Gold Standard

by Ted on September 4, 2003

Out of curiosity, I started looking at the affiliations of some high-ranking members of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. I struck paydirt right away with the National Chairman, Massey Villareal.

No, as far as I know, he isn’t a former member of MEChA. But he is a current member of another extremist organization: The Texas GOP.

MEChA has been widely attacked on the basis of this document: El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan.

So, in the interest of equal time, I’m pleased to take a look at the Texas GOP platform from 2000.

And I didn’t even have to translate anything to do it! Good thing, too- the official Texas GOP platform “supports the immediate adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States of America.”

(Incidentally, I’m using the 2000 platform because I think that it would be unfair to contend that President Bush should renounce the 2002 Texas GOP platform, which has some new planks. For example, it now contains the statement “The Republican Party of Texas reaffirms the United States of America is a Christian Nation,” and it calls for the abolition of the income tax. A summary of the 2002 platform is here; the whole document can be accessed from the Republican Party of Texas official homepage.

However, it seems that the rules of engagement demand that I ask if Mr. Villarreal, Tom DeLay, or Rick Perry supports or renounces this platform.)

Here are some highlights from the 2000 official Texas Republican platform:

The Federal Government:

Monetary System – The Party calls for the United States monetary system to be returned to the gold standard.

Repeal of Federal War Powers Act –A perpetual state of national emergency allows unrestricted growth of government. The Party charges the president to cancel the state of national emergency and charges Congress to repeal the War Powers Act and to declare an end to the previously declared states of emergency.

We urge that the IRS be abolished and the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution be repealed.

Minimum Wage – The Party believes the minimum wage law should be repealed.

The Environment:

WE OPPOSE: the theory of global warming
WE OPPOSE: EPA management of Texas’ air quality issues

Gay Rights:

We urge the immediate passage by the Texas Legislature the “Defense of Marriage Act”, which would deny recognition by Texas of homosexual “unions” legitimized by other states or nations.

The Party believes that the practice of sodomy tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, recognition, or privileges including, but not limited to, marriage between persons of the same sex, custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

Texas Sodomy Statutes- The party opposes the decriminalization of sodomy.

In support of our armed forces, we encourage… 2) the disqualification from service of homosexuals, 3) the immediate discharge from service of HIV positive individuals

Americans with Disabilities Act – The Party supports amendment of the Americans with Disabilities Act to exclude from its definition those persons with infectious diseases, substance addiction, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders and thereby reducing abuse of the Act.

(Note: This provision would prohibit people with AIDS from applying for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act)

Separation of Church and State

Our Party pledges to do everything within its power to restore the original intent of the First Amendment of the Unites States and the concept of the separation of Church and State and dispel the myth of the separation of Church and State. (emphasis added)

The United Nations

The Party believes it is in the best interest of the citizens of the United States that we immediately rescind our membership in, as well as all financial and military contributions to, the United Nations. We support House Resolution 1146, “The American Sovereignty Preservation Act” which would remove the United States entirely from the control of the U.N.

Women in the Armed Forces

In support of our armed forces, we encourage, 4) the exclusion of women from combat roles… 9) separation of men and women in basic training as is the practice of the Marine Corps


We support the requirement that schools teaching sex education must teach directive abstinence until heterosexual marriage with an uninfected person as the only safe and healthy means of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, the spread of AIDS, and pregnancies in unwed students, and is also a way to build strong and lasting relationships. Sex education classes, if conducted, should be separated by sex and must teach that the use of condoms does not make sex safe. (emphasis added)

The Party believes that scientific topics, such as the question of universe and life origins and environmental theories, should not be constrained to one opinion or viewpoint. We support the teaching equally of scientific strengths and weaknesses of all scientific theories–as Texas now requires (but has yet to enforce) in public school science course standards.

Stem Cells:

Fetal Tissue Harvesting – The Party supports legislation prohibiting experimentation with human fetal tissue and prohibiting the use of human fetal tissue or organs for experimentation or commercial sale.

The connection between the Texas Republican Party and the Texas Republican platform (which is revised every two years) is manifestly stronger than the connection between MEChA and El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan. The connections between the Texas GOP and George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, Rick Perry, and Massey Villareal are also obviously much stronger than the association between Cruz Bustamante and MEChA.

