While the Republican Party and the Tea Party are still two vastly different factions, the Republicans Party is beginning to accept some of the grassroots ideals of the Tea Party. For the first time the Republican Party is accepting official party planks from grassroots organizations.
Last week, it was released that the GOP had accepted 11.5 of 12 planks which were part of the Freedom Platform, a platform developed straight from the people and the grassroots organization, FreedomWorks. The Freedom Platform embraces all forms of Conservatism and limited-government.
FreedomWorks asked their activists to go online and participate in a survey. In that survey they were asked to choose between two randomly selected policy-based questions. From the selections of close to 1.2 million people, and town-hall meetings with activists across the country, the Freedom Platform was developed. This ensured that the platform would include all of the policies that represented the grassroots.
Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks, in a recent FoxNews column:
The GOP platform will include almost every plank of the crowd-sourced Freedom Platform. In
other words, 95 percent of the grassroots’ top priorities are being adopted as priorities for the
Thanks to the efforts of an engaged fiscal conservative constituency, Republicans have
committed to repeal ObamaCare and pursue patient-centered reforms that return the decision-
making power from the government back to doctors and patients. The Republicans are
also committed to stopping the impending tax hikes, reversing the Obama spending spree,
implementing accountability for balancing the budget, and restoring fairness to our tax system
by pursuing a flatter tax.
Mirroring the Freedom Platform, the GOP platform strongly rejects cap-and-trade, protects
small businesses from the Environmental Protection Agency’s costly over-regulation, and
commits to unleashing America’s vast domestic energy potential. The Republican platform also
pledges to institute an annual audit of the Federal Reserve.
The only element of the Freedom Platform the GOP didn’t accept was the proposal to eliminate
the Department of Education. This proposal was actually a major plank of the Republican
platform from 1980 to 2000, until then-Gov. George W. Bush had it removed. Even so, the 2012 platform contains good language on the need for local control of education, as well as a very strong endorsement of school choice, both of which are key reforms supported by grassroots conservatives nationwide.
The 2012 GOP platform isn’t perfect by any means, but it represents significant progress within
the Republican Party in recognizing the importance of embracing bold, fiscal conservative
solutions for our nation’s myriad problems. While the Republican Party’s new platform reflects
well on its willingness to take a stand for principled policies, it also says a lot about how the Tea
Party has grown in lasting political influence.
No longer “just” a massive protest movement or even a well-oiled “Get out the Vote” machine,
the Tea Party has matured into a strong, focused policy powerhouse. The success of the Freedom Platform should forever put to rest the ridiculous notion that Tea Party conservatives
are incapable of engaging in the mainstream political arena without compromising their
principles. Grassroots conservatives stood firmly behind principled policies, and the Republican
This victory doesn’t mean the bottom-up campaign of individuals for sound economic policy
is over. Tea Partiers are still wary of the establishment, and no political party can ease the
grassroots into complacency with platform promises.
Finally the time has come that the Republican Party, a party which by all accounts in full of Progressive-lites, has finally taken a major step toward true fiscal and social Conservatism by adopting 95% of the Freedom Platform. While we should be excited that the GOP has adopted these planks, we shouldn’t let our guard down. We must make sure that the GOP and the Republican leaders follow through.