DELAWARE, OHIO – “It is a time of crisis in America,” Ohio Wesleyan University students write in their proposed 2012 Republican Party platform. “The years of President Barack Obama’s leadership have seen millions of lost jobs, a crippling recession, soaring deficits, directionless foreign policy, and a crumbling American heartland. It’s time to take our country back.”
And for the next 10 pages, the Ohio Wesleyan students outline how to do just that. Following several lectures and hearings on the Delaware, Ohio, campus, the students crafted a draft Republican Party platform examining the issues that will determine who serves in the White House for the next four years.
An estimated 300 students will finalize the platform and select Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates during the university’s 2012 Republican Mock Presidential Convention, “Right Party, Right Time.” The two-day event, which simulates a national nominating convention, will take place Feb. 10-11 in University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St. The convention, an Ohio Wesleyan tradition that dates back to 1884, always features the party out of the White House.
In the draft platform, members of the Mock Convention Platform Committee sought to provide delegates with Republican Party solutions to the most serious issues of the day. Issue planks to be debated by the full convention include:
- Deficit reduction: “We support a complete audit of the Federal Reserve, to ensure that it functions as a transparent organization. … We should also repeal the Dodd-Frank Act and dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Further, we support an immediate cut to non-discretionary government spending and a hard cap on federal spending as a percentage of GDP, with an exception for vital spending to support our brave military. We also support adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.”
- Job creation: “A reduction of the corporate tax rate (from 35% to 20% or lower) to compete with other developed nations would allow for increased private sector investment into the economy. On the individual level, the Republican Party advocates a tax code that is lower and flatter overall. We also believe that capital gains taxes and the death tax, which are unfair burdens on hard-working Americans, should be eliminated. A simple tax code would not penalize success, and thus would greatly increase consumer demand and promote economic growth.”
- Health care: The Republican Party rejects the idea of socialized medicine. … We must replace it with a true free-market system in which consumers can purchase health care plans across state lines. … Medicaid should be reformed into a block-grant program run by the states. … Seniors should be given access to private-sector alternatives to Medicare to produce price competition and lower health care costs.
The student platform was written following an analysis of GOP candidate platforms and with leadership by students Adithya Manohar, a senior from Bangalore, India; Meredith Merklin, a junior from Marysville, Ohio; and Kate Raulin, a senior from Silver Spring, Md.
Raulin, who has interned in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Columbus), said the experience of analyzing and debating issues from a GOP perspective is valuable, no matter which political party a student supports.
“Many criticisms of today’s political culture reference the growing and burdensome divisiveness in our political ideologies,” said Raulin, an economics management major and politics and government minor. “Through our Mock Convention, analyzing, debating, and creating a GOP platform is a start to combating this political divide. Regardless of whether you agree with the GOP platform, gaining an understanding of the ideas and reasoning behind it will no doubt make a better engaged and open-minded student and citizen.”
Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 47 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.