The Republican Party in 1980 pledges itself to racial equality and economic security for all Americans but seeks to reduce sharply the federal government's role in bringing those goals about.
The platform written here by delegates overwhelmingly committed to a Ronald Reagan Presidency would not rescind most legislation written to aid minorities in recent decades. It would, however, restructure the nation's social programs to put greater emphasis on local initiative and private enterprise.
"Properly informed," the platform asserts, "our people . . . can make the right decisions affecting personal or general welfare, free of pervasive and heavy-handed intrusion by the central government into the decision-making process. This tenet is the genius of representative democracy."
The GOP program calls for large-scale tax cuts, new restrictions on welfare, and limits on federal support for health care (including abortions), and asupport for independent or private schools through tuition tax credits.
While pledging to support equal rights for blacks, Hispanics and women and promising to uphold legislation now in effect towards that end, the platform does not endorse the Equal Rights Amendment -- certainly the most immediately controversial decision made by the GOP group.
The Republican tax plan -- known in Congress as the Kemp-Roth bill -- would, the GOP says, reduce taxation over a three-year period from a range of 14 to 70 percent to one of 10 to 50 percent. As with reductions the Republicans propose for business, this tax plan is designed to offer incentives for individuals to "save, invest and produce."
"Tax rate reductions will generate increases in economic growth, output and income which will ultimately generate increased revenues," the platform declares, "The greater justification for these cuts, however, lies in the right of the individual to keep and use the money they earn."
On welfare, the Republican proposals include these main points:
A pruning of welfare rolls to remove ineligibles; tightening of food stamp eligibility requirements; an end to any aid to illegal ailiens and "the voluntarily unemployed."
A block grant program to return full control of welfare systems to the states. "Decisions about who gets welfare and how much," the platform says, "can be better made on the local level."
Reduction in taxation and regulation to encourage additional charitable assistance to the needy from social, ethnic and religious organizations.
Privately sponsored and community programs directed at putting "able bodied persons" to work in useful projects.
The platform invokes Abraham Lincoln and asserts "we are dedicated to standing shoulder to shoulder with black Americans." The GOP underscores its commitment to "strong, effective enforcement of federal civil rights statutes, especially those dealing with threats to physical safety and security."
The GOP solution for the continuing economic problems of blacks and Hispanics is indistinguishable from its overall plan -- tax reductions, spending restraints and regulatory reform -- rather than efforts specifically aimed at helping disadvantaged minorities.
The platform does advocate special programs to help Hispanics become proficient in English "while also maintaining their own language and cultural heritage." No American, says the GOP, should be "barred from education or employment opportunities because English isn't their first language."
The Republican positions on ERA and abortion have been widely publicized. But the document does urge certain actions to help women upgrade their position in American society.
These include: equal pay, equal opportunity for personal and business credit, job training for young women and special attention to the elderly.
The platform also declares: "One of the most critical problems in the nation today is . . . inadequate child care for the working mother. As champions of the free enterprise system, of the individual and of the idea that the best solutions . . . rest at the community level, Repubicans must find ways to meet this, the working women's need."
A major action of the platform is devoted to "strong families." The emphasis is on greater social reliance on the family and less, the GOP says, on "bureaucracy . . . the courts . . . and government grantors."
Toward that end is the proposal for education tax credits. "This is a matter of fairness," says the platform,"especially for low-income families, most of whom would be free for the first time to choose . . . schools which best correspond to their own cultural and moral values."
The platform opposes busing as a "prescription for disaster, blighting whole communities . . . with its divisive impact."