Republican Party symbol picture

Republican Party Platform of 1976

August 18, 1976

Adopted by the Republican National Convention,

August 18, 1976,

at Kansas City, Mo.


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 believe that liberty can be measured by how much freedom you have to make your own decisions—even your own mistakes. Government must step in when your liberties impinge on your neighbor's. Government must protect your constitutional rights. Government must deal with other governments and protect you from aggressors. Government must assure equal opportunity. And government must be compassionate in caring for those citizens who are unable to care for themselves.

Our federal system of local-state-national government is designed to sort out on what level these actions should be taken. Those concerns of a national character—such as air and water pollution that do not respect state boundaries or the national transportation system or efforts to safeguard your civil liberties—must, of course, be handled on the national level.

As a general rule, however, we believe that government action should be taken first by the government that resides as close to you as possible. Governments tend to become less responsive to your needs the farther away they are from you. Thus, we prefer local and state government to national government, and decentralized national government wherever possible.

We also believe that you, often acting through voluntary organizations, should have the opportunity to solve many of the social problems of your community. This spirit of freely helping others is uniquely American and should be encouraged in every way by government.

Every dollar spent by government is a dollar earned by you. Government must always ask: Are your dollars being wisely spent? Can we afford it? Is it not better for the country to leave your dollars in your pocket?

Your elected officials, their appointees, and government workers are expected to perform their public acts with honesty, openness, diligence, and special integrity. At the heart of our system must be confidence that these people are always working for you.

We believe that your initiative and energy create jobs, our standard of living and the underlying economic strength of the country. Government must work for the goal of justice and the elimination of unfair practices, but no government has yet designed a more productive economic system or one which benefits as many people.

The beauty of our land is our legacy to our children. It must be protected by us so that they can pass it on intact to their children.

The United States must always stand for peace and liberty in the world and the rights of the individual. We must form sturdy partnerships with our allies for the preservation of freedom. We must be ever willing to negotiate differences, but equally mindful that there are American ideals that cannot be compromised. Given that there are other nations with potentially hostile designs, we recognize that we can reach our goals only while maintaining a superior national defense.

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?

Jobs and Inflation

We believe it is of paramount importance that the American people understand that the number one destroyer of jobs is inflation. We wish to stress that the number one cause of inflation is the government's expansion of the nation's supply of money and credit needed to pay for deficit spending. It is above all else deficit spending by the federal government which erodes the purchasing power of the dollar. Most Republicans in Congress seem to understand this fundamental cause-and-effect relationship and their support in sustaining over 40 Presidential vetoes in the past two years has prevented over $13 billion in federal spending. It is clear that most of the Democrats do not understand this vital principle, or, if they do, they simply don't care.

Inflation is the direct responsibility of a spendthrift Democrat-controlled Congress that has been unwilling to discipline itself to live within our means. The temptation to spend and deficit spend for political reasons has simply been too great for most of our elected politicians to resist. Individuals, families, companies and most local and state governments must live within a budget. Why not Congress?

Republicans hope every American realizes that if we are permanently to eliminate high unemployment, it is essential to protect the integrity of our money. That means putting an end to deficit spending. The danger, sooner or later, is runaway inflation.

Wage and price controls are not the solution to inflation. They attempt to treat only the symptom—rising prices—not the cause. Historically, controls have always been a dismal failure, and in the end they create only shortages, black markets and higher prices. For these reasons the Republican Party strongly opposes any reimposition of such controls, on a standby basis or otherwise.

Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Congress now persists in attempting to obtain control over our nation's money creation policies by taking away the independence of the Federal Reserve Board. The same people who have so massively expanded government spending should not be allowed politically to dominate our monetary policy. The independence of the Federal Reserve System must be preserved.

Massive, federally-funded public employment programs, such as the Humphrey-Hawkins Bill currently embraced by the new National Platform of the Democrat Party will cost billions and can only be financed either through very large tax Increases or through ever increasing levels of deficit spending. Although such government "make-work" programs usually provide a temporary stimulus to the economy, "quick-fix" solutions of this sort—like all narcotics—lead to addition, larger and larger doses, and ultimately the destruction of far more jobs than they create. Sound job creation can only be accomplished in the private sector of the economy. Americans must not be fooled into accepting government as the employer of last resort.

Nor should we sit idly by while 2.5 million American jobs are threatened by imports of textile products. We encourage the renewal of the GATT Multifiber Arrangement and the signing of other necessary bilateral agreements to protect our domestic textile industry.

In order to be able to provide more jobs, businesses must be able to expand; yet in order to build and expand, they must be profitable and able to borrow funds (savings) that someone else has been willing to part with on a temporary basis. In the long run, inflation discourages thrift, encourages debt and destroys the incentive to save which is the mainspring of capital formation. When our government—through deficit spending and debasement of the currency—destroys the incentive to save and to invest, it destroys the very wellspring of American productivity. Obviously, when production falls, the number of jobs declines.

The American people are beginning to understand that no government can ever add real wealth (purchasing power) to an economy by simply turning on the printing presses or by creating credit out of thin air. All government can do is confiscate and redistribute wealth. No nation can spend its way into prosperity; a nation can only spend its way into bankruptcy.

Taxes and Government Spending

The Republican Party recognizes that tax policies and spending policies are in separable. If government spending is not controlled, taxes will inevitably rise either directly or through inflation. By failing to tie spending directly to income, the Democrat-controlled Congress has not kept faith with the American people. Every American knows he cannot continually live beyond his means.

The Republican Party advocates a legislative policy to obtain a balanced federal budget and reduced tax rates. While the best tax reform is tax reduction, we recognize the need for structural tax adjustments to help the working men and women of our nation. To that end, we recommend tax credits for college tuition, postsecondary technical training and child care expenses incurred by working parents.

Over the past two decades of Democrat control of the Congress, our tax laws have become a nightmare of complexity and unfair tax preferences, virtually destroying the credibility of the system. Simplification should be a major goal of tax reform.

We support economic and tax policies to insure the necessary job-producing expansion of our economy. These include hastening capital recovery through new systems of accelerated depreciation, removing the tax burden on equity financing to encourage more capital investment, ending the unfair double taxation of dividends, and supporting proposals to enhance the ability of our working and other citizens to own "a piece of the action" through stock ownership. When balanced by expenditure reductions, the personal exemption should be raised to $1,000.

Agriculture and Rural Development

The bounty of our farms is so plentiful that we may tend to forget what an amazing production achievement this really is. Each American farmer and rancher produces enough food to feed over 56 people—a threefold increase in productivity in 20 years.

Rural America must be maintained as a rewarding place to live. To accomplish this, our rural areas are entitled to services comparable to their urban neighbors, such as water and sewer systems, improved electricity and telephone service, adequate transportation, available and adequate financial credit, and employment opportunities which will allow small farmers to supplement their incomes.

Farm exports have continued to expand under the policies of this Republican Administration—from a low of $6 billion in 1968, the last Democrat year, to $22 billion in 1975. These exports are not giveaway programs; most are earning dollars from the marketplaces of the world, establishing a favorable balance of trade and a higher standard of living for all. Through our farm exports we fight the problem of world hunger, especially with the humanitarian Food for Peace Program (Public Law 480) of the Eisenhower Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress of 1954.

Republican farm policy has permitted farmers to use their crop land fully. We are at last moving toward making effective use of our superb resources. Net farm income from 1972 through 1975 averaged $26 billion, more than double the average of the 1960's. Government should not dictate to the productive men and women who work the land. To assure this, we support the continuation of the central principles of the Agricultural Act of 1973, with adjustments of target prices and loan levels to reflect increased production costs.

We oppose government-controlled grain reserves, just as we oppose federal regulations that are unrealistic in farm practices, such as those imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

We urge prompt action by Congress in amending the Grain Inspection Act to strengthen the present inspection system and restore its integrity.

We firmly believe that when the nation asks our farmers to go all out to produce as much as possible for world-wide markets, the government should guarantee them unfettered access to those markets. Our farmers should not be singled out by export controls. Also, when a foreign national subsidizes its farm exports, our farmers deserve protection against such unfair practices. The federal government should assure that foreign imported commodities are equal in quality to our domestic commodities. Nations from whom we buy commodities should not be allowed to circumvent import restriction laws, such as the Meat Import Quota Act of 1964.

