respect for other languages and cultures throughout our society.”

The draft proposes pulling out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the required six months notice if Russia does not agree to change it to permit a “robust” national defense system.

It presents as the “central values of our party and our country” a reduced role for government, more personal liberty, “economic freedom,” reliance on the market and decentralized decision-making.

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