Readers who can point to links where George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, Rick Perry or Massey Villareal have formally denounced the Texas GOP are encouraged to post them in the comments.

Of course, there are those who would say that it’s ridiculous to try to associate these public figures with the extremist policies in the Texas GOP platform. Just because I can find this kind of document on the Internet doesn’t necessarily mean that it has anything to do with these individuals. Some would say that I would need a “reason” to assume that, for example, George W. Bush believes that sodomy tears at the fabric of society. If I were to seriously start demanding that Bush publicly renounce this statement, or if I were to go around claiming that the motto of the Texas GOP is “Sodomy tears at the fabric of society” they’d think I was being asinine.

To these people, I nod my head vigorously and smile, saying “DING DING DING DING DING!”



Joey 09.04.03 at 8:15 pm

OK, I’m coming at this from a right-leaning perspective, and I see the usual personal-morality stuff that I have problems with among those in my party. But are you really equating this document with one demands the wholesale ethnic cleansing of the American Southwest? Pretty weak defense.


Kevin Drum 09.04.03 at 8:28 pm

Hmmm, I must have missed the “wholesale ethnic cleansing” part….


Ted Barlow 09.04.03 at 8:29 pm

No. I don’t like “El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan” at all, although I think that your reading of it is highly debatable. (See Dave Neiwert for much more.)

I don’t have a strong opinion that one document is better or worse than the other. I could go either way. But I strongly feel that the Texas Republicans have much stronger ties to the current Texas GOP platform than Bustamante has to El Plan.

We would probably both agree that George W. Bush has no obligation to answer for this contents of the platform.

Therefore, why the hell should Cruz Bustamante answer for El Plan?


Joey 09.04.03 at 8:52 pm

Kevin: Try this on for size:

“Aztlán belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent.” Sounds like “kick whitey out” to me.

Ted: After the horrors associated with ethnic nationalism in the 20th century, if some on the left are equating “English is the official language” with “foreign Europeans must leave the soil that spawned the great bronze people,” then you guys have truly gone through the looking glass. And I don’t give a good god damn if the most violence MEChA has done is punch one person in the nose.

As for Neiwer, his whole schtick is that mainstream conservatives are fellow travelers with the worst racist elements on the right, “transmitting” far-right “memes” (jesus I hate that damn word) into the mainstream. If that’s true, can I, for example, say that Howard Dean’s call for repealing tax cuts “transmits” the “memes” of the Maoist International Movement or some such thing? It’s on the same level.


Charlie Murtaugh 09.04.03 at 9:12 pm

I agreed with Ted’s original MEChA post, but I think Joey is right here. When I followed the “More” link I was expecting something a bit more shocking.


Jacob T. Levy 09.04.03 at 9:23 pm

Heh; nicely done. I’m afraid I agree with a couple of these– but find the rest duly horrifying and nuts. I’ll bet lots of state party platforms have this character– a result of selection effects, as the people who stand for election to platform committees are likely to be those with axes to grind. (For that matter, it’s also true of the national party platforms.) But, of course, that could as well be true of other big political associations as it is of parties.


David Neiwert 09.04.03 at 9:29 pm

I don’t use the term “fellow travelers.” “Transmitters” refers specifically to individuals and organizations who pick up ideas and agendas from the extremist elements of the body politic and repeat them and amplify them in the mainstream. I provide specific examples of this, of which the MEChA meme is only the latest. And I pretty clearly detail the mechanism by which this occurs.

Of course, I am also interested in the extent to which left-wing extremism is carried into the mainstream. However, on this score, Howard Dean’s advocacy of a progressive tax structure is no more Maoist than Teddy Roosevelt’s. A more germane example would be the extent to which animal-rights activists’ or eco-terrorists’ beliefs were repeated by mainstream liberals and amplified by them. But the real extent to which this is happening is minimal at best.

It must be emphasized that Aztlan is not a racial concept — it is inherently multiracial, in fact; if it is anything, it is ethnic. Its entire purpose is to refute the perception that Hispanics who come to America are “outsiders” — rather, it asserts a simple historical truth: Hispanics are native peoples in this land, regardless of the boundaries erected by white settlers. It is at heart an insistence that their place be given its due. It is neither exclusionist nor racist or even ethnicist; it is, by nature, primarily anti-white supremacist, and ultimately multiculturalist.

