Launch of Platform Integrity Project Seeks to Keep Conservative Planks ahead of GOP Convention

A new conservative coalition is mobilizing to ensure that the Republican Party’s platform maintains its strong commitment to socially conservative principles. On Monday, FRC Action partnered with a host of other conservative organizations to form the Platform Integrity Project, an initiative to ensure that when Republican delegates gather in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Republican National Convention next week, they will write a party platform that includes, according to a press release shared with The Washington Stand, “longstanding pro-life, pro-family, and pro-Israel planks.”

The initiative is the first ever to track and score how delegates vote on the Republican Party’s platform. In addition to FRC Action, Platform Integrity Project partners include WallBuilders, Faith Wins, American Principles Project, Family Policy Alliance, AFA Action, Liberty Counsel Action, Pro-Family Legislative Network, The Family Foundation of Kentucky, Center for Arizona Policy Action, Frontline Policy Action, Maryland Family Action, Human Coalition Action, Palmetto Family Council, and the North Carolina Values Coalition.

“Party platforms matter. They state a party’s principles and their priorities,” FRC Action Chairman Tony Perkins, an elected member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Platform Committee from Louisiana, said in a statement. He noted that research has found that, historically, elected Republicans follow their party’s platform over 80% of the time. “America is in an unprecedented place of moral and cultural confusion and is in dire need of leadership and moral clarity,” Perkins continued. “The Republican Party must once again communicate a clear and hopeful contrast between the parties by painting a message for voters on the foundational issues — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — not in pale pastels but in bright, bold colors.”

“Voters need to see a contrast between the two parties on their policy priorities. Voters want and need a choice,” Perkins concluded. “The message to Platform Committee delegates is clear: preserve life and family values in the Republican Party platform so that social conservatives can continue to find a home in the GOP.”

FRC Action Director Matt Carpenter told The Washington Stand, “The party platform is an important document for voters to understand what policies a public official is likely to support if elected.” He continued, “The Platform Integrity Project is an effort to organize like-minded organizations, officials, delegates, and individuals to keep pro-life and pro-family language in the GOP platform. Drawing a clear contrast is important for Christian voters to see where the parties are on the issues that we care about.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court dismantled Roe v. Wade in 2022, there has been a push from moderate Republicans to abandon the life issue altogether and remove pro-life commitments from the GOP platform. Even some more hardline conservatives, like former President Donald Trump, have taken a more tentative position on abortion. While Trump touts the pro-life record established in his first term and proudly takes credit for his Supreme Court appointees overturning Roe, he has repeatedly shot down any notion of using the federal executive branch to craft pro-life protections at the national level, instead saying that the issue should be left to the states. A memo from the Trump team has suggested that the GOP “streamline” its platform to be more “easily digestible.” Concerns have mounted among Republicans and conservatives that this “paring down” may result in tacit Republican support for abortion, same-sex marriage, and even transgenderism.

With the party platform debate taking place behind closed doors — a novelty, given that the debate is typically public — on July 8 and 9, the Platform Integrity Project commitment to “an open process that will help ensure the preservation of the GOP’s solidly conservative platform” will allow Republican voters to ensure that their party represents their values. The Platform Integrity Project’s website encourages Americans to sign up to pray for their delegates when they meet next week.

In a letter sent Monday and seen by The Washington Stand, Perkins suggested to RNC Chairman Michael Whatley that the platform deliberations not be a secret, noting that the “gag rule” is “unprecedented and appears to violate RNC rules.” Perkins quipped that the gag rule cannot be the will of Trump, especially since the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has himself been targeted by such “un-American” tactics from the Left. He added that the gag rule “heightens speculation that the GOP platform will be watered down to a few pages of meaningless, poll-tested talking points. This contrasts sharply with Ronald Reagan’s call for a party platform, ‘a banner of bold, unmistakable colors with no pale pastels,’ challenging the nation with a clear vision for the future.”

“These bold principles on life, family, and freedom have served the GOP well for over a half-century, starkly contrasting with the other Party and attracting many God-fearing Americans to the GOP,” Perkins wrote. “There is great concern that the foundational efforts of patriots like Phyllis Schlafly and countless others who have built the Republican Party into a majority, pro-life, pro-family, pro-ordered liberty party will be undermined by these unprecedented changes in the process.”

The letter was sent not only to Whatley, but to all RNC leadership. Perkins pledged that if the gag rule were not rescinded, he would elevate the issue to all GOP platform stakeholders. “This process will likely result in an outcome that jeopardizes the Party’s ability to continue being a stabilizing force for freedom in this nation, as it has been for nearly 175 years,” Perkins averred. “I respectfully request that you reject the imposition of the Gag Rule. If you decide to proceed, I formally request the RNC meeting minutes that recorded the motion and the vote, which allowed this unprecedented Gag Rule to be implemented.”

In comments to The Washington Stand, former Congressman and FRC Senior Vice President Jody Hice stated, “In the world of politics, few things are more important than the party platform. A written ‘platform’ delineates the differences between parties, and is the track upon which elected representatives generally vote. Moreover, its impact goes far beyond the federal government, it also provides guidance for the various state legislatures. Further yet, the voters themselves align with one party or the other based upon the stated values expressed in the platform.”

Hice concluded, “The importance of a statement that clearly identifies core values and the foundational worldview upon which the GOP will be guided cannot be over-emphasized. As the platform debate begins, we cannot afford to compromise or water down the essential elements of conservatism and morality.”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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