Any party platform is necessarily a compromise between a number of different interest groups. Inevitably, there are always some odd or puzzling policy planks that make it in. Here are 10 of the more unexpected items from this year's Republican platform:
1) Repeal the Sixteenth Amendment! Maybe... “In any restructuring of federal taxation,
2) Police the universities for liberal bias. “Ideological bias is deeply entrenched within the current university system. Whatever the solution in private institutions may be,
3) Defend the Electoral College at all costs. “We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College." (See here for an explanation of the National Popular Vote compact.)
4) End our dependence on foreign... fertilizer? “Our dependence on foreign imports of fertilizer could threaten our food supply, and we support the development of domestic production of fertilizer." (For those curious, here's a longer analysis of America's potential fertilizer woes.)
5) Affirmative action for Republican officials inside the District of Columbia. “D.C.’s Republicans have been in the forefront of exposing and combating the chronic corruption among the city’s top Democratic officials. We join their call for a non-partisan elected Attorney General to clean up the city’s political culture and for congressional action to enforce the spirit of the Home Rule Act assuring minority representation on the City Council. After decades of inept one-party rule, the city’s structural deficit demands congressional attention."
6) Selective statehood. “We support the right of the United States citizens of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a fully sovereign state if they freely so determine." So, good news for Puerto Rico. But don't get too excited, D.C.: "We oppose statehood for the District of Columbia."
7) Step up the war against pornography. “Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced."
8) Innovation is all about freedom. “Liberty alone fosters scientific inquiry, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and information exchange. Liberty must remain the core energy behind America’s environmental improvement."
9) Reconsider the gold standard. “Determined to crush the double-digit inflation that was part of the Carter Administration’s economic legacy, President Reagan, shortly after his inauguration, established a commission to consider the feasibility of a metallic basis for U.S. currency. The commission advised against such a move. Now, three decades later, as we face the task of cleaning up the wreckage of the current Administration’s policies, we propose a similar commission to investigate possible ways to set a fixed value for the dollar."
10) No minimum wage for the Mariana Islands. “The Pacific territories should have flexibility to determine the minimum wage, which has seriously restricted progress in the private sector."