I suspect that it is the latter to which joey and others object.


Tacitus 09.04.03 at 9:36 pm

Funny thing is, I don’t disagree with your post here, even though you mean it as parody. It’s perfectly just to ask state GOP members — and by extension, the President — if they agree with their own platform.

I actually don’t see why you think this would be an asinine exercise.


Joey 09.04.03 at 10:02 pm

David, thanks for not so subtly calling me a racist.

And thanks for showing us that the deadly and wrong-headed “blood and soil” argument advanced by white supremacists and Nazis — and so comprehensively proven to be evil by much of 20th century history — is OK, so long as it’s put forward by brown people.

I’m sure you’ll tell me again how I’m misreading Atzlan.


cmdicely 09.04.03 at 10:16 pm

But are you really equating this document with one demands the wholesale ethnic cleansing of the American Southwest?

Um. What document does that, specifically? N.B.: “exploiter” is not an ethnicity.


David Neiwert 09.04.03 at 10:24 pm


Read carefully. I not-too-subtly implied you were an anti-multiculturalist. Which I don’t think I’ve ever suggested equated to “racist.” Else I’d be calling Kaus and Reynolds “racists.”

Of course, such accusations would be as well-grounded as claims that MEChA is racist.


epist 09.04.03 at 10:27 pm

My brief perusal of the plan (and what a small document it is!) saw no calls for violence-save in defense of agression, and many, indeed repeated, calls for democratic action, i.e. ‘when we are the majority, then we will rule’. Does this sound like the KKK to you?

The plan seems to be one of peaceful democratic revolution along ethnic lines. I’m no fan of ethnic nationalism in general, but ethnic nationalism in the face of long and continuing oppression is quite a different matter from ethnic nationalism for the purpose of mainting one’s superior position in a brutal status quo. See the American war of independence for an example.

It seems to me (as a Quebecer) that Quebec is the model of such a successful revolution. If the Chicanos practice what the Quebeqois called ‘La revenge des bercaux’ (the revenge of the cradles) and simply reproduce so as to outnumber the whites, then they too can elect a secessionist government, which can in turn end the systematic racial oppression against their people (US English, anybody?) and negotiate a decent deal with the rest of the country.

Of course, I don’t claim that the US would react in the same way Canada did to the actual threat of democratic secession. The main point, however, is that this screed seems no more radically dangerous than the Parti Quebecois’ manifesto, and that party hardly led a genocidal pogrom against the English after they came to power, nor did they rend the country apart, despite many frenzied warnings of both.


David Neiwert 09.04.03 at 10:29 pm

“Blood and soil” and other Nazi doctrines were specifically and unmistakably eliminationist and exclusionist. They were relentlessly derogatory of other races. For that matter, so are American Patrol doctrines. Of course, the latter seem not to bother you much.

There is nothing overtly eliminationist or exclusionist about Aztlan rhetoric. At worst it seems to claim that “this is my country first” — but it never calls for the oppression or removal of other races. It is devoid of any calls to “drive the gringos out,” as its critics would have you think. Only a tendentious and distorted reading of their self-assertion efforts can even suggest so.


Joey 09.04.03 at 10:48 pm

David: AGAIN, thanks for suggesting I might be a racist, despite your non-denial denial above.

“We, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlán from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny.”

Sorry to get all “tendentious” by quoting the actual text of the document. And you’re right; they’re not calling for overt violence. They just want to “reclaim the land” from the “brutal gringo invasion.” So it’s just a simple call for “land reform,” which of course has always been carried out in a most courteous manner.

For the record: I do not fear MEChA, I don’t believe for a minute that they are seriously pushing to establish Atzlan in the Southwest, and this whole Bustamante thing is basically a tempest in a teapot. But what I find fascinating is that those who would rightfully scream loudest about ethnic nationalism if it were coming from whites (and I applaud their efforts for doing so) can so easily dismiss it when it comes from brown-skinned people.

And David, I realize that Mestizos are a mixed-race people. But they’re also a clearly identified ethnicity that encompasses virtually the entire population of Mexico and Central America. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be as chauvinistic as any other group.


neil 09.05.03 at 2:37 am

Joey, you’re subscribing to the common fallacy that ‘Aztlan’ refers to the American Southwest, or indeed, to any physical land at all.