We recognize the importance of the multilateral trade negotiations now in progress and urge our representatives to obtain the most beneficial agreements for our farmers and the nation's economy.

In order to assure the consumers of America an uninterrupted source of food, it is necessary to pass labor relations legislation which is responsive to the welfare of workers and to the particular needs of food production. Such legislation should recognize the need to prevent work stoppages during the critical harvest periods.

We must help farmers protect themselves from drought, flood and other natural disasters through a system of all-risk crop insurance through Federal government reinsurance of private insurance companies combined with the existing disaster payment program.

As in 1972, we urge prompt passage of the Republican-sponsored legislation now pending in Congress which will increase the estate tax exemption to $200,000, allow valuation of farm property on a current use basis and provide for extension of the time of payment in the case of farms and small businesses. This overdue estate and gift tax legislation must be approved this year. We favor a liberalized marital deduction and oppose capital gains tax at death.

Innovations in agriculture need to be encouraged by expanding research programs including new pest and predator control measures, and utilization of crops as a new energy resource. If we expect our farmers to produce an abundant food supply, they must have all the energy they need to produce, market and process their crops and livestock.

We continue to support farmer cooperatives, including rural electric and telephone cooperatives, in their efforts to improve services to their members. We support the Capper-Volstead Act.

We believe that non-farm corporations and tax-loss farming should be prevented from unfairly competing against family farms, which we support as the preferred method of farm organization.

Since farmers are practicing conservationists, they should not be burdened with unrealistic environmental regulations. We are concerned about regulations issued by the Army Corps of Engineers that will regulate all "routine" agricultural and forestry activities on "all" our waters and wetland, and support legislation to exempt routine farming operations from these requirements. The adjudication of water rights should be a matter of state determination.

Small Business

Small business, so vital to our economic system, is free enterprise in its purest sense. It holds forth opportunity to the individual, regardless of race or sex, to fulfill the American dream. Small businesses are the base of our economy and its main source of strength. Some 9.6 million small firms generate 55 percent of our private employment—or the livelihood of over 100 million Americans. Yet while small businesses have a unique place in our society, they also have unique problems that government must address. Therefore, we recommend that the Small Business Administration (SBA):

Assure adequate financing to those credit worthy firms that cannot now obtain funds through conventional channels;

Include the proper mix of loan programs to meet the needs of the many different types of firms that constitute the American small business community;

Serve as an aggressive advocate for small business and provide procurement, management and technological assistance.

For survival, small businesses must have relief from the overwhelming burden placed on them by many regulatory bodies. Paperwork proliferation has grown out of control, and small business is not equipped to deal with this aggravation.

The present tax structure does not allow small firms to generate enough capital to grow and create jobs. Estate taxes need liberalization to benefit the family business in the same manner as the family farm. Encouraging investment in small businesses through more equitable tax treatment remains the best and least expensive method of creating productive employment.

The Republican Party, recognizing that small and independent business is the backbone of the American competitive system, pledges itself to strengthen this vital institution.


The Republican Party believes in and endorses the concept that the American economy is traditionally dependent upon fair competition in the marketplace. To assure fair competition, antitrust laws must treat all segments of the economy equally.

Vigorous and equitable enforcement of antitrust laws heightens competition and enables consumers to obtain the lowest possible price in the marketplace.

Bureaucratic Over-regulation

We believe that the extent of federal regulation and bureaucratic interference in the lives of the American people must be reduced. The programs and activities of the federal government should be required to meet strict tests of their usefulness and effectiveness.

In particular, we consider essential an analysis of the extensive growth of laws and regulations governing production processes and conditions and standards or consumer products, so as to determine whether the services and benefits the American people receive are worth the price they are paying for these services in higher taxes and consumer prices.

We are intensely aware of the need to protect our environment and provide safe working conditions in American industry, while at the same time preventing the loss of jobs and the closing of small businesses through unrealistic or over-rigorous government regulations. We support a balanced approach that considers the requirements of a growing economy and provides jobs for American workers.

The average businessman and employer is being overwhelmed by government-required paperwork. We support legislation to control and reduce the burden of federal paper-work, particularly that generated by the Internal Revenue Service and the Census Bureau.

Government that Works

We believe that Americans are fed up with and frustrated by national government that makes great promises and fails to deliver. We are! We think that Democrat Congresses—in control for 40 out of the last 44 years—are the grand masters of this practice. We think that a national government grown so big that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing has caused the condition we are in.

What we now have is a government organization that doesn't make any sense. It has not developed by design. It just grew—by whim, bureaucratic fighting, and the caving in of Democrat Congresses to special interest demands. So today we find that nine federal departments and twenty independent agencies are involved in education; seven departments and eight agencies in health; federal recreation areas are administered by six agencies in three departments; and so forth.

What we need is a top-to-bottom overhaul. Two high level presidential commissions under two Presidents—one a Democrat, one a Republican—have investigated and come up with the same answer: There must be functional realignment of government, instead of the current arrangement by subject areas or constituencies.

We want federal domestic departments to reflect the major purposes of government, such as natural resources, human resources, community development and economic affairs. Unfortunately, the Democrat Congress has refused to address this problem. Now we insist that attention must be paid.

Too often in the past, we have been content with organizational or procedural solutions to complex economic and social regulatory problems. We should no longer accept rhetoric as a substitute for concrete results. The President has proposed to Congress the Agenda for Government Reform Act, which would guarantee the systematic re-examination and reform of all federal regulatory activities within the next four years. This legislation requires Congress and the President to agree to undertake an exhaustive reassessment of the combined effects of all government regulations, and it requires them to adhere to a disciplined timetable to assure annual results. The American people deserve no less. Every agency of government must be made efficient, and every government regulation should be subjected to cost benefit analysis. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a typical example of a well-intentioned regulatory effort which has imposed large costs but has not solved our problems.

The beauty of America's original concept of government was its diversity, the belief that different purposes are best served by governments at different levels. In our lifetime, however, Democrat Congresses have allowed this system to become warped and over-nationalized. As powers have flowed to Washington, the ability to attend to our problems has often dried up in our communities and states. This trend must be reversed. Local government is simply more accountable to the people, and local people are perfectly capable of making decisions.

We reaffirm the long standing principle of the Republican Party that the best government is the one closest to the people. It is less costly, more accountable, and more responsive to the people's needs. Our confidence in the people of this nation was demonstrated by initiating the Revenue Sharing Program. To date, $30 billion of federal tax dollars have been returned to the states and localities. This program is administered with fewer than 100 people and a computer. Revenue Sharing is an effort to reverse the trend toward centralization. Revenue Sharing must continue without unwarranted federal strictures and regulations.

As a further step in this direction, the Republicans in Congress promoted the new concept of federal block grants to localities for much greater flexibility. Under block grants, federal funds can be tailored by the states and localities to the wishes of each community. There are now two block grant programs—in community development and employment training. Block grant programs should be extended to replace many existing categorical health, education, child nutrition and social services programs. The Democrat Congress stands guilty of failing to enact these vital reforms. Our ultimate goal is to restore taxing and spending to the local level.

The Republican Party has always believed that the proper role of government is to do only those things which individuals cannot do for themselves. We encourage individual initiative and oppose the trend of ever expanding government programs which is destroying the volunteer spirit in America. We firmly believe that community involvement is essential to the development of effective solutions to the problems confronting our country.

While we oppose a uniform national primary, we encourage the concept of regional presidential primaries, which would group those states which voluntarily agree to have presidential primaries in a geographical area on a common date.

We encourage full participation in our electoral process. We further recognize the sanctity and value of the ballot. In that regard, we oppose "federal post card registration." The possibilities of fraud are inherent in registration by mail. Such possibilities could not only cheapen our ballot, but in fact threaten the entire electoral process.

Control of the United States Congress by the Democrat Party for 40 of the past 44 years has resulted in a system dominated by powerful individuals and riddled with corruption. Recent events have demonstrated an unwillingness and inability by the Democrat Party to cleanse itself. Selective morality has been the order of the day. Positive Republican initiatives have languished in Democrat-controlled Congressional Committees while business as usual has continued in Washington. The American people demand and deserve reform of the United States Congress. We offer these proposals of far-reaching reform:

Repeal of legislation which permits automatic increases in the salaries of Members of Congress, congressional staffs, and official expense allowances. Public accountability demands that Members publicly vote on increases on the expenses of their office. Members' salary increases should not become effective until a new Congress is elected.

