2008 Party Platform

This platform was approved May 31, 2008 by the Virginia Republican Convention.

PREAMBLE


It's time to make Virginia great again.

As Republicans,
we know Virginia deserves better. And we will strive to ensure that our
elected officials and/or those who seek to become elected officials
know that we believe Virginia deserves the best from its leadership. We
strive to ensure that our party platform exemplifies certain principles
and values that unite us as Americans.

We publicly support a
healthy change to political dialogue beginning with the acknowledgement
of the values and concerns of the vast majority of Americans and jointly
agree to a core platform which could bring us together.



We believe that keeping the reference to "One Nation Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is very important.

We will hold true to our values and traditions that strengthen families, builds moral character and protects the innocent.

We believe that English should be the official language of government.

We
believe we have an obligation to be good stewards of God's creation for
future generations, and we will do so while safeguarding our property
rights.

We believe taxpayers should be given the option of a
single rate system that will give them the convenience of filing their
taxes with just a single sheet of paper.

We believe that the
United States should only grant citizenship to those who want to embrace
and defend American values and culture.

We believe that every
worker should continue to have the right to a federally supervised
secret ballot election when deciding whether to organize a union.

We will defend our right to protect family and home while defending America and her allies and defeating America's enemies.

We will demand transparency and accountability in all public institutions and at all levels of government.

We will lead our state into a new era of prosperity, innovation and opportunity for all.

The
changes we propose in government have to occur in all 513,000 elected
offices throughout the country and will start here in Virginia.

As Republicans, we can and will make Virginia and our country better for future generations.

American Values and American Solutions


  • We want to strengthen and revitalize America’s core values which unite a large majority of Americans.
  • Our goal should be to provide long-term solutions instead of short-term fixes.
  • Government clearly has to change the way it operates by bringing in
    ideas and systems currently employed in the private sector to increase
    productivity and effectiveness.
  • The changes we need in government have to occur in all elected
    offices throughout the country and cannot be achieved by focusing only
    on Washington.

American Civilization


AMERICAN CIVILIZATION


  • Individuals have basic Constitutional rights to defend themselves, their families and property.
  • We believe that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is an individual right.
  • We believe that the ban on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in
    National Parks should be repealed. We support the passage and signing
    into law the 2008 HR 5646 which will repeal this ban.
  • We believe that life and Constitutional rights begin at conception and continue until natural death.
  • We believe that the Congress should pass legislation which declares that life begins at conception.
  • We will advocate for a constructive national dialogue on the
    importance of protecting human life from conception until natural death.
  • It is important to have references to God in the Pledge of
    Allegiance. As it states in the Declaration of Independence, “we are
    endowed by our Creator with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit
    of happiness” which makes clear that certain rights can’t be taken away
    by government.
  • Statements regarding religion and morality made by the Founding Fathers are just as important today as they were 200 years ago.
  • We believe that the Congress should pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
  • The language in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Declaration of
    Independence are very important and must be protected. We reject the
    idea that because the times change so must the meaning of the language
    in the Pledge and the Declaration.
  • Public schools should teach more American history and civics.
  • We believe that parents should be able to choose which schools their
    children attend and that governments should try to make all forms of
    education - public, private, home schooling and charter schools
    affordable and accessible.

ENGLISH


  • English should be the official language of government, and all
    election ballots and other government documents should be printed in
    English.
  • Immigrants should be required to learn English.
  • Government should make available English language instruction to all who need it.
  • Businesses should be able to require employees to speak the English language while on the job.

Immigration, The Border, and Assimilation


  • The United States should grant citizenship only to those who want to embrace and defend American values and culture.
  • The American people believe border control is a security issue and current laws must be vigorously enforced.
  • Illegal immigrants who commit felonies should be deported. Allowing
    illegal immigrants to remain in this country undermines respect for the
    law.
  • There should be a worker visa program making it easier for people to work legally in the United States.
  • When applying for a temporary worker visa each worker should take an
    oath to obey American law and be deported if he or she commits a felony
    while in the United States.
  • In a worker visa program each worker will receive a secure
    identification card that will allow the government to locate him or her.
  • Each worker must go to immigration centers in his or her home
    country that will help them find jobs in the United States so he or she
    applies for a visa with a job in hand.
  • There should be heavy monetary fines against employers and businesses who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
  • The Internal Revenue Service should conduct audits of companies who
    knowingly hire illegal immigrants to determine if those companies have
    paid the taxes they owe.

Science and Technology


  • There will be incredible possibilities to meet our country’s
    challenges in a variety of fields because in the next 25 years there
    will be 4 to 7 times the amount of new science and technology in the
    world as in the last 25 years.
  • Therefore we should dramatically increase our investment in math and science education.
  • We must rely on innovation and new technology if we are going to compete globally.

