A New MassGOP Platform
This platform could unite and strengthen us
Note: This document was neither written, reviewed, nor approved by any Massachusetts Republican Party official or Republican officeholder. It is the work of one man. The party does have an official platform that was approved in 2014, but it is shameful, and required a response.
If you would like to read how and why this new platform came to be, or more about who wrote it, go to this companion essay: “Creating the New MassGOP Platform.”
This is version 1.0 of this document, and recommendations are welcome! All changes will be tracked at the end of this document.
A state dominated by Democrats needs a Republican Party that is more intelligent, more informed, more creative, and more vigilant than other states require. We Massachusetts Republicans, who want our Commonwealth to provide the most inclusive prosperity, are up to this challenge. Unhindered by established interest groups, untethered from what the Republican Party is doing in Washington, and unafraid of making tough choices, we will bring sensibility and innovation to government, for the benefit of all citizens in our great state.
- Safeguarding the choices and the potential of the individual
- A well-managed and efficient state government
- A fair deal between good government and good business
- Respect for government, preference for the private sector
- Religious freedom
- A preference for work
- A respect for legal abortion, but reverence for life
- An environmentalism about people
- Innovation in education by favoring students over institutions
- Honor the dignity, humanity, and potential of the poor
- Superior public health through choice, competition, and individual responsibility
- Criminal justice reform
- Parity between public and private sector employment
- A level playing field for all workers
- Infrastructure is a crucial investment in future prosperity and must be freed from considerations apart from utility, quality, and cost
Safeguarding the choices and the potential of the individual
We will safeguard the choices and potential of the individual against the promises of government supervision. We will protect the rights of all citizens to enjoy a full and rewarding life in Commonwealth, including: education, voting, marriage, military service, family, work, entrepreneurship, investment, volunteering, worship, recreation, political activism, creating original works of art and science, and the desire for personal privacy. The liberty of the individual and their ability to pursue their own happiness must not be compromised without good cause.
A well-managed and efficient state government
Execution in government is often poor, at the expense of the taxpayers and citizens who depend on services. We Republicans support bringing proven private-sector management techniques to government. The public deserves to have metrics of performance and transparency in government operations.
In addition, we are living though a revolution in information technology that has barely taken hold in government. We support using new technology to reduce the size and cost of government.
A fair deal between good government and good business
In return for capable infrastructure, quality educational options, and efficient government services, businesses should support reasonable regulations and taxation. Government should not increase taxation or regulation without improving what it provides. Corporations should not be granted favorable treatment from the government that is unavailable to peers.
Respect for government, preference for the private sector
When the private sector can provide a workable solution, we prefer that to a government effort promising more. When a necessary task is something the private sector cannot or will not provide, we will respect and support a disciplined government effort to meet the need.
When the private sector can perform work instead of a government agency, that work should be done by the private sector if it can honor the intent of the legislation that created that agency, and properly serve the interests of the people. There should be no hindrances that favor government workers, as we did not create the government in order to compete with the workers that pay for it.
Massachusetts was founded by those seeking religious freedom. We will let people worship in their own way whenever possible. We will ask hard questions and seek compromise before we allow government to coerce the faithful to comply with mandates. We will not agree to restriction of religious liberty when it merely suits the preferences of policymakers or elites.
A preference for work
A strong work ethic is one of the things that have made Massachusetts great. We support efforts to reform government programs and regulations that result in less work in the private and public sector. We also support policies that make working full time lead to a better life.
A respect for legal abortion, but reverence for life
We Massachusetts Republicans accept the legality of abortion rights, and we will not seek to restrict abortion access without obvious, bipartisan agreement. We will not import deceptive anti-abortion ideas from other states. We will bring a reverence for life and its immense potential to a legal abortion landscape.
An environmentalism about people
We support the management of our resources in a way that will improve public health, preserve natural resources, and provide natural spaces for human recreation and contemplation. We do not support the arbitrary protection of plants and animals as a matter of public policy. We believe that public-private partnerships are superior to the model where government is automatically in opposition to private interests.
We are concerned that human activity is causing the climate to change more rapidly than before. Our state should take a lead role in developing the science and technology to deal with this challenge. We believe that solutions will come from innovative technologies brought to market and put in the hands of our citizens and corporations. We believe that government mandates and emissions targets, especially at the state level, will not be nearly as effective as market-based solutions.
Innovation in education by favoring students over institutions
We need everyone to be learning throughout their lives to provide a superior workforce and an enlightened citizenry. We favor students over established educational institutions. We favor innovation over standardization. We must aggressively pursue reforms and support experiments that dramatically reduce the cost of education and vocational training. Online and home-based education for children and adults must be protected from regulations that favor special interest groups.
Our current public education system is a product of pre-Internet delivery mechanisms. New technologies and new approaches must be tested and employed to improve quality. Policy must prefer lower-level experiments instead of higher-level mandates.
Honor the dignity, humanity, and potential of the poor
Government must honor the dignity, humanity, and potential of the poor. We live in a time of increasing inequality in Massachusetts, and without public and private intervention, the less fortunate face a permanent assignment.
We support policies that help the poor and recognize their capability to contribute to Massachusetts. We will resist efforts that create dependency and therefore deprive them of a better life. We believe that work is the great institution that brings dignity and advancement, and we will support all efforts that create, support, and reward employment for the poor.
Superior public health through choice, competition, and individual responsibility
We believe that choice and competition will improve health care and decrease costs. Individuals must have incentives to maintain their own health; government officials cannot absolve them of this responsibility through comprehensive insurance and command-and-control policy. We encourage private-sector involvement and experimentation to improve public health, and we will protect all good-faith efforts in earnest pursuit of that goal.
Criminal justice reform
Massachusetts imprisons far too many of its citizens, at enormous financial and social cost. We recognize that our prison system is so large and expensive that it has become its own self-sustaining interest. It is time for reform.
We support all reasonable measures to reduce sentence lengths and the overall prison population, especially for non-violent offenders. More community-based probation programs must be employed, as well as greater community policing, and increased funding for drug treatment programs.
Parity between public and private sector employment
There should be parity between the compensation of public and private employment. We need good government workers, but their total compensation should not exceed that of their private sector counterparts. A bus driver in the private sector should not be asked to pay taxes to support a more comfortable lifestyle or retirement for bus drivers working in government.
A level playing field for all workers
All people who wish to work, be it for a private interest, or for a government contract, or in the government itself, should be able to compete freely and fairly against others. There should be no discrimination related to membership in a union, or political connections of any kind.
Infrastructure is a crucial investment in future prosperity and must be freed from considerations apart from utility, quality, and cost
Massachusetts needs to repair and upgrade a great deal of state infrastructure. This money should be raised and spent at the most local possible level. It should involve private investment where feasible. The implementation work must be managed properly and transparently, and these projects must be protected against business and union interests that are in opposition to the public interest.
The original version of this document was 1.0. All changes will be tracked in this section.
Original Version, 1.0, March 30, 2015