Elimination of proxy voting which allows Members to record votes in Committee without being present for the actual deliberations or vote on a measure.

Elimination of Democrat Caucus rules which allow a Party to bind its Members' votes on legislation. Each Member of Congress represents his constituency and must be free to vote in accordance with the dictates of his constituency and individual conscience.

A complete audit by the General Accounting Office of all congressional allowances and appropriate disciplinary measures for those who have violated the public trust.

Full public disclosure of financial interests by Members and divestiture of those interests which present conflicts of interest.

Changes in the House rules which would allow a House majority to require the House Ethics Committee to conduct an investigation into alleged misconduct by any Member of Congress if the Committee refuses to act on its own.

A complete overhaul and streamlining of the system which has permitted the proliferation of subcommittees with over-lapping responsibility, vague jurisdictional definitions and a lack of legislative production.

Quarterly publication of names, titles and salaries of all Congressional employees.

Improved lobby disclosure legislation so that the people will know how much money is being spent to influence public officials.

Citizens are demanding the end to the rapid and wasteful increase in the size of Washington government. All steps must be taken to insure that unnecessary federal agencies and programs are eliminated and that Congress carefully scrutinize the total budget of each agency. If it is determined that sunset laws and zero-based budgeting can accomplish these ends, then they will have our support. Washington programs must be made as cost-effective as those in the states and localities. Among the many serious complaints that we wish to register on behalf of the American people is the poor operation of the United States Postal Service.

We note the low respect the public has for Congress—a Democrat-controlled Institution—and wonder how the Democrats can possibly honor their pledge to reform government when they have utterly failed to reform Congress.

A Safe and Just Society

Every American has a right to be protected from criminals. Violence has no place in our land. A society that excuses crime will eventually fall victim to it. The American people have been subjected to an intolerable wave of violent crime.

The victim of a crime should be treated with compassion and justice. The attacker must be kept from harming others. Emphasis must be on protecting the Innocent and punishing the guilty. Prevention of crime is its best deterrent and should be stressed.

Fighting crime is—and should be—primarily a local responsibility. We support the continuation of the federal help given through the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration {LEAA} to law enforcement officials in our states, counties and municipalities. Each state should have the power to decide whether it wishes to impose the death penalty for certain crimes. All localities are urged to tighten their bail practices and to review their sentencing and parole procedures.

The federal criminal code should include automatic and mandatory minimum sentences for persons committing offenses under federal jurisdiction that involve the use of a dangerous weapon; that involve exceptionally serious crimes, such as trafficking in hard drugs, kidnapping and aircraft hijacking; and that involve injuries committed by repeat offenders.

The work presently being done to tighten the antiobscenity provisions of the criminal code has our full support. Since the jurisdiction of the federal government in this field is limited to interstate commerce and the mails, we urge state and local governments to assume a major role in limiting the distribution and availability of obscene materials.

We support the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. We oppose federal registration of firearms. Mandatory sentences for crimes committed with a lethal weapon are the only effective solution to this problem.

Sure and swift justice demands additional judges, United States Attorneys and other court workers. The Democrat Congress has created no new federal judgeships since 1970; we deplore this example of playing politics with the justice system.

Drug abuse is not simply a health problem, but also a very real law enforcement concern and a problem of worldwide dimension. Controlling drug abuse calls for the ratification of the existing international treaty on synthetic drugs, increased emphasis on preventing the diversion of amphetamines and barbiturates into illegal markets, and intensive efforts to keep drugs out of this country. Heroin continues to come across our borders. Drug enforcement agents and international cooperation must cut off this supply. We say: Treat the addicts, but, at the same time, remove the pushers from the street and give them mandatory sentences.

Juveniles now account for almost half the arrests for serious crimes—murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The cost of school violence and vandalism is estimated at $600 million annually, about what is spent on textbooks. Primary responsibility for raising our children, instilling proper values and thus preventing juvenile delinquency lies with the family, not the government. Yet when families fail, local law enforcement authorities must respond. Law enforcement block grant funds can be used by states in correcting and preventing juvenile delinquency. The LEAA should promote additional research in this area. The structure of the family must be strengthened. All enterprises have to be encouraged to find more Jobs for young people. A youth differential must be included in the minimum wage law. Citizen action should let the television industry know that we want it to curb violence in programming because of its effect on our youth.

The criminal justice system must be more vigilant in preventing rape, eliminating discrimination against the victim and dealing with the offenders.

States should recognize that antiquated and overcrowded prisons are not conducive to rehabilitation. A high priority of prison reform should be to help the young first-time offender. There should be adequate separation of young from adult offenders, more relevant prison industries, better counseling community-based alternatives and more help in getting a job for the offender who has served his or her time.

Terrorism—both domestic and international-must be stopped. Not only must the strongest steps be taken in the United States, but collective action must come from all nations. Deterring every form of hijacking calls for sanctions against countries that aid terrorists. The world community should take appropriate action to deal with terrorist organizations. We applaud the daring rescue by Israel of innocent civilian hostages who were kidnapped by terrorists. While we regret that loss of life was involved, the courageous manner in which the hostages were freed speaks eloquently to our abhorrence of world bandits.

The Right to Privacy

Liberty depends in great measure on the privacy that each American retains.

We are alarmed by Washington's growing collection of information. The number of federal data banks is now estimated at between 800 and 900 and more than 50 agencies are involved. We question the need for all these computers to be storing the records of our lives. Safeguards must protect us against this information being misused or disclosed. Major changes, for example, are needed to maintain the confidentiality of tax returns and Society Security records.

Recent Supreme Court decisions have held that an individual has no constitutional right to the privacy of records held in banks or other depository institutions and that they can be readily obtained by law enforcement agencies without a person's consent or knowledge. Law enforcement authorities must be able to pursue criminal violators, yet, at the same time, there should be reasonable controls imposed to protect the privacy of law-abiding citizens. We support legislation, now pending, to assure this protection.

Too many government records, on the other hand, are unnecessarily classified. Congress and the Executive should devise a more reasonable system for classifying and handling government information.

The President's achievements in protecting privacy are unequalled by past administrations and must be built upon in the future. We particularly note changes in federal record-keeping systems, the appointment of the Commission on the CIA, the reorganization of the intelligence community and the restriction of White House access to income tax returns.

The American Family

Families must continue to be the foundation of our nation.

Families—not government programs—are the best way to make sure our children are properly nurtured, our elderly are cared for, our cultural and spiritual heritages are perpetuated, our laws are observed and our values are preserved.

If families fail in these vitally important tasks, there is little the government, no matter how well-intentioned, can do to remedy the results. Schools cannot educate children adequately if families are not supportive of the learning process. Law enforcement authorities are nearly helpless to curb juvenile delinquency without family cooperation in teaching young people respect for property and laws. Neither medicine nor school feeding programs can replace the family's ability to provide the basis for good health. Isolation from meaningful family contact makes it virtually impossible for the elderly to avoid loneliness or dependence. The values of hard work and responsibility start with the family.

As modern life brings changes in our society, it also puts stresses on families trying to adjust to new realities while maintaining cherished values. Economic uncertainty, unemployment, housing difficulties, women's and men's concerns with their changing and often conflicting roles, high divorce rates, threatened neighborhoods and schools, and public scandal all create a hostile atmosphere that erodes family structures and family values. Thus it is imperative that our government's programs, actions, officials and social welfare institutions never be allowed to jeopardize the family. We fear the government may be powerful enough to destroy our families; we know that it is not powerful enough to replace them.

Because of our concern for family values, we affirm our beliefs, stated elsewhere in this Platform, in many elements that will make our country a more hospitable environment for family life—neighborhood schools; educational systems that include and are responsive to parents' concerns; estate tax changes to establish more realistic exemptions which will minimize disruption of already bereaved families; a position on abortion that values human life; a welfare policy to encourage rather than discourage families to stay together and seek economic independence; a tax system that assists rather than penalizes families with elderly members, children in day care or children in college; economic and employment policies that stop the shrinkage of our dollars and stimulate the creation of jobs so that families can plan for their economic security.