Energy and the Environment


  • We have an obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation for future generations.
  • We can have a healthy economy and a healthy environment.
  • We can solve our environmental problems faster and cheaper with
    innovation and new technology than with more litigation and more
    government regulation.
  • Entrepreneurs are more likely to solve America’s energy and environmental problems than bureaucrats.
  • If we use technology and innovation we do not need to raise taxes to clean up our environment.
  • We want to, in addition to existing laws and regulations, encourage businesses to voluntarily cut pollution
  • We should give tax credits to homeowners and builders who
    incorporate alternative energy systems in their homes including solar,
    wind, and geothermal energy.
  • We believe that subsidies to ethanol and biofuels should end and the market should determine the price of these products.
  • We should hold city governments to the same standards for cleaning waste water as are applied to private industry.
  • We are prepared to develop public and private partnerships to
    preserve green space and parks and to protect natural areas from
    development.

OIL AND NATIONAL SECURITY


  • Our current dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security and economic prosperity by making us vulnerable.
  • We should encourage the building of more oil refineries in America to lower the cost of gas, diesel and other refined products.
  • With appropriate safeguards to protect the environment we should
    drill for oil off America’s coasts and within our physical boundaries,
    including the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, to reduce our dependence
    on foreign oil.

Taxes


  • The federal income tax system is unfair and obsolete the death tax should be abolished.
  • We believe the state and federal death taxes should be abolished.
  • The option of a single rate system should give taxpayers the
    convenience of filing their taxes with just a single sheet of paper.
  • The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the
    industrialized world making it difficult for U.S. corporations to
    compete internationally which gives incentives for companies to move
    overseas. We favor the adoption of a single corporate tax rate that is
    significantly lower than today’s rates and is set at a level to make
    American companies globally competitive.
  • We believe that government at all levels should prioritize spending,
    cut waste and unnecessary programs in order to balance their budgets.
    We believe that growth in government spending should not outpace growth
    in the economy.
  • We believe that in order to invest in our infrastructure, government
    should work in partnership with the private sector to produce the best
    quality core services at the lowest cost to the taxpayer.

Personal and Family Financial Planning


  • The United States was founded by and continued to attract
    individuals with strong work ethics and high hopes and expectations to
    make a better life for themselves and their families. In America, just
    about everyone can both live a full, financially secure life and save
    enough for a comfortable retirement with no dependence of expectation of
    government assistance. Virginia Republicans believe that this approach
    to personal wealth and finances must be encouraged and perpetuated.
  • The principles and practice of economic self-sufficiency and
    individual financial planning should be incorporated in American school
    curricula beginning in elementary school.
  • Where helpful, school students should be required to train their parents in these principles.
  • A passing grade in personal financial responsibility and planning should be a requirement for graduation from high school.
  • Social Security was established and must remain only a supplementary
    source of income to supplement individual savings and retirement
    accounts.
  • It is important for the President and Congress to address the issue of Social Security in the next few years.
  • The current Social Security systems is broken and if it isn’t
    reformed future generations will no longer have it as a safety net for
    retirement.
  • We favor a Social Security proposal in which Personal Social
    Security Savings Accounts would be optional, with workers given the
    choice of continuing to depend on the current system with current
    benefits.

Freedom of Religion


  • Statements regarding religion and morality made by the Founding Fathers are just as important today as they were 200 years ago.
  • References to the Creator in the Declaration of Independence are very important.
  • We reject the Ninth Federal Circuit Court declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.
  • The phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is perfectly in line with the United States Constitution.
  • Separation between Church and State does not mean there can be no
    references to God in government sanctioned activities or public
    buildings.
  • The best way to ensure religious freedom is to protect ALL religious
    references and symbols; including those on public buildings, lands, or
    documents.
  • Children should be allowed a moment of silence to pray for themselves in public school if they desire.
  • We reject banning all prayer in public schools.
  • We support the right of high schools students to affirm their religious beliefs in graduation speeches.
  • We approve of nativity scenes, Menorahs or other religious symbols
    being placed on public property during their appropriate holiday season.
  • We favor a law to protect city, county, and state lands that have crosses or other religious symbols from being removed.
  • Many of the problems our country faces are because America is no
    longer as religious and moral as it once was. We recognize that religion
    plays an important and constructive role in the moral fabric of our
    nation.
  • The Founding Fathers understood that religion and morality were
    important to creating and building this country and talked about it
    regularly. This was understood throughout American history and is
    central to America’s success today. We reject that this violates the
    U.S. Constitution and discriminates against those who are of other
    faiths or are not religious.

