For about an hour yesterday, just before my weekly seminar, I watched the C-SPAN coverage of the GOP Platform Committee. It had limited educational benefit, as I used it as a live example of “peer review,” a process that some of my students find intimidating and/or useless. Some are hesitant about voicing their ideas. Others are still working on their own composition skills and do not believe they can offer valid criticism. And, a number do not see the link between evaluating the work of others as a needed life skill. In this, they have not recognized that critical thinking has a higher value than brief compliments, shallow remarks or superficial appraisals of the ideas of another person.
Over and above using that real-life scenario as a teaching tool is the impact of that 60-minute inside view of the GOP. Whether you consider yourself a stalwart Republican, a steady Democrat or Independent, I encourage you to devote just 60 minutes of your life to C-SPAN’s coverage.
In that brief period, I could glean enough information about the Republican party and its candidates to award it a name. I call it “The GOP War on Everything.”
In just sixty minutes, I learned this about the 2012 Republican Party Platform:
- It plans to dismantle the EPA.
- It plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
- It plans to overhaul the entire income tax system.
- It plans to expand coal-fired plants as a source of energy.
- It plans to drill, drill, drill (sound familiar) as a source of energy.
- It plans to open up federally protected lands to their fullest economic development.
- It rejected an amendment to include the “safety” of coal miners in its coal-fired energy scenario.
- It rejected an amendment to include preservation of endangered lands in its drill-drill-drill plans.
- It rejected an amendment to retain the home mortgage interest deduction in its income tax overhaul.
- It rejected ALL amendments proposed by its female committee members.
- It approved ALL amendments proposed by its male committee members, even when those amendments were identical to the ones proposed (and rejected) by women.
- And, it blames Obama for everything.
That is a lot of destruction in sixty minutes.
So students, if you enjoy the national parks, if you love your state’s pristine seashore, if you depend on that home mortgage deduction, if you want to preserve endangered species, if you prefer alternative energy, if you believe there are other ways to farm, if you value the ideas of women, then you may want to think critically about the choices before you.
Still not convinced? Then devote 60 minutes of your life – one hour – to listen to the GOP Party Platform Committee votes. It’s on C-SPAN.
You can also watch a replay of yesterday’s committee meeting here: http://www.c-span.org/Events/RNCs-Platform-Meetings-Prep-for-Upcoming-Convention/10737433193-1/