Our children deserve quality education. We believe that segregated schools are morally wrong and unconstitutional. However, we oppose forced busing to achieve racial balances in our schools. We believe there are educational advantages for children in attending schools in their own neighborhoods and that the Democrat-controlled Congress has failed to enact legislation to protect this concept. The racial composition of many schools results from decisions by people about where they choose to live. If Congress continues to fail to act, we would favor consideration of an amendment to the Constitution forbidding the assignment of children to schools on the basis of race.

Our approach is to work to eradicate the root causes of segregated schools, such as housing discrimination and gerrymandered school districts. We must get on with the education of all our children.

Throughout our history, the education of our children has been a community responsibility. But now federal categorical grant programs pressure local school districts into substituting Washington-dictated priorities for their own. Local school administrators and school boards are being turned into bookkeepers for the federal government. Red tape and restrictive regulations stifle imagination and creativity. We are deeply concerned about the decline in the performance of our schools and the decline in public confidence in them.

We favor consideration of tax credits for parents making elementary and secondary school tuition payments.

Local communities wishing to conduct non-sectarian prayers in their public schools should be able to do so. We favor a constitutional amendment to achieve this end.

We propose consolidating federal categorical grant programs into block grants and turning the money over to the states to use in accordance with their own needs and priorities and with minimum bureaucratic controls. A single program must preserve the funding that is directed at the needs of such special groups as the handicapped and the disadvantaged.

Responsibility for education, particularly on the elementary and secondary levels, belongs to local communities and parents. Intrusion by the federal government must be avoided. Bureaucratic control of schools by Washington has the potential for destruction of our educational system by taking more and more decisions away from parents and local school authorities. Financial dependence on the federal government inevitably leads to greater centralization of authority. We believe, therefore, that a study should be authorized concerning funding of elementary and secondary education, coupled with a study regarding return to the states of equivalent revenue to compensate for any loss in present levels of federal funding.

Unless steps are taken immediately, soaring prices will restrict a college education to the rich and those poor enough to qualify now for government aid. Federal higher education policy should continue to focus on financial aid for needy individuals, but because the financial ability to go to college is fast slipping out of the grasp of middle income families, more realistic eligibility guidelines for student aid are essential.

Government interference in the management of colleges and universities must be stopped. Federal support to assist in meeting the grave financial problems of higher education should be forthcoming, but such funds should never be used as devices for imposing added controls.

Diversity in education has great value. Public schools and non-public schools should share in education funds on a constitutionally acceptable basis. Private colleges and universities should be assisted to maintain healthy competition and to enrich diversity. The cost of expanding public campuses can be kept down if existing private institutions are helped to accommodate our student population.

We favor continued special federal support for vocational education.


Every American should have access to quality health care at an affordable price.

The possibility of an extended illness in a family is a frightening prospect, but, if it does happen, a person should at least be protected from having it wipe out lifetime savings. Catastrophic expenses incurred from major illnesses and accidents affect only a small percentage of Americans each year, but for those people, the financial burden can be devastating. We support extension of catastrophic illness protection to all who cannot obtain it. We should utilize our private health insurance system to assure adequate protection for those who do not have it. Such an approach will eliminate the red tape and high bureaucratic costs inevitable in a comprehensive national program.

The Republican Party opposes compulsory national health insurance.

Americans should know that the Democrat Platform, which offers a government-operated and financed "comprehensive national health insurance system with universal and mandatory coverage," will increase federal government spending by more than $70 billion in its first full year. Such a plan could require a personal income tax increase of approximately 20 percent. We oppose this huge, new health insurance tax. Moreover, we do not believe that the federal government can administer effectively the Democrats' cradle-to-grave proposal.

The most effective, efficient and economical method to improve health care and extend its availability to all is to build on the present health delivery and insurance system, which covers nine out of every ten Americans.

A coordinated effort should be mounted immediately to contain the rapid increase in health care costs by all available means, such as development of healthier life styles through education, improved preventive care, better distribution of medical manpower, emphasis on out-of-hospital services and elimination of wasteful duplication of medical services.

We oppose excessive intrusions from Washington in the delivery of health care. We believe in preserving the privacy that should exist between a patient and a physician, particularly in regard to the confidentiality of medical records.

Federal health programs should be consolidated into a single grant to each state, where possible, thereby allowing much greater flexibility in setting local priorities. Our rural areas, for example, have different health care delivery needs than our cities. Federal laws and regulations should respect these differences and make it possible to respond differently to differing needs. Fraud in Medicare and Medical programs should be exposed and eliminated.

We need a comprehensive and equitable approach to the subject of mental health. Such a program should focus on the prevention, treatment and care of mental illness. It should cover all aspects of the interrelationships between emotional illness and other developmental disabilities that seek to remove us from the dark ages in these areas.

Alcoholism and drug abuse, growing problems in America today, should receive the utmost attention.

While we support valid medical and biological research efforts which can produce life-saving results, we oppose any research on live fetuses. We are also opposed to any legislation which sanctions ending the life of any patient.

Child Nutrition

Every child should have enough to eat. Good nutrition is a prerequisite of a healthy life. We must focus our resources on feeding needy children. The present school lunch programs provide a 20 percent subsidy to underwrite the meals of children from middle- and upper-income families.

The existing 15 child nutrition programs should be consolidated into one program, administered by the states, and concentrated on those children truly in need. Other federal programs should insure that low-income people will be able to purchase a nutritionally adequate food supply.

Equal Rights and Ending Discrimination

Roadblocks must be removed that may prevent Americans from realizing their full potential in society. Unfair discrimination is a burden that intolerably weighs morally, economically and politically upon a free nation.

While working to eradicate discriminatory practices, every citizen should be encouraged to take pride in and foster the cultural heritage that has been passed on from previous generations. Almost every American traces ancestry from another country; this cultural diversity gives strength to our national heritage.

There must be vigorous enforcement of laws to assure equal treatment in job recruitment, hiring, promotion, pay, credit, mortgage access and housing. The way to end discrimination, however, is not by resurrecting the much discredited quota system and attempting to cloak it in an aura of new respectability. Rather, we must provide alternative means of assisting the victims of past discrimination to realize their full worth as American citizens.

Wiping out past discrimination requires continued emphasis on providing educational opportunities for minority citizens, increasing direct and guaranteed loans to minority business enterprises, and affording qualified minority persons equal opportunities for government positions at all levels.


Women, who comprise a numerical majority of the population, have been denied a just portion of our nation's rights and opportunities. We reaffirm our pledge to work to eliminate discrimination in all areas for reasons of race, color, national origin, age, creed or sex and to enforce vigorously laws guaranteeing women equal rights.

The Republican Party reaffirms its support for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Our Party was the first national party to endorse the E.R.A. in 1940. We continue to believe its ratification is essential to insure equal rights for all Americans. In our 1972 Platform, the Republican Party recognized the great contributions women have made to society as homemakers and mothers, as contributors to the community through volunteer work, and as members of the labor force in careers. The Platform stated then, and repeats now, that the Republican Party "fully endorses the principle of equal rights, equal opportunities and equal responsibilities for women." The Equal Rights Amendment is the embodiment of this principle and therefore we support its swift ratification.

The question of abortion is one of the most difficult and controversial of our time. It is undoubtedly a moral and personal issue but it also involves complex questions relating to medical science and criminal justice. There are those in our Party who favor complete support for the Supreme Court decision which permits abortion on demand. There are others who share sincere convictions that the Supreme Court's decision must be changed by a constitutional amendment prohibiting all abortions. Others have yet to take a position, or they have assumed a stance somewhere in between polar positions.

We protest the Supreme Court's intrusion into the family structure through its denial of the parents' obligation and right to guide their minor children. The Republican Party favors a continuance of the public dialogue on abortion and supports the efforts of those who seek enactment of a constitutional amendment to restore protection of the right to life for unborn children.

The Social Security System, our federal tax laws, and unemployment and disability programs currently discriminate against women and often work against married couples as well. These inequities must be corrected. We recognize that special support must be given to the increasing number of women who have assumed responsibility as the heads of households while also being wage earners. Programs for job training, counseling and other services should be established to help them attain their dual role in society.