America as the World’s Leader


  • Virginia Republicans are proud that America is the undisputed leader of the world.
  • Virginia Republicans believe that we are today the world’s only
    “super power” because of a sound and moral foreign policy which balances
    protection of American national interests, promotion of the principles
    of democracy, free-markets and a civil society globally and courage,
    vision and leadership on and in a host of international political,
    social, humanitarian and economic issues and organizations since World
    War II.
  • Many democracies in the world today trace at least a part of their
    political systems to the founding principles and documents of the
    American Revolution. Virginia Republicans are proud of the leadership of
    the Founding Fathers from the Old Dominion who are responsible for the
    drafting of these documents and the founding of so many of the most
    important American institutions.
  • Today, struggling persons the world over who are denied Western
    liberties and freedoms continue to look to America for leadership and
    welcome its support to end tyranny in their countries.
  • Virginia Republicans wholeheartedly support our brave troops in Iraq
    and Afghanistan, and the countless American and allied civilians
    working tirelessly to rebuild civil society in these countries.
  • Sadly, there remains a very long list of nations mired in oppression and gross violations of human and civil rights.
    • China: A totalitarian dictatorship which fosters widespread
      corruption which has lead to the exportation of millions of units of
      dangerous consumer products to the U.S. and world markets and the deaths
      of tens of thousands in the recent earthquake due to corrupt inspectors
      and bad building code enforcement; Communist China is a growing threat
      to Taiwan and other East Asian democracies; its defense and espionage
      programs are a direct threat to the U.S.
    • Iran and North Korea : Iran and North Korea today are the greatest
      immediate threat to all countries in the Middle East and East Asia
      (respectively), and their nuclear programs are a direct threat to the
      United States . These corrupt totalitarian regimes grossly violate the
      human and civil rights of their citizens.
    • Myanmar (Burma) : The corrupt military junta is responsible for
      massive deaths and widespread misery of the country’s citizenry.
    • Cuba : Even as Fidel Castro steps aside, the corrupt Cuban communist
      party denies all basic human and civil rights to the brave people of
      that country.
    • Russia : Russia has the second greatest nuclear arsenal in the world
      today; the Russian rulers have ended basic civil rights of their
      people; corrupt oligarchs undermine the economy and stifle free-market
      economic growth; Russian foreign policy in the region undermines
      stability in neighboring budding democracies and provides cover for the
      last Stalinist state in Europe, Belarus
    • Mexico : Continuing high-level corruption by government and business
      elites and growing threats to a free press subverts the rule of law,
      denies de facto basic rights, and undermines the ability of hard
      working Mexicans to create decent lives for themselves and their
      families in their own country, thus forcing them to flee to the U.S. for
      economic opportunities.

Defending America


  • Virginia Republicans are proud that the United States has the finest defense forces in the world.
  • U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and other services are the
    greatest peacemaking force in the world today. Virginia Republicans
    honor all those who serve under the Stars and Stripes.
  • American leadership in the Cold War led to the substantial expansion
    of NATO, the greatest and most successful alliance of democratic
    countries in world history.
  • At the start of this century, it is vital that America’s defense
    remain second to none, and be prepared to continue global leadership in
    defense of democracy, human and civil rights, and worldwide prosperity.
    Virginia Republicans are proud that our Commonwealth is home to some of
    the finest military bases and installations, forming the backbone of
    America’s defenses, and that our civilian sector produces and provides
    many of the products and services which keep the us strong and safe.
  • While the Soviet/Russian strategic threat which was at the center of
    our defense posture for the past half-century is now substantially
    diminished, America today faces new threats to our security and that of
    our friends and allies.
  • We must help defend America and her allies and defeat our enemies.
  • America should take the threat of terror by fanatical religious groups seriously.
  • Terrorist organizations pose very serious threats for the United
    States and it will not be possible to negotiate with these groups.
  • Iran poses a serious threat to the United States.
  • There should be a death penalty for someone caught and convicted of carrying out a terrorist attack in the United States.
  • Congress should make it a crime to advocate acts of terrorism or
    violent conduct or the killing of innocent people in the United States.
  • The Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies
    should develop programs to teach Americans what they can do as
    individuals to help in the fight against terror.
  • Terrorist websites at home and abroad should be closed down using technology.

UNITED WE STAND


We believe that a united Republican Party is the best hope for
the growth of freedom, liberty and democracy at home and abroad. We
believe that all Republicans should strongly support Republican
candidates. We believe that Republicans should work to promote the
principles and ideals of the Republican Party in order to build our
party and further develop freedom and liberty for all mankind.

We believe that the Republican Party is the beacon of human liberty and that we can build that “shining city on a hill.”

We
strong support and wholeheartedly endorse United States Senator John
McCain for President of the United States of America. There is no person
better suited to address the daunting fiscal challenges we face at home
and the dangerous world we face abroad than Senator John McCain. We
believe that Senator John McCain has the wisdom, experience and judgment
to lead this nation.

The Republican Party of Virginia
The Richard D. Obenshain Center
115 E. Grace Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-780-0111
Fax: 804-343-1060
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