It is clear from some background understanding of the mythology involved, as well as a careful (as opposed to hypercritical) reading of El Plan, that the ‘nation of Aztlan’ is a metaphysical ‘nation’ to which all Chicanos everywhere belong. The document is about retaining Chicano cultural heritage, not about reclaiming stolen land. The reference to Aztlan not belonging to the “foreign Europeans” is a call to Chicanos to cherish and value their own culture and heritage, rather than allowing it to be replaced by European culture and heritage.

There is no implication of violence, even metaphorical cultural violence, in the document, except to those who are trying very hard to find it. Most of the confusion stems from American misunderstanding of Chicano mythology (for instance, the repeated references to ‘bronze’ are probably assumed to be racial, when they actually refer to the metal, because it’s made by mixing copper and tin, and symbolizes unity) and also from the rather militant tone of the document.


Joey 09.05.03 at 3:46 am

So Aztlan is just a “mythology” or “idea.”

Well, ideas DO have consequences…


Keith 09.05.03 at 4:56 am

Sorry to sound harsh about this, but are you deliberately misreading David N’s post, or do you simply not understand what he wrote? I just read it through twice, and he’s not calling you a racist; he’s doing exactly what he said he’s doing in his response to you: suggesting that you oppose multi-culturalism.

Maybe you can answer what he actually does say, and then tell us how you think that equates to calling you a racist. As for me, I suspect that when you have to resort to accusing your opponents of things they didn’t say, that’s because you have no real grounds for opposing what they actually did say.

I certainly don’t know whether the “nation of Aztlan” is supposed to refer to a people (e.g. the Irish, the Chinese, the Jews, or any people who have been dispersed through a diaspora) or a state. Do you? Maybe it’s clearer in Spanish than in English. If you have a good reason to suspect that Aztlan is supposed to be a state, even though El Plan “do(es) not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent” please tell me why. (And no, I don’t think “reclaiming the land of our birth” means establishing a separate political entity.)

As for your snide response to Aztlan as a myth or an idea: “well, ideas do have consequences,” please illuminate us as to the consequences you believe derive from these ideas.

Then there’s this: “And I don’t give a good god damn if the most violence MEChA has done is punch one person in the nose.”
Well, maybe you should. Or do you believe that ideas have consequences, but actions do not?! Don’t you believe that actions speak louder than words? If the organization has been around for decades and hasn’t caused or sanctioned any violence, then regardless of your reading of El Plan, your suspicion that they’re planning “ethnic cleansing” (your words) is not based on any real acts, is it? Can you point to any groups that you think are nasty racist supremacists that have done no violence? If not, then MEChA isn’t really like them, and the comparisons are silly, right?

Finally, to reconnect with Ted Barlow’s point, perhaps you could tell us whether Cruz Bustamante is more personally responsible for El Plan, or whether DeLay, Perry, et al, are more personally responsible for the Texas Republican platform.


Michael J. Totten 09.05.03 at 5:00 am

Nice, Ted. Very nice. I needed that.


Keith M Ellis 09.05.03 at 10:32 am

They continually amaze me, the people who deny the distinction between racism by the oppressor and racism by the oppressed. It’s psychologically revealing, I think. Of course racism is, in general, bad. But that doesn’t mean that all forms are equally bad; and it certainly doesn’t mean that all forms require an identical response. The Bosnians, Serbs, and Croats are instructive examples. Minority and majority, oppressed and oppressor, have traded places over time. If we agree that oppressor racism is bad, we can agree that oppressed racism is also bad, if for no other reason than it historically has been shown to very often lead to oppressor racism. Having said that, it’s quite natural and correct for us to react to and judge differently the man prone on the ground cowering under the baton who is filled with hatred and bigotry than we do the hate-filled and bigoted man towering above him.

When one goes out of one’s way to concentrate on identifiying and denouncing the sin’s of one’s enemies, *particularly* when one is quite vulnerable to criticism on the same grounds, it’s almost always a diversionary and perhaps self-deluding tactic. (Matthew 7:3, etc.) Whites who are obsessed with “reverse racism” are clearly doing this, and it’s morally infantile.


joey 09.05.03 at 3:28 pm

Keith: Try this excerpt on for size:

“For that matter, so are American Patrol doctrines. Of course, the latter seem not to bother you much.”