We reiterate the pledges elsewhere in this platform of support for child care assistance, part-time and flexible-time work that enables men and women to combine employment and family responsibilities, estate tax reform, small business assistance for women, rape prevention and elimination of discriminatory housing practices.

Ethnic Americans

Ethnic Americans have enriched this nation with their hard work, self-reliance and respect for the rights and needs of others. Ethnic groups reaching our shores at various times have given our country its unique identity and strength among the nations of the world. We recognize and value the contributions of Ethnic Americans to our free and democratic society.


When language is a cause of discrimination, there must be an intensive educational effort to enable Spanish-speaking students to become fully proficient in English while maintaining their own language and cultural heritage. Hispanic-Americans must not be treated as second-class citizens in schools, employment or any other aspect of life just because English is not their first language. Hispanic-Americans truly believe that individual integrity must be paramount; what they want most from government and politics is the opportunity to participate fully. The Republican Party has and always will offer this opportunity.

Indians and Alaska Natives

We have a unique commitment to Native Americans; we pledge to continue to honor our trust relationship with them, and we reaffirm our federal Indian policy of self-determination without termination. This means moving smoothly and quickly away from federal domination to effective participation and communication by Indians in the political process and in the planning, content and administration of federal programs. We shall pursue our joint effort with Indian leaders to assist in the orderly development of Indian and native-owned resources and to continue to attack the severe health, education and unemployment problems which exist among Indians and Alaska Natives.

Puerto Rico, The District of Columbia and The Territories

The principle of self-determination also governs our positions on Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia as it has in past platforms. We again support statehood for Puerto Rico, if that is the people's choice in a referendum, with full recognition within the concept of a multicultural society of the citizens' right to retain their Spanish language and traditions; and support giving the District of Columbia voting representation in the United States Senate and House of Representatives and full home rule over those matters that are purely local.

We will continue to negotiate with the Congress of Micronesia on the future political status of the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands to meet the mutual interests of both parties. We support a plebiscite by the people of American Samoa on whether they wish to elect a territorial governor. We favor whatever action is necessary to permit American citizens resident in Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to vote for President and Vice President in national elections. With regard to Guam and the Virgin Islands, we urge an increased degree of self-sufficiency and support maximum broadening of self-government.


Finally, the most basic principle of all: Achievement and preservation of human rights in our society is based on the willing acceptance by millions of Americans of their responsibilities as free citizens. Instead of viewing government programs with ever increasing expectations, we must readily assume the obligations of wage-earners, taxpayers and supporters of our government and laws. This is often forgotten, and so it is appropriate to remind ourselves in this Platform that this is why our society works.

Handicapped Citizens

Handicapped persons must be admitted into the mainstream of our society.

Too often the handicapped population of the nation—over 30 million men, women and children—has been denied the rights taken for granted by other citizens. Time after time, the paths are closed to the handicapped in education, employment, transportation, health care, housing, recreation, insurance, polling booths and due process of law. National involvement is necessary to correct discrimination in these areas. Individual incentive alone cannot do it.

We pledge continued attention to the problems caused by barriers in architecture, communication, transportation and attitudes. In addition, we realize that to deny education and employment simply because of an existing disability runs counter to our accepted belief in the free enterprise system and forces the handicapped to be overly dependent on others. Similarly, the denial of equal access to credit and to acquisition of venture capital on the basis of a handicap or other disability conflicts with Republican philosophy. We advocate the elimination of needless barriers for all handicapped persons.

Working Americans

Free collective bargaining remains the best way to insure that American workers receive a fair price for their labors.

The special problems of collective bargaining in state and local government should be addressed at those levels. Washington should not impose its standards on local governments. While we oppose strikes by public employees, we recognize that states have the right to permit them if they choose.

Union membership as a condition of employment has been regulated by state law under Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act. This basic right should continue to be determined by the states. We oppose strikes by federal employees, the unionization of our military forces and the legalization of common-situs picketing.

Employees of the federal government should not engage in partisan politics. The Civil Service System must remain non-partisan and non-political. The Hatch Act now protects federal employees; we insist that it be uniformly administered.

Among the rights that are the entitlement of every American worker is the right to join a union—large, small or independent; the right to be protected against racial discrimination and misuse of dues; the right to union elections that are fair and democratic; and the right to be assured of ultimately receiving his or her promised pension benefits.

Safe and healthful working conditions are goals of utmost importance. We should expect the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to help employers, particularly in small businesses, comply with the law, and we will support legislation providing on-site consultation.

There should be considerable concern over the presence of several million illegal aliens in the country who fill jobs that otherwise would be available to American workers. We support increased efforts to deal more effectively with this problem and favor legislation prohibiting employers from knowingly hiring illegal aliens. The Democrat leaders in Congress have systematically killed every attempt to debate this legislation in recent years.

Increased part-time and flexible-hour work should be encouraged wherever feasible. In keeping with our belief in family life, we want to expand more opportunities for men and women to combine family responsibilities and employment.

Welfare Reform

The work of all Americans contributes to the strength of our nation, and all who are able to contribute should be encouraged to do so.

In every society there will be some who cannot work, often through no fault of their own. The measure of a country's compassion is how it treats the least fortunate.

We appreciate the magnificent variety of private charitable institutions which have developed in the United States.

The Democrat-controlled Congress has produced a jumble of degrading, dehumanizing, wasteful, overlapping and inefficient programs failing to assist the needy poor. A systematic and complete overhaul of the welfare system should be initiated immediately.

The following goals should govern the reform of the welfare system: (1) Provide adequate living standards for the truly needy; (2) End welfare fraud and prevent it in the future with emphasis on removing ineligible recipients from the welfare rolls, tightening food stamp eligibility requirements, and ending aid to illegal aliens and the voluntarily unemployed; (3) Strengthen work requirements, particularly directed at the productive involvement of able-bodied persons in useful community work projects; (4) Provide educational and vocational incentives to allow recipients to become self-supporting; (5) Better coordinate federal efforts with local and state social welfare agencies and strengthen local and state administrative functions. We oppose federalizing the welfare system; local levels of government are most aware of the needs of their communities. Consideration should be given to a range of options in financing the programs to assure that state and local responsibilities are met. We also oppose the guaranteed annual income concept or any programs that reduce the incentive to work.

Those features of the present law, particularly the food stamp program, that draw into assistance programs people who are capable of paying for their own needs should be corrected. The humanitarian purpose of such programs must not be corrupted by eligibility loopholes. Food stamp program reforms proposed by Republicans in Congress would accomplish the twin goals of directing resources to those most in need and streamlining administration.

We must never forget that unemployment compensation is insurance, not a welfare program. It should be redesigned to assure that working is always more beneficial than collecting unemployment benefits. The benefits should help most the hard-core unemployed. Major efforts must be encouraged through the private sector to speed up the process of finding jobs for those temporarily out of work.

Older Americans

Older Americans constitute one of our most valuable resources.

Families should be supported in trying to take care of their elderly. Too often government laws and policies contribute to the deterioration of family life. Our tax laws, for example, permit a deduction to the taxpayer who gives a contribution to a charitable institution that might care for an elderly parent, but offer little or no incentive to provide care in the home. If an elderly parent relinquishes certain assets and enters a nursing home, the parent may qualify for full Medicaid coverage, but if parents live with their children, any Supplemental Security income benefit for which they are eligible may be reduced. Incentives must be written into law to encourage families to care for their older members.

Along with loneliness and ill health, older Americans are deeply threatened by inflation. The costs of the basic necessities of life—food, shelter, clothing, health care— have risen so drastically as to reduce the ability of many older persons to subsist with any measure of dignity. In addition to our program for protecting against excessive costs of long-term illness, nothing will be as beneficial to the elderly as the effect of this Platform's proposals on curbing inflation.

The Social Security benefits are of inestimable importance to the well-being and financial peace-of-mind of most older Americans. We will not let the Social Security system fail. We will work to make the Social Security system actuarily sound. The Social Security program must not be turned into a welfare system, based on need rather than contributions. The cost to employers for Social Security contributions must not be raised to the point where they will be unable to afford contributions to employees' private pension programs. We will work for an increase in the earned income ceiling or its elimination so that, as people live longer, there will not be the present penalty on work. We will also seek to correct these provisions of the system that now discriminate against women and married couples.

