It was just a few months ago when state policymakers in Utah approved a measure condemning pornography as a "public health crisis." Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed a resolution, approved by the GOP-led legislature, calling for new policies to combat the porn scourge.
And at the time, much of the country had a good laugh about this, recognizing that Utah is one of the nation's most conservative states, more likely than most to overreact to a pornography "crisis" that doesn't really exist. But as Yahoo News reported yesterday, Republicans in Utah evidently aren't alone on the issue.
Republican delegates unanimously adopted an amendment to their draft platform Monday morning that called pornography "a public health crisis" and a "public menace" that is destroying lives. The language went further in its condemnation of porn than the 2012 GOP platform, which condemned child pornography and encouraged the enforcement of obscenity and pornography laws.
The new amendment, which will be added to the national party's 2016 platform, reads, "Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life [sic] of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children's safety and wellbeing."
Now take a moment to read that exact same quote, only this time, replace "pornography" with "gun violence." The national Republican Party's platform committee unanimously approved the porn measure yesterday; is there any doubt it would have unanimously rejected the same language if it pertained to guns?
The point of a national party's platform is to articulate its core values and priorities. Unfortunately, the RNC platform is doing exactly that.
The document, which won't be formally approved until the Republican convention next week, also opposes "policies that encourage cohabitation," supports crackpot "gay conversion therapy" in which sexual orientation is changed through prayer, expresses concern over electromagnetic pulse threats, declares coal power as "clean," and seeks to turn back the clock on marriage equality.
The contemporary Republican Party, in other words, appears committed to looking backwards, and restoring policies of the past. If GOP officials are lucky, the American mainstream won't read or hear much about their 2016 platform.