The American Patrol is pretty much a nutjob racist organization. He suggested that their doctrines don’t bother me much. Maybe I overreacted, but when someone suggests that I’m “not bothered” by such views, it indicates to me that they think I might be a racist.

As for the “ideas have consequences” bit. I always thought an important component of anti-racist movements was emphasizing the psychic damage inflicted on those who hold hateful views. I think anything that inculcates a sense of racial superiority in a group or individual wreaks that severe psychic damage. It forces you to view your fellow man though your ethnic-nationalist filter. Many people had fought long and hard — and continue to fight — to eradicate this impulse.

(Why in the hell am I having to remind leftists of all this?)

I made the point that I don’t actually believe Atzlan will ever come to pass — just like any nutjob white separatists who believe they’ll get a homeland in Montana, or black separatists who would claim the Deep South as their homeland. As for your argument about Atzlan being a “state of mind,” see my statement above about psychic damage.

I’m still stunned by the reluctance of so many people here to apply ONE STANDARD OF BEHAVIOR to all people, regardless of the color of their skin. (You could probably find a bible quote to back you up there, too, Keith.)

As for Ted Barlow’s original point, again, you’re equivocating a mainstream political party’s platform (which includes certain ideas that I’m not at all comfortable with) with a document that could be construed as calling for either a separate Chicano homeland in the American Southwest, or the establishment of a ethnic-nationalist “chicano” mind-set that defines itself as being in opposition to the mainstream of American life. The first is absolutely reprehensible, the second is only marginally less so.

In my opinion, they’re not in the same league.

This will be my last comment on this thread. Thanks, I’ve enjoyed it.


cerebrocrat 09.05.03 at 3:50 pm

Nice work, Ted.

Somewhat off topic, but, when they say that sodomy “tears at the fabric of society…” what the hell does that actually MEAN?


Eric Deamer 09.05.03 at 5:11 pm

I agree with Tacitus above. Those who are affiliated or were affiliated with the Texas GOP should be called to account for this document just as much as Bustamante should be called to account for past affiliation with MEChA. How is asking a politician about their affiliation with a gropu with extremist ideology an asinine exercise? It is clear that the Texas GOP is one such group. MEChA is clearly another. Even the most cursory glance at any of the platforms and documents associated with this group unequivocally prove that to be the case. I’ve read all of the attempts to whitewash this (Wienert, Barlow etc.) and none of them are anything but a bunch of doublespeak and semantic back-flips. This would not even have been a big deal but it’s just utterly amazing how you guys will go to such lengths to defend racism, anti-semitism and homophobia, out of what? party loyalty? political correctness? I honestly just do not get it.


Tacitus 09.05.03 at 6:23 pm

I agree with Tacitus above.

Finally! Someone!


D-Rod 09.05.03 at 7:12 pm

It certainly does not seem asinine to suggest the Texas GOP might share some responsibility with sodomy in tearing at the fabric of society. Good post.


JRoth 09.05.03 at 7:43 pm

OK, Joey got a little reasonable on us at the end, but leopards and spots….

He equates (“marginally less [reprehensible]”) rabid, violent revolution with “the establishment of a ethnic-nationalist “chicano” mind-set that defines itself as being in opposition to the mainstream of American life.” And he shows, again, that he has missed the entire point of the document (which, of course, has effectively no relationship to Bustamante, who is the only reason it comes up). The phrase “mainstream of American life” is very clearly homologous with “white.” And that’s _exactly_ what El Plan has a problem with! The idea that American life is what white folks say it is, and that la Raza, who have been in the Southwest longer than the white folks, had better just put up and shut up.

It’s not that Joey, et al are racist. It’s that they stubbornly refuse to acknowledge a worldview in which whites are not the definers of culture. Multiculturalism is about saying. “Hey, we’ve got something to offer, and something to say, as well.” And anyone who dares say that in this country will be equated with Nazis and the KKK. Why would the response be so virulent? Why doth the lady protest so much?

