Republicans need a Grand Old Platform

Boyd Matheson 01Boyd Matheson, former chief of staff to US Senator Mike Lee, president of Sutherland Institute and member of the 2016 GOP platform committee has partnered with Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, to promote a principle-centered platform reflective of the platforms of Abraham Lincoln.

Matheson and Arnn wrote in an article in the Washington Examiner,

“On the eve of a convention that threatens disorder, Republicans should learn from the greatness of their party’s past. The platform upon which Abraham Lincoln ran for president in 1860 was one and a half pages and 1200 words, quite a contrast to the 65 page, 33,000 word GOP platform of 2012. Written in the succinct and beautiful language of principle, it was meant to be read by all Americans, not just policy elites, and to guide great political action rather than make promises to special interests.”

Boyd Matheson stated, “Over the years the platform has gone from a declaration of principles to a tax-code-like tome no one reads or understands.  We need a platform that can be discussed at kitchen tables, across back fences, in high school gymnasiums and coffee shops, in the press, and on social media.  If the GOP is ever to unite the party and the nation we must have a different conversation with the American people – one centered on principles.”

Dr. Arnn, Matthew Spalding, also from Hillsdale College, and Matheson put forward in Real Clear Politics a draft of what the party platform should look like.  (Full text below)  

The Republican Party Platform Committee, chaired by US Senator John Barrasso (WY), will convene Monday in Cleveland and begin to work through the 2016 party platform.  Each state is represented on the committee by two delegates.  Matheson represents Utah and is working with his colleagues on the committee to build support for the principle-centered platform. 

Matheson concluded, “Both political parties are in danger of ending up on the ash heap of history; neither have given voters, especially younger voters, any reason to align with them or actively join their causes. The future of the political parties will have little to do with long and never read documents and everything to do with whether a party puts forward principles that provide everyday Americans an inviting space and an inspiring place to engage and belong.”