12 January 2008

Another Look at “The Platform of the American People”

As I wrote briefly about before, Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions group put out a paper called “The Platform of the American People”. I’d like to go a bit further into a few of the items because I believe that the document, as a whole, is a fantastic idea.

For instance, according to the Platform 92% of those polled believe that long-term solutions should be pursued rather than short-term fixes. That huge percentage is a refutation of the impulses of politicians, especially in election years. One may wonder if a thing like Senator Clinton’s newly unveiled “$70 billion economic stimulus package” is a quick fix or a long-term strategy. Will things like this buy votes, or will voters investigate the candidates’ plans for government and chastise candidates who simply have spending plans – which equate to quick fixes.

Another plank of the platform has to do with English usage. A majority believes, according to the Platform, that English should be the language of government (87%) and that ballots and other documents should be printed in English (74%). The problem I have with the second statement is that it lacks an important word – only. When I read English only positions, it seems that the only valid (and only in a PC way) position taken against it is that English only is discriminatory. My response is that it is – and there’s nothing wrong with it. America is a land of liberty, not complete equality, and that includes language. So adding the word “only” to the platform would, I believe, strengthen it.

The last plank I’ll talk about this morning is the position that “public schools should teach more American History” (56%). That percentage of support simply shocks me. Just 56%? Perhaps there’s two ways to take that number. One would be that unlike the 56%, others think that world history (or any subsection thereof) should be taught more. Another is that some of those not in the 56% realize that history textbooks have slanted views of history and historical figures – they attempt to equalize the contributions to American history of all races and both sexes – and therefore don’t want more of that pushed at their children. (Here’s an interesting read paralleling the textbook subject.) This gets into the education reformation topic which, unfortunately, the Platform does now address.

I’ll cover more of this as time goes by. It is worth reading yourself if for no other reason than to see if you agree or disagree with the positions therein. It is certainly more thought provoking than watching pundits as the election staggers toward South Carolina. Not that I’m not watching, but one can only listen to political commentators for so long. Perhaps they, too, should bat this Platform around. Now that would be interesting as well.

[Note: This is my 200th post on this blog, which if nothing else is a bit of a milestone. Thanks for reading.]


Jack N said...

Congratulations on 200!!
Haven't followed you long, but appreciate your insight..

Jack N

Bob M. said...

Hope you keep reading, Jack. Thanks.