And why does Joey keep putting paraphrases in quotes mere words away from the originals. Does he not know the meaning of the word “tendentious?” Joey, if your reading were not tendentious, you wouldn’t have to change the words to make them say what you want them to. “Bronze land” is not “bronze people,” and as has been pointed out, bronze isn’t a reference to skin color anyway.

Finally, all of this is about El Plan – yet every poster from the right slips effortlessly from the Plan to MEChA. They’re not the same. Most of the lefty websites I go to include links to Instapundit. What kind of asshole would I be to insist that every one of those bloggers is responsible to denounce every distasteful word that drops from Glenn’s mouth?

MEChA is exactly as radical as Hillel or the NAACP – and I bet that some websites associated with those estimable organizations include links to groups that are more overt in their ethnic pride. And I don’t doubt for a moment that some on the right would happily tar every mainstream black and Jewish politician with the most tendentious reading of the fringe groups’ writing.

All the time insisting that, while they quote the American Patrol, they actually oppose it.

Oh, and last thing: as Schwarzenegger’s group American English shows, Speak English or Die types are, in fact, closely tied to, and sometimes the same as, Aryan Nation-style racists. I’m sorry if you don’t like that fact, but your dislike of it doesn’t change it.


Phelps 09.05.03 at 9:19 pm

From “Action – 3)”

Self-Defense against the occupying forces of the oppressors at every school, every available man, woman, and child.

That sounds like violent opposition to me. Since the oppressors are the “foreign Europeans”, that sounds like “Kill Whitey.”

As for it being a racist organization, I usually avoid that word, since most people use racism and bigotry interchangably when they aren’t interchangable. In this instance, when they are talking about “the call of our blood”, they really are talking about race v race.


Realish 09.06.03 at 8:52 pm

I agree with Tacitus as well (that’s two!). Bustamante should have said, vocally and clearly, when this silliness started: “I did not take Mecha to be advocating racism or violence; I do not personally advocate these and think it is regrettable if indeed certain elements of Mecha advocate them.” Easy, right?

But, contra Joey, I think Bush et al’s responsibility for the Texas GOP platform is greater, and a more serious matter, than Bustamante’s for Mecha. Bustamante was a kid, and there’s every reason to believe that he never came into contact with the loonier elements in mecha, and there’s no reason to believe that he holds those views himself.

However, Bush is an adult (kind of), as are the members of the Texas GOP (kind of). They consciously and deliberately chose these views, and this language, and there’s every reason to believe that they held and continue to hold the same views. Unlike an obscure student group, the GOP platform for the second largest state in the U.S. matters, and really does have consequences.

Bustamante flirted with nutjobs, but nobody thinks he is one. Bush and Texas’ GOP representatives and senators flirted with nutjobs, and have given us no reason to believe they are not among the ranks. That’s the difference.


Beldar 09.07.03 at 4:19 pm

What a smug, meaningless post.

Bring me a screed from extremists from any political party and I can write just such a post as this. But only if you pay me, because otherwise it’s a waste of time, and doesn’t even produce something very funny.

I’m a Texas Republican, meaning a Texan who tends to vote for Republican candidates most of the time. Like almost all other Texas Republicans, I didn’t know before I read this post what was in the official 2000 state party platform. I didn’t care. Now that I’ve read it, I still don’t care.

Party platforms were very important in, oh, say 1842.

They’re essentially meaningless now for either major party, at either a state or federal level. They have virtually nothing to do with who gets nominated, who gets elected, or what they do when they’re elected.

Reading about party platforms on the internet is particularly ironic. Friends, if there ever was a nail in the coffin of party platform relevancy, it’s the internet.


Barbar 09.07.03 at 7:36 pm

But those MEChA documents, those are of the utmost relevance. Cruz Bustamente, renounce MEChA now!!!


Thorley Winston 09.08.03 at 6:28 pm

Ted, I have a question.

Since this entire post seems designed to create the impression that there is some sort of moral symmetry between the views expressed by MEChA in El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán and that of the Texas Republicans in their party platform, perhaps you could explain for me how the two are morally similar?

The preamble of El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán for example states the following (emphasis added):

In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal “gringo” invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlán from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny.

