2012 REPUBLICAN PLATFORM: Preamble

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The 2012 Republican Platform is a statement of who we are and what we believe as a Party and our vision for a stronger and freer America.

The pursuit of opportunity has defined America from our very beginning. This is a land of opportunity. The American Dream is a dream of equal opportunity for all. And the Republican Party is the party of opportunity.

Today, that American Dream is at risk.

Our nation faces unprecedented uncertainty with great fiscal and economic challenges, and under the current Administration has suffered through the longest and most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Many Americans have experienced the burden of lost jobs, lost homes, and lost hopes. Our middle class has felt that burden most acutely. Meanwhile, the federal government has expanded its size and scope, its borrowing and spending, its debt and deficit. Federalism is threatened and liberty retreats.

For the world, this has been four years of lost American leadership, leadership that depends upon economic vitality and peace through strength.

Put simply: The times call for trustworthy leadership and honest talk about the challenges we face. Our nation and our people cannot afford the status quo. We must begin anew, with profound changes in the way government operates; the way it budgets, taxes, and regulates. Jefferson’s vision of a “wise and frugal government” must be restored.

Providence has put us at the fork in the road, and we must answer the question: If not us, who? If not now, when?

That is the choice facing the American people this November. Every voter will be asked to choose between the chronic high unemployment and the unsustainable debt produced by a big government entitlement society, or a positive, optimistic view of an opportunity society, where any American who works hard, dreams big and follows the rules can achieve anything he or she wants.

The American people possess vast reserves of courage and determination and the capacity to hear the truth and chart a strong course. They are eager for the opportunity to take on life’s challenges and, through faith and hard work, transform the future for the better. They are the most generous people on earth, giving sacrificially of their time, talent, and treasure.

This platform affirms that America has always been a place of grand dreams and even grander realities; and so it will be again, if we return government to its proper role, making it smaller and smarter. If we restructure government’s most important domestic programs to avoid their fiscal collapse. If we keep taxation, litigation, and regulation to a minimum. If we celebrate success, entrepreneurship, and innovation. If we lift up the middle class. If we hand over to the next generation a legacy of growth and prosperity, rather than entitlements and indebtedness.

That same commitment must be present both here at home and abroad. We are a party that knows the difference between international acclaim and world leadership. We will lift the torch of freedom and democracy to inspire all those who would be free. As President Reagan issued the clarion call to “tear down this Wall,” so must we always stand against tyranny and oppression. We will always support and cherish our men and women in uniform who defend our liberties with their lives.

As we embark upon this critical mission, we are not without guidance. We possess an owner’s manual: the Constitution of the United States, the greatest political document ever written. That sacred document shows us the path forward. Trust the people. Limit government. Respect federalism. Guarantee opportunity, not outcomes. Adhere to the rule of law. Reaffirm that our rights come from God, are protected by government, and that the only just government is one that truly governs with the consent of the governed.

The principles written in the Constitution are secured by the character of the American people. President George Washington said in his first inaugural address: “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” Values matter. Character counts.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand these great truths. They share a positive vision for America – a vision of America renewed and strong. They know America’s best days lay ahead. It will take honest results-oriented, conservative leadership to enact good policies for our people. They will provide it.

We respectfully submit this platform to the American people. It is both a vision of where we are headed and an invitation to join us in that journey. It is about the great dreams and opportunities that have always been America and must remain the essence of America for generations to come.

May God continue to shed his grace on the United States of America.

Governor Bob McDonnell, Chairman
Senator John Hoeven, Co-Chair
Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Co-Chair