1976 Republican Platform: Preamble

To you, an American citizen:

You are about to read the 1976 Republican Platform. We hope you will also find time to read the Democrats' Platform. Compare. You will see basic differences in how the two parties propose to represent you.

"The Platform is the Party's contract with the people." This is what it says on the cover of the official printing of the Democrat Platform. So it should be. The Democrats' Platform repeats the same thing on every page: more government, more spending, more inflation. Compare. This Republican Platform says exactly the opposite -- less government, less spending, less inflation. In other words, we want you to retain more of your own money, money that represents the worth of your labors, to use as you see fit for the necessities and conveniences of life.

No matter how many statements to the contrary that Mr. Carter makes, he is firmly attached to a contract with you to increase vastly the powers of government. Is bigger government in Washington really what you want?

Make no mistake: you cannot have bigger programs in Washington and less government by Washington. You must choose.

What is the cost of these added or expanded programs? The Democrats' Platform is deliberately vague. When they tell you, as they do time after time, that they will "expand federal support," you are left to guess the cost. The price tag of five major Democrat Platform promises could add as much as $ 100 billion to the annual cost of government. But the Democrats' Platform proposes over 60 new or expanded spending programs and the expansion or creation of some 22 Washington agencies, offices or bureaus. In fact, the total of all Democrat proposals can be as high as $200 billion a year. While this must be a rough estimate, it does give you a clue to the magnitude and direction of these commitments. The Democrats' Platform can increase federal spending by 50 percent. If a Democrat Congress passes the Democrat Platform and it is signed by a Democrat President, what happens then? The Democrats could raise your taxes by 50 percent to pay for the new programs. Or the Democrats could not raise taxes and the result would be a runaway inflation. Of course, contract or no contract, the Democrats may not honor their promises. Are you prepared to risk it?

In stark contrast to the Democrats' Platform, we offer you a responsive and moderate alternative based on these principles:

We support these principles because they are right, knowing full well that they will not be easy to achieve. Acting with restraint is most difficult when confronted by an opposition Congress that is determined to promise everything to everybody. And this is what the Democrat Congress has been doing. A document, such as this Platform, which refuses to knuckle under to special interest groups, will be accused of being "uncaring." Yet it is exactly because we do care about your basic freedom to manage your own life with a minimum of government interference, because we do care about encouraging permanent and meaningful jobs, because we do care about your getting paid in sound dollars, because we do care about resisting the use of your tax dollars for wasteful or unproven programs -- it is for these reasons that we are proposing only actions that the nation can afford and are opposing excessive tinkering with an economic system that works better than any other in the world.

Our great American Republic was founded on the principle: "one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all." This bicentennial year marks the anniversary of the greatest secular experiment in history: That of seeking to determine that a people are truly capable of self-government. It was our "Declaration" which put the world and posterity on notice "that Men are . . . endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" and that those rights must not be taken from those to whom God has given them.

Recently, Peggy Pinder, a 23-year-old student from Grinnell, Iowa, who is a delegate to this convention, said that she joined our party "because Republicans understand the place of government in the people's lives better than the Democrats. Republicans try to find ways to take care of needs through the private sector first while it seems automatic for Democrats to take care of them through the governmental system."

The perception of Peggy Pinder governs this Platform. Aren't these the principles that you want your elected representatives to have?

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