We are free and sovereign to determine those tasks which are justly called for by our house, our land, the sweat of our brows, and by our hearts. Aztlán belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent

Brotherhood unites us, and love for our brothers makes us a people whose time has come and who struggles against the foreigner “gabacho” who exploits our riches and destroys our culture.

With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil, we declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlán.

For La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada. (which translates to “By the Race, everything. Outside the Race, nothing.” )

The excerpts you took rather liberally from the Texas GOP platform don’t make it quite clear which provisions you find to be the equivalent of the blatantly racist sentiments expressed in El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán. Are you suggesting that favoring a gold standard for currency, opposing a minimum wage, and repealing the income tax are somehow the moral equivalent of referring to other citizens of a different race as “foreign Europeans” and saying you want everything for members of your race and nothing for people of other races?

If so, that seems to me to be similar to the lunacy of people who refer to tax cuts as “ethnic cleansing” and “Jim Crow.” If not, please explain to me why we should in anway consider the views of the two documents to be morally equivalent and what the views are in the Texas GOP platform which we should consider just as racist and hateful as those expressed in El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán


Jonathan 09.08.03 at 8:20 pm

I have a question for everyone here. More like a challenge.

Government and society are two different things. Why do you speak of them as if they were one?

Now, this may perplex you, after all you believe there is this majestical being that calls itself ‘Government’ which heroically steers society where it needs to go (else all society would slide into the abyss!).

Consider this quote: “Some people have so confused government and society as to think the two are the same, but they are different and have different origins.”

Who said this quote? It is not a modern thought, it is from 1776. It is not from an obscure document, everyone read it. In fact, this quote was THE VERY FIRST LINE of a popular text and the thoughts of this quote provided the content for the entire document.

It is the first line from “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine.

Oh, to make things even worse, talk to a Constitutional Lawyer. The Constitution is not a social document. Did you know that the Bill of Rights do not apply to you? You have no ‘right’ to speech. The Bill of Rights applies to the government, not to people. The GOVERNMENT may not restrict your speech, but your mother/ employer/ property owner can.

In fact, the very theme of seperation of Church and State is to seperate State and Society. The State was not to mold Society like kings and dictators did.

In this thought, society steers itself. People become human and not a statistic or clay to be experimented on. The freedom of society is not defined by the law, rather the freedom of society is defined by society yearning to be itself. An increasing legalistic society is a decreasing society. A tyrannical society does not exist for a government is tyrannical when NO society can exist. Society is not a ‘form’ which can be constructed with architect attitudes from intellectuals. It is letting everyone be Human, to realize that Mankind has a natural societal form and to impede on it is a violation of Nature.

This is why the ‘platform’ listed above is NON-REFLECTIVE of conservative thought. This is a document of politicians (who, when in office, must ‘do something’). Conservatives are happiest when the government does nothing and gets out of the way of society. When you read a republican document that lists passing more laws and such, it is the coinage of politicians deattached from society.

But realizing this would take an intellectual rigid approach, which is rare because we are so lazy now days. Many people ‘don’t hear’ certain things and hear ‘other things’ because it fits their world view rather than challenging it.

The best system for Society is no system- which is called LIBERTY. And this is why I’m a Republican.


Jonathan Maccabee 10.05.03 at 6:28 pm

Re the Texas GOP’s opposition to the War Powers Act:

No president has ever recognized the constitutionality of the War Powers Act, which was passed in 1974 over Nixon’s veto and with good reason. Not Nixon, not Ford, not Jimmy Carter, not Reagan, not Bush, not Bush, not Bill Clinton.

The act actually requires, for one thing, that the President get Congressional approval before attacking or invading another country.

I don’t know whether this is a case of power corrupting or actual sticklers for the law being filtered out before they can reach the Presidency. The Supreme Court, when asked, said the War Powers Act was constitutional in 1974. Unanimously.

This is the only situation in my lifetime comparable to Worcester v. Georgia. That Supreme Court decision, President Andrew Jackson defied by deporting the American Indians of the Southeast to Oklahoma, which began a state of constant, illegal war against the Indians directed by the executive branch until they were utterly defeated and nearly annilhated.

I do wonder what the reaction among our elite would be if the Supreme Court was defied in a decision which officially sanctioned violence (Dred Scott v. Sandford? Roe v. Wade?) rather than limiting the President’s power to make war.

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