The official GOP platform approved at the Republican National Convention in Tampa included tough language rejecting the United Nations “sustainability” scheme known as Agenda 21 for the threat it represents to national sovereignty, drawing praise from conservative and Tea Party leaders across the country. The Republican Party document also rejected any form of UN global taxes and slammed a wide range of the international body’s controversial programs.
In a section of the 54-page platform entitled “Sovereign American Leadership in International Organizations,” the GOP noted that multilateral bodies such as the UN and NATO sometimes fail to serve the cause of peace and prosperity. As such, the U.S. government must always reserve the right to go its own way. “There can be no substitute for principled American leadership,” the platform says.
The UN in particular remains in “dire need of reform,” Republicans said in the document, attacking the global organization’s “overpaid bureaucrats,” its “scandal-ridden management,” and the fact that some of the world’s most barbaric tyrants hold seats on the so-called “Human Rights Council.” Unless and until the situation improves, the platform stated, the UN can never expect the full support of the American people. Some Republicans such as Congressman Ron Paul go further, calling for the United States to get out of the UN entirely.
Some matters, however, are non-negotiable. "We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty, and we oppose any form of U.N. Global Tax,” the platform explains. The language echoes a resolution adopted by the GOP earlier this year slamming the planetary scheme to enforce so-called “sustainable development” on the world.
Since then, state and local Republican parties as well as state legislatures and county governments have adopted similar resolutions slamming the UN “sustainable development” agenda. Alabama recently enacted a bipartisan law officially banning Agenda 21 and any affiliated schemes within the state to protect the private property and due process rights of citizens.
While the official GOP opposition to Agenda 21 out of Tampa received virtually no media coverage in the establishment press, a blog post by the New York Times and a piece by Peter Jamison in the Tampa Bay Times filled with factual errors did mention the news. Jamison’s report repeatedly referred to fears about Agenda 21 as a “conspiracy theory” despite the fact that the documents are posted on the UN’s website; therefore Agenda 21 is neither a conspiracy (secret by definition) nor a theory.
The Tampa Bay Times piece also falsely attempted to portray the UN agenda as trivial, erroneously claiming that “the fear of dedicated activists” was “the belief that an international cabal is plotting to take over the United States by building bicycle paths.” However, assuming it was ignorance, the writer did not bother to perform even the slightest amount of research before parroting discredited talking points peddled by the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center.
Even a 30-second review of the UN’s webpage on Agenda 21 would have revealed that the scheme is about much more than bike lanes. In the first sentence of its summary of Agenda 21 posted online, the UN states that Agenda 21 is actually “a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts [sic] on the environment.”
To understand the scope of such an agenda, consider that the UN considers carbon dioxide — a gas exhaled by human beings and required by plants — to be a “pollutant” in need of regulation. As the GOP resolution noted, the global body has also repeatedly referred to national sovereignty and private land ownership as social injustices. And that is why activists are up in arms — it has nothing to do with bike lanes.
"The tea party groups are very much involved in this. They're hosting a lot of speeches," explained The John Birch Society’s Director of Missions Larry Greenley in a statement cited by the Tampa Bay Times. "They see it as a threat to their way of life, and they choose to work on it." Again, it has nothing at all to do with bike lanes, of course.
The official GOP platform adopted in Tampa also blasted a wide range of other UN schemes — some related, others not. “The United Nations Population Fund has a shameful record of collaboration with China’s program of compulsory abortion,” the platform noted, re-affirming the principle that the federal government should not be unconstitutionally providing U.S. taxpayer money to organizations that support or commit abortions.
Republicans also slammed a wide range of UN treaties that the Obama administration and other elements within the U.S. government have been pushing for ratification by the Senate. Among them: “the U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty as well as the various declarations from the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development.”
The so-called “Law of the Sea Treaty” (LOST) came under fire, too, with the platform congratulating Senate Republicans for blocking ratification. “Because of our concern for American sovereignty, domestic management of our fisheries, and our country’s long-term energy needs, we have deep reservations about the regulatory, legal, and tax regimes inherent in the Law of the Sea Treaty,” it stated.
The GOP platform also came out against any efforts that could result in giving the UN control over the Internet, which assorted communist and Islamist dictatorships have been pursuing for years. “International regulatory control over the open and free Internet would have disastrous consequences for the United States and the world,” Republicans added in the document, echoing concerns expressed by numerous lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Finally, to protect members of the U.S. Armed Forces from “ideological prosecutions” abroad, the GOP platform said the Party does not accept the purported jurisdiction of the so-called “International Criminal Court.” The document also called for statutory protection for American personnel and officials working overseas.
The GOP platform contains many planks praised by liberty-minded activists — auditing the Federal Reserve, considering a return to the gold standard, rejecting UN taxes, and much more. Some hoped the Party would go further — especially in its condemnation of the global entity and its desire to tax the American people. However, it remains unclear whether Republican officials will even take the mild platform seriously. They certainly have not in the past.
House Speaker John Boehner recently revealed that few Republicans have even read the entire document, prompting serious concerns among conservative activists who worked so hard to influence the language. For the sake of the future of America, however, grassroots Party members hope Republicans will stick to the platform going forward — at least as far as the document conforms to the U.S. Constitution.
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