By Scott Tibbs, June 12, 2018
I am convinced that "moderate" malcontents (country club Republicans) will not be satisfied until they push social conservatism out of the Republican Party. We saw evidence of this in the floor debate over the proposed changes to the "strong families" language in the Indiana Republican Party platform.
We are already seeing people bitterly complain about "divisive" and "antiquated" language in the party platform. But how is it divisive? The 2016 language explicitly states the Republican Party supports "blended families, grandparents, guardians and loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day," and also added language supporting single parents.
The delegate who spoke in favor of the 2018 language said that unless the Republican party moves forward and recognizes the reality on the ground, we will have this floor fight over and over. In other words, the country club Republicans will continue to attempt to erase explicit support for marriage from the party platform and have promised to continue to provoke floor fights at the convention. It is not the social conservatives who are being divisive. It is the "moderate" country club Republicans who are being divisive.
The delegate also dishonestly claimed that the original proposed 2018 platform supported traditional marriage between one man and one woman. But if that is the case, why erase language that explicitly names a marriage between a man and a woman from the Indiana Republican Party platform? The social conservatives were right to be concerned that this language was removed and what that means for the future of the party.
The platform does not even call for the government to roll back recognition of same sex marriage. In fact, the platform implies support for same-sex couples. I think we all know what "loving adults" means. So what exactly are the "moderate" country club Republicans whining about?
Let's be honest here. Approving the amended 2016 language over the 2018 language was in no way a win for social conservatives. Nothing was gained here. We avoided further watering down a plank that was already wishy-washy and weak. It would be better to not have a "strong families" plank at all than keep the wimpy language we have now. We should strengthen the platform, and hopefully that will happen in 2020.