Such programs as Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions, which provide income exempt from Social Security limitations, should be continued and extended to encourage senior citizens to continue to be active and involved in society. Appropriate domiciliary care programs should be developed to enable senior citizens to receive such care without losing other benefits to which they may be entitled.

We favor the abolition of arbitrary age levels for mandatory retirement.

The Medicare program must be improved to help control inflation in health care costs triggered by present regulations.

Other areas of concern to the elderly that need increased attention are home and out-patient care, adequate transportation, nutrition, day care and homemaker care as an alternative to costly institutional treatment.

A nation should be judged by its ability to help make all the years of life as productive and gainful as possible. This nation still has a job to do.


The nation must never forget its appreciation and obligation to those who have served in the armed forces.

Because they bear the heaviest burdens of war, we owe special honor and compensation to disabled veterans and survivors of the war dead.

We are firmly committed to maintaining and improving our Veterans Administration hospital system.

Younger veterans, especially those who served in the Vietnam conflict, deserve education, job and housing loan benefits equivalent to those of World War II and the Korean conflict. Because of our deep and continuing concern for those still listed as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action in Vietnam, the Foreign Policy section of this Republican Platform calls for top priority actions.

And we must continue to provide for our veterans at their death a final resting place for their remains in a national cemetery and the costs of transportation thereto.

A National Urban Strategy

The decay and decline of communities in this country is not just a physical and economic crisis, but is traceable to the decline of a real "sense of community" in our society. Community development cannot be achieved merely by throwing dollars and mortar at our community problems; what must be developed is a new sense of mutual concern and responsibility among all members of a community for its improvement.

We recognize the family, the neighborhood and the private volunteer sector to be the most basic and vital units within our communities and we recognize their central role in revitalizing our communities. We propose a strategy for urban revitalization that both treats our urban areas as social organisms and recognizes that the family is the basic building block in these organisms.

Effectively helping our cities now requires a coordinated National Urban Policy. The cornerstone of this policy must be to curb inflation. This policy must be based on the principle that the levels of government closest to the cities' problems are best able to respond. Thus federal and state assistance to cities and counties should give the greatest flexibility to those directly on the scene, the local elected officials. Such a policy should replace the welter of confusing and often conflicting federal categorical grant programs—the approach of the Democrat Congress—with block grant programs that allow cities and counties to set their own priorities.

Without an urban policy, the Democrat-controlled Congress has created a hodge-podge of programs which have all but destroyed our once vital cities. At the same time, urban crime rates have skyrocketed and the quality and promise of metropolitan education systems have plummeted. All this has happened during the years that the number of federal urban programs has increased almost tenfold: from 45 in 1946 to 435 in 1968; and expenditures have increased 3000 percent; from $1 billion to $30 billion.

The Republican programs of revenue sharing and block grants for community development and manpower have already helped our cities and counties immensely. We favor extension of revenue sharing and the orderly conversion of categorical grants into block grants. When federal assistance programs for general purpose local governments are administered through the states, there should be direct pass-through and effective role for cities and counties in the planning, allocation and use of the funds.

Federal, state and local government resources combined are not enough to solve our urban problems. The private sector must be the major participant. Economic development is the best way to involve business and industry government support should emphasize capital formation and technical assistance for small and minority businesses.

We can bring about a new birth of freedom by following the example of those individuals, organizations and community leaders who have successfully solved specific undesirable conditions and problems through private efforts. Government officials should be aware of these successes in developing new approaches to public problems.

Financial institutions should be encouraged to participate in the financial requirements of urban development. Each institution should recognize its responsibility in promoting and maintaining economic growth and stability in the central cities.

Our urban policies should encourage families and businesses to improve their neighborhoods by means of participation in neighborhood self-help groups, improving and rehabilitating their homes and businesses, and investing in and managing local businesses. We support the revision of federal business assistance programs to encourage joint efforts by local merchants' associations.

We need a comprehensive approach to plan, develop and implement a variety of programs which take into account the many diverse needs of each neighborhood. The establishment of a National Neighborhood Policy will signal a commitment to the improvement of the quality of our life in our neighborhoods.

We call for an expansion of the President's Committee on Urban Development and Neighborhood Revitalization to include representatives of elected state and local officials and the private sector.

Taken together, the thrust of the proposals in this section and in such related areas as housing, transportation, safety and taxes should contribute significantly to making our cities again pleasant places to live. The Republican National Urban Strategy has been formed in the realization that when the bell tolls for the cities it tolls for all of America.


In the United States today we are the best housed nation in the history of world civilization. This accomplishment was achieved by a private enterprise system using free market concepts.

All of our citizens should be given the opportunity to live in decent, affordable housing.

We believe that we should continue to pursue the primary goal of expanding housing opportunities for all Americans and we should pursue the companion goal of reducing the degree of direct federal involvement in housing.

To most Americans the American dream is a home of their own. The time has come to face some hard realities, primarily that the greatest impediment to decent and affordable housing is inflation. It logically follows that one effective housing program would be simply to elect a Republican Congress which would balance the federal budget.

To meet the housing needs of this country there must be a continuous, stable and adequate flow of funds for the purpose of real estate mortgages at realistic interest rates.

To continue to encourage home ownership, which now encompasses 64 percent of our families, we support the deductibility of interest on home mortgages and property taxes.

We favor the concept of federal revenue sharing and block grants to reduce the excessive burden of the property tax in financing local government.

We are concerned with the excessive reliance of financing welfare and public school costs primarily by the property tax.

We support inflation-impact studies on governmental regulations, which are inflating housing costs.

Current economic problems and environmental concerns must be balanced in each community by a policy of "Sensible Growth."

We oppose discrimination in housing, whether by individuals or by institutional financing polices.

We urge continued incentives to support the development of low and moderate income housing in order to assure the availability of adequate shelter for the less fortunate.

Rehabilitation and preservation of existing housing stock should be given high priority in federal housing policy.

We urge the continuation of the self-help restoration of housing, such as urban home-steading, which is providing housing for low-income families.


The federal government has a special responsibility to foster those elements of our national transportation system that are essential to foreign and interstate commerce and national defense. In other transportation systems that primarily support local needs, the federal government's responsibility is to encourage the greatest possible decision-making and flexibility on the part of state and local governments to spend funds in ways that make the best sense for each community. Thus all levels of government have an important role in providing a balanced and coordinated transportation network.

In keeping with national transportation goals, the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 has begun the task of removing regulatory constraints of the Interstate Commerce Commission on America's ailing railroads. Now we should carefully assess the need to remove many of the regulatory constraints imposed on the nation's airlines and motor carriers. Consumers pay too high a price for the artificial fare and rate structures imposed by federal regulations.

The great Interstate Highway System, initiated by President Eisenhower, has brought new freedom of travel to every American and must be completed and maintained. Our road network should always stress safety through better design as well as bridge maintenance and replacement.

We must also have a safe and efficient aviation system capable of responding to the air transportation needs of the future and of reducing exposure to aircraft noise. This includes airport development, navigational and safety facilities, and the design and adequate staffing of advanced air traffic control systems. In airplane use as in other modes of transportation, the impact on the physical environment must always be a basic consideration in federal decisions and such decisions should also include appraisals of impact on the economy. We deplore unfair treatment of United States airlines under foreign landing regulations.

Research must be continued to find safe, more fuel-efficient automobile engines and airplanes; safer, faster rail service; and more convenient, less expensive urban transportation. Tax policies should be considered which would stimulate the development and installation of new energy sources in transportation, such as railroad electrification.

The disorganization of a Democratic-controlled Congress frustrates the coordination of transportation policy. Currently there are more than 50 congressional subcommittees with independent jurisdiction in the transportation field. This hopelessly disjointed and disorganized approach must be reformed.

In keeping with the local goal setting in transportation, the Republican Party applauds the system under which state and local governments can divert funds from interstate highway mileage not essential to interstate commerce or national defense to other, more pressing community needs, such as urban mass transit.

