^ Governor Charlie Baker : building a political party in his image and accoprding, mostly, to his priorities and style

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We haven’t read the entire platform approved by the national Republican party’s Cleveland convention, but those sections we have read, we strongly oppose. There isn’t much else we can do about the Cleveland platform, but here in Massachusetts there is plenty that we CAN do. We can craft a platform of our own, for the Massachusetts Republican Party. I now propose one. You will recognize it as being prettty much (though not exclusively) in Governor Baker’s image. And why not ? There would not now BE an idebntifable Massachusetts Republican party, with a personality all its own (and it has one), but foir Baker.

So here it is, my platform for the Massachusetts Republican party

Preamble : we the Republican Party of Massachusetts are a party of reasonable reform. We seek the doable before the impossible, the likely befoire the unlikely. We offer a platform .that is useful to all citizens, that includes everyone, that values the dignity and sacrednes of everyone. We adopt the statement in the Preamble to the Federal Constitution, that our purpose is to promopte the general welfare.

( 1 ) civil rights. We defend and promote the civil rights of everyone, citizen and non-citizen, to enjoy equality at law; to be employed; to not be discriminated against by any public accommodation, employer, landlord of housing, hospital or other health care provider, and place of education, by reason of national origin, skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious faith.

( 2 ) basic human rights. We defend the basic right of all people to control their own bodies; to not be subject to cruelties; or to imprisonments, indictment, restraints, searches or seizures without due process of law. Included herein, we defend the basic right of women to control their own reproductive decisions. By this provision we do not express any judgment upon lifestyles or sexual and gender identities, and while we would rather that women accept an occurring pregnancy, we recognize that continuing a pregnancy is her personal decision to make.

( 3 ) workers, unions, and wages. We support the $ 15/hour minimum wage, or a two-zone version thereof: one zone at $ 12/hour, the other at $ 15/hour. We do so because ( a )  it is vital to the economy that people who work full time should not have to require taxpayer assistance to make ends meet ( b ) because, earning a living wage, workers will pay taxes rather than draw an EITC tax credit, thereby expanding the State’s revenue and ( c ) workers earning a living wage can spend into the discretionary economy, thereby boosting all sorts of businesses. We also support the right of workers to form unions and to use unions to advance their employment interests.

( 4 ) administration of state government. How much to appropriate in a State budget, and to which services, is a decision for the legislature and Governor to make. We insist, however, that they impose the principle that a taxpayer dollar spent must deliver a dollar of value. Constant monitoring of state appropriation and expenditure, with full transparency for budget provisions and decisions, including their publication, is essential to our principle.

( 5 ) public health and criminal justice reform. We affirm that opioid addiction, as for all chemical addiction, is a health crisis, not a criminal one. To that end we guarantee to addicts a bed and a treatment option; and we support the inclusion of the addiction and recovery community itself in advising, administering, and publicizing all treatment programs, including opioid prescription limitation.

( 6 ) infrastructure. Diligent maintenance of our state’s roads, bridges,and public transportation systems must be a top priority in the budget and administration of what is allocated. In particular, the MBTA’s backlog of debt must be paid down as swiftly as feasible, and the MBTA employees’ pension must be subject to the same regulations aas all other public employee retirement funds.

( 7 ) immigration. We encouarge immigration into Massachusetts, which is a major port of entry for people seek a new life in America. We acknowledge that immigrants lacking documnetation work very hard at often disregarded jobs and pay taxes just like anyone else. We applaud them for their efforts and will work to regularize thir legal status as well as complete their documentation.

( 8 ) state-paid education. Providing an excellent school to every child is a basic state obligation. We support the charter school movement as well as the creation of inmnovation schooling of many kinds. Curriculum is a natter for each individual school distruct, subject only to the state Department of Education’s curriculum essentials, which all districts must implement. We also support early eduaction and fgunding it adequatelky, as the earlier a child begins education, the better achiever he or she becomes.

( 9 ) the environment.  Clean water is a basic service that the State must fund, monitor, and deliver. We support full funding and staffing of our state parks — for many, the only feasible recreation option. As climate change is real, and the state’s long ocean front leave thousands of homes at risk, we support reasonable efforts to restrict carbon emissions. We support transitioning our energy supply, as rapidly as feasible, from oil and gas to hydro, wind, solar, and, where workable, nuclear. We support the legislature’s recent energy bill, enacted now into law.

( 10 ) gun control. We recognize the individual’s right, within the purview of the Second Amendment, to keep and bear arms: but that right is qualified first by the words of the Amendment requiring a “well regulated militia.” We agree therefore that militia weapons be well regulated and not a public danger. We support the enactment of a rigorous gun safety course, that all applicants for a gun carry permit must take and pass. We also require that guns and ammunition be kept under lock and key when not upon one’s person and their whereabouts be known at all times; that any lost weapon be immediately reported to the local police; and that all applicants for a carry license, and all purchases from any vendor who maintains a business be subject to background check in the ordinary course. We also oppose the private, non-police and non-military ownership of weapons designed for combat and combat-like situations. We also make it clear that keeping the peace is a police function; and that persons who are not duly authorized police officers take justice action upon themselves strictly at their own risk. We discourage any such action.

( 11 ) voting. No civil right is more important than the right to vote. We support automatic  registration online, or at RMV offices, post offices, and ceremonies of naturalization of citiznes. Voting should be made easier, not more difficult.

In sum : I recognize that the Massachusetts Republican Party platform hereabove presented may be incomplete. I invite you to suggest other provisions. Let us do this. Becabuse if we don’t, those we oppose will do it to us.

—-Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere



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