The Burke Manifesto

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It has long been noted that Republicans no longer have a platform. The 2020 election saw the first time in their history when Republicans didn’t bother to even pretend they had a platform. It was this official unofficial acknowledgment, if you will, that inaugurated for all time the rudderless party of grievance politics.

But it also created a philosophical vacuum, one that the Edmund Burke Foundation, a rightwing think tank, would like to fill. The Foundation has promulgated a shockingly explicit anti-LGBTQ and theocratic party platform. The think tank enunciated a frightening call to abandon democracy in favor of a Christian-centered government that uses the power of the state to impose “order” on all things it deems immoral. And it deems immoral just about anything you would guess.

I hasten to add, there is no clear path to the Republican Party adopting this platform. But there’s nothing stopping them either, and that’s finally the point. Now that the Republican Party doesn’t officially stand for anything, except possibly “owning the libs,” it is open to all manner of nut job political ideologies and abuses of power filling the vacuum. If Republicans come to believe that the Burke Manifesto is sufficiently popular, they might go ahead and adopt it.

Apart from attacks on LGBQT rights and inclusion of the Christian religion in government, the manifesto is explicitly isolationist. George H. W. Bush’s “new world order” has been replaced with isolationist paranoia. It includes rote condemnations of the transfer of power to “transnational or supranational bodies,” an unabashed attack on NATO and the UN. Some of the shade is thrown at George W. Bush, who is condemned as part of the “liberal imperialism of the last generation that sought to gain power, influence, and wealth by dominating other nations and trying to remake them in its own image.”

But it’s the role that religion and state government plays that is particularly chilling. The manifesto purports to favor allowing states to have latitude in important decisions while simultaneously limiting the power of national government. It also says, “The Bible should be read as the first among the sources of a shared Western civilization in schools and universities, and as the rightful inheritance of believers and non-believers alike.”

The manifesto reveals itself as unabashedly fascistic with this passage, “However, in those states or subdivisions in which law and justice have been manifestly corrupted, or in which lawlessness, immorality, and dissolution reign, national government must intervene energetically to restore order.” And what is lawless, immoral and corrupt in the opinion of the Burke Manifesto? Without explicitly saying it you know what is implied: gay rights, a woman’s right to choose, transgender tolerance and anything else the “libs” call rights.

   

There are eight million stories in the naked city of Republican open warfare on civil rights, this is another one. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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