We support the concept of a surface transportation block grant which would include the various highway and mass transit programs now in existence. This will provide local elected officials maximum flexibility in selecting and implementing the balanced transportation systems best suited to each locality. It will encompass both capital and operating subsidies for urban mass transit. It will eliminate red tape and over-regulation. We regret that the Democrat-controlled Congress has not adopted such reform.


In 1973, Americans were shocked to discover that a plentiful supply of energy could no longer be assumed. Unfortunately, the Democrat majority in Congress still has not responded to this clear and urgent warning. The United States is now consuming more imported oil than it was three years ago and our dependence on foreign sources has continued to increase to the point where we now import more than 40% of our oil.

One fact should now be clear: we must reduce sharply our dependence on other nations for energy and strive to achieve energy independence at the earliest possible date. We cannot allow the economic destiny and international policy of the United States to be dictated by the sovereign powers that control major portions of the world's petroleum supplies.

Our approach toward energy self-sufficiency must involve both expansion of energy supply and improvement of energy efficiency. It must include elements that insure increased conservation at all levels of our society. It must also provide incentive for the exploration and development of domestic gas, oil, coal and uranium, and for expanded research and development in the use of solar, geothermal, co-generation, solid waste, wind, water, and other sources of energy.

We must use our non-renewable resources wisely while we develop alternative supplies for the future. Our standard of living is directly tied to a continued supply of energy resources. Without an adequate supply of energy, our entire economy will crumble.

Unwise government intervention in the marketplace has caused shortage of supply, unrealistic prices and increased dependence on foreign sources. We must immediately eliminate price controls on oil and newly-discovered natural gas in order to increase supply, and to provide the capital that is needed to finance further exploration and development of domestic hydrocarbon reserves.

Fair and realistic market prices will encourage sensible conservation efforts and establish priorities in the use of our resources, which over the long run will provide a secure supply at reasonable prices for all.

The nation's clear and present need is for vast amounts of new capital to finance exploration, discovery, refining, and delivery of currently usable forms of energy, including the use of coal as well as discovery and development of new sources. At this critical time, the Democrats have characteristically resorted to political demagoguery seeking short-term political gain at the expense of the long-term national interest. They object to the petroleum industry making any profit. The petroleum industry is an important segment of our economy and is entitled to reasonable profits to permit further exploration and development.

At the height of the energy crisis, the Republican Administration proposed a strong, balanced energy package directed at both expansion of supply and conservation of energy. The response from the Democrats in Congress was to inhibit expanded production through artificially set price and allocation controls, thereby preventing market forces from working to make energy expansion economically feasible.

Now, the Democrats proposed to dismember the American oil industry. We vigorously oppose such divestiture of oil companies— a move which would surely result in higher energy costs, inefficiency and undercapitalization of the industry.

Democrats have also proposed that the federal government compete with industry in energy development by creating a national oil company. We totally oppose this expensive, inefficient and wasteful intrusion into an area which is best handled by private enterprise.

The Democrats are playing politics with energy. If they are permitted to continue, we will pay a heavy price in lost energy and lost jobs during the decades ahead.

Immediate removal of counter-productive bureaucratic red tape will eliminate hindrances to the exploration and development of hydrocarbons and other energy resources. We will accelerate development of oil shale reserves, Alaskan petroleum and the leasing of the Outer Continental Shelf, always within the context of preserving the fullest possible protection for the environment. We will reduce complexity and delays involved in siting, licensing and the regulatory procedures affecting power generation facilities and refineries.

Coal, America's most abundant energy resource, is of inestimable value to the American people. It can provide the energy needed to bridge the gap between oil and gas and nuclear and other sources of energy. The uncertainties of governmental regulation regarding the mining, transportation and use of coal must be removed and a policy established which will assure that governmental restraints, other than proper environmental controls, do not prevent the use of coal. Mined lands must be returned to beneficial use.

Uranium offers the best intermediate solution to America's energy crisis. We support accelerated use of nuclear energy through processes that have been proven safe. Government research on the use of nuclear energy will be expanded to include perfecting a long-term solution to the problems of nuclear waste.

Among alternative future energy sources, fusion, with its unique potential for supplying unlimited clean energy and the promise of new methods of natural resource recovery, warrants continued emphasis in our national energy research program, and we support measures to assure adequate capital investment in the development of new energy sources.

Environment and Natural Resources

A clean and healthy natural environment is the rightful heritage of every American. In order to preserve this heritage, we will provide for proper development of resources, safeguards for clean air and water, and protection and enhancement of our recreation and scenic areas.

As our environmental sophistication grows, we must more clearly define the role of the federal government in environmental protection.

We believe that it is a national responsibility to support scientific and technological research and development to identify environmental problems and arrive at solutions.

We are in complete accord with the recent Supreme Court decision on air pollution that allows the level of government closest to the problem and the solution to establish and apply appropriate air quality standards.

We are proud of the progress that the current Republican Administration has made toward bringing pollution of water, land and air under control. We will meet the challenges that remain by stepping up efforts to perfect our understanding of pollutants and the means for reducing their effects. Moreover, as the nation develops new energy sources and technologies, we must insure that they meet safe environmental standards.

We renew our commitments to the development of additional water supplies by desalinization, and to the more efficient use and re-use of waters currently available.

We are determined to preserve land use planning as a unique responsibility of state and local government.

We take particular pride in the expanded use of the National Park system in recent years, and will provide for continued improvement of the national parks and historic sites.

We support establishment of a presidential panel, including representatives of environmental groups, industry, the scientific community and the public to assist in the development of national priorities on environmental and energy issues. This panel will hear and consider alternative policy recommendations set forth by all of the interested groups, and then develop solutions that represent the overall public interest on environmental and energy matters.

One of this nation's greatest assets has been our abundant natural resources which have made possible our strong economic and strategic role in the world. We still have a wealth of resources, but they are not of infinite quantity. We must recognize that our material blessings stem from what we grow in the soil, take from the sea, or extract from the ground. We have a responsibility to future generations to conserve our non-renew-able natural resources. Consistent with our needs, conservation should remain our national policy.

The vast land holdings of the federal government—approximately one—third of our nation's area—are the lands from which much of our future production of minerals must come. Public lands must be maintained for multiple use management where such uses are compatible. Public land areas should not be closed to exploration for minerals or for mining without an overriding national interest.

We believe Americans want their resources developed properly, their environment kept clean and their recreational and scenic areas kept intact. We support appropriate measures to achieve these goals.

We also believe that Americans are realistic and recognize that the emphasis on environmental concerns must be brought into balance with the needs for industrial and economic growth so that we can continue to provide jobs for an ever-growing work force.

The United States possesses the most productive softwood forests in the world, as well as extensive hardwood forests. Demands for housing, fuel, paper, chemicals and a multitude of other such needs require that these renewable resources be managed wisely on both public and private forest lands—not only to meet these needs, but also to provide for soil conservation, wildlife habitats and recreation.

Recognizing that timber is a uniquely renewable resource, we will use all scientifically sound means to maximize sustained yield, including clear-cutting and replanting where appropriate. We urge the Congress to strengthen the National Forest Service so that it can realize its potential in becoming an effective participant in the reforestation program.

We will support broader use of resource recovery and recycling processes through removal of economic disincentives caused by unnecessary government regulation.

One of the important issues at stake in the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference is access to the mineral resources in and beneath the sea. Technology, developed by United States industry, is at hand which can unlock resources of petroleum, manganese, nickel, cobalt, copper and other minerals. We will safeguard the national interest in development and use of these resources.

Science and Technology

Every aspect of our domestic economy and well-being, our international competitive position, and national security is related to our past and present leadership in basic and applied research and the development of our technology. But there can be no complacency about our continued commitment to maintain this leadership position.

In the past, most of these accomplishments have been achieved through a unique partnership between government and industry. This must continue and be expanded in the future.

Because our society is so dependent upon the advancement of science and the development of technology, it is one of the areas where there must be a central federal policy. We support a national science policy that will foster the public-private partnership to insure that we maintain our leadership role.

The national space program plays a pioneer role in exploring the mysteries of our universe and we support its expansion.

We recognize that only when our technology is fully distributed can it be assimilated and used to increase our productivity and our standard of living. We will continue to encourage young Americans to study science and engineering.

Finally, we support new initiatives to utilize better the recoverable commodities from solid waste materials. We can no longer afford the luxury of a throw-away world. Recycling offers environmental benefits, economic expansion, resource conservation and energy savings. We support a policy which will reward recycling and economic incentives which will encourage its expansion.

Arts and Humanities

The arts and humanities offer an opportunity for every American to become a participant in activities that add fullness, expression, challenge and joy to our daily lives. We Republicans consider the preservation of the rich cultural heritages of our various ethnic groups as a priority goal.

During our bicentennial year we have celebrated our anniversary with cultural activities as varied and colorful as our cultural heritage. The Republican Party is proud of its record of support to the arts and humanities during the last eight years. We are committed to steadily increase our support through the National Endowments for the nation's museums, theaters, orchestras, dance, opera and film centers as well as for individual artists and writers.

This upward trend in funding for the National Arts and Humanities Endowments deserves to continue. But Washington's presence should never dominate; It must remain limited to supporting and stimulating the artistic and cultural lives of each community.

We favor continued federal assistance to public broadcasting which provides us with creative educational and cultural alternatives. We recognize that public broadcasting is supported mainly through private sector contributions and commend this policy as the best insurance against political interference.

In 1976, we have seen vivid evidence that America's history lives throughout the nation. We support the continued commemoration throughout the bicentennial era by all Americans of those significant events between 1776 and 1789 which contributed to the creation of this nation. We support the efforts of both the public and private sectors, working in partnership, for the historic preservation of unique and irreplaceable historic sites and buildings.

We propose safeguarding the rights of performing artists in the copyright laws, providing tax roller to artists who contribute their own talents and art works for public enjoyment, and encouraging the use of one percent of the cost of government buildings for art works.

Much of the support of the arts and humanities comes from private philanthropy. This generosity should be encouraged by government policies that facilitate charitable donations.

Fiscal Responsibility

As Republicans, we are proud that in this Platform we have urged tax reductions rather than increased government spending. With firm restraint on federal spending this Platform pledges that its proposals for tax changes—reductions, structural adjustments, differentials, simplifications and job-producing incentives—can all be achieved within the balanced federal budgets we also demand as vital to the interests of all Americans. Without such spending restraint, we cannot responsibly cut back taxes. We reaffirm our determination that any net reduction of revenues must be offset by reduced government spending.

Foreign Policy, National Defense and International Economic Policy


The foreign policy of the United States defines the relationships we seek with the world as a whole, with friends and with adversaries. Our policy must be firmly rooted in principle and must clearly express our goals. Our principles cannot be subject to passing whim; they must be true, strong, consistent and enduring.

We pledge a realistic and principled foreign policy designed to meet the needs of the nation in the years ahead. The policies we pursue will require an informed consensus; the basis of that consensus will be the American people, whose most cherished desire is to live in freedom and peace, secure from war or threat of war.

The United States is a world power with worldwide interests and responsibilities. We pledge the continuation of efforts to revitalize our traditional alliances and to maintain close consultation with our friends. International cooperation and collaboration is required because we can achieve neither our most important objectives nor even our own security in the type of "splendid isolation" which is urged upon us by so many strident voices. The regrettable emergence of neo-isolationism often expressed in Congress and elsewhere is detrimental, we believe, to a sound foreign policy.

The branches of government can and should work together as the necessary prerequisite for a sound foreign policy. We lament the reckless intrusion of one branch into the clear constitutional prerogative of another. Confronted by so many challenges and so many crises, the United States must again speak with one voice, united in spirit and in fact. We reject partisan and ideological quarrels across party lines and urge Democrats to join with us to lay the foundations of a true bipartisan spirit. Let us speak for this country with one voice, so that our policies will not be misunderstood by our allies or our potential adversaries.

Effective policy must rest on premises which are understood and shared, and must be defined in terms of priorities. As the world has changed in a dynamic fashion, so too have our priorities and goals, and so too have the methods and debating and discussing our objectives. When we assumed Executive office eight years ago, we found the national security and foreign policy machinery in shambles. Last-minute reactions to crises were the practice. The National Security Council, so effective under President Eisenhower, had fallen into disuse. As an important first step, the National Security Council machinery was streamlined to cope with the problems of the moment and long-range planning. This restored process allows once again the exhaustive consideration of all the options from which a President must choose. Far from stifling internal debate and dissent as had been the practice in the past, Republican leadership now invites and stimulates evaluation of complex issues in an orderly decision-making process.

Republican leadership has also taken steps to report comprehensively its foreign policy and national security objectives. An annual "State of the world" message, designed to increase communication with the people and with Congress, has become a permanent part of Presidential practice.

A strong and effective program of global public diplomacy is a vital component of United States foreign policy. In an era of instant communications, the world is infinitely and forever smaller, and we must have the capacity to communicate to the world—to inform, to explain and to guard against accidental or willful distortion of United States policies.

Interdependence has become a fact of international life, linking our actions and policies with those of the world at large. The United States should reach out to other nations to enrich that interdependence. Republican leadership has demonstrated that recognition of the ties that bind us to our friends will serve our mutual interests in a creative fashion and will enhance the chances for world peace.

Morality in foreign policy

The goal of Republican foreign policy is the achievement of liberty under law and a just and lasting peace in the world. The principles by which we act to achieve peace and to protect the interests of the United States must merit the restored confidence of our people.

We recognize and commend that great beacon of human courage and morality, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, for his compelling message that we must face the world with no illusions about the nature of tyranny. Ours will be a foreign policy that keeps this ever in mind.

Ours will be a foreign policy which recognizes that in international negotiations we must make no undue concessions; that in pursuing detente we must not grant unilateral favors with only the hope of getting future favors in return.

Agreements that are negotiated, such as the one signed tn Helsinki, must not take from those who do not have freedom the hope of one day gaining it.

Finally, we are firmly committed to a foreign policy in which secret agreements, hidden from our people, will have no part.

Honestly, openly, and with firm conviction, we shall go forward as a united people to forge a lasting peace in the world based upon our deep belief in the rights of man, the rule of law and guidance by the hand of God.

National defense

A superior national defense is the fundamental condition for a secure America and for peace and freedom for the world. Military strength is the path to peace. A sound foreign policy must be rooted in a superior defense capability, and both must be perceived as a deterrent to aggression and supportive of our national interests.

The American people expect that their leaders will assure a national defense posture second to none. They know that planning for our national security must be a joint effort by the President and Congress. It cannot be the subject of partisan disputes. It should not be held hostage to domestic political adventurism.

A minimum guarantee to preserve freedom and insure against blackmail and threats, and in the face of growing Soviet military power, requires a period of sustained growth in our defense effort. In constant dollars, the present defense budget will no more than match the defense budget of 1964, the year before a Democrat Administration involved America so deeply in the Vietnam war. In 1975 Soviet defense programs exceeded ours in investment by 85 percent, and exceeded ours in operating costs by 25 percent, and exceeded ours in research and development by 66 percent. The issue is whether our forces will be adequate to future challenges. We say they must be.

We must always achieve maximum value for each defense dollar spent. Along with the elimination of the draft and the creation, under a Republican President, of all-volunteer armed services, we have reduced the personnel requirements for support functions without affecting our basic posture. Today there are fewer Americans in the uniformed services than at any time since the fall of 1950. Substantial economies have been made in weapons procurement and we will continue to act in a prudent manner with our defense appropriations.

Our national defense effort will include the continuation of the major modernization program for our strategic missile and bomber forces, the development of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, a new missile launching submarine force and a modern bomber—the B-1—capable of penetrating the most sophisticated air defenses of the 1980's. These elements will comprise a deterrent of the first order.

We will increase our army to 16 divisions, reinforce our program of producing new tanks and other armored vehicles, and support the development of new, highly accurate precision weapons.

Our Navy, the guarantor of freedom of the seas, must have a major shipbuilding program, with an adequate balance between nuclear and non-nuclear ships. The composition of the fleet must be based on a realistic assessment of the threat we face, and must assure that no adversary will gain naval superiority.

An important modernization program for our tactical air forces is under way. We will require new fighters and interceptor aircraft for the Air Force, Navy and Marines. As a necessary component of our long-range strategy, we will produce and deploy the B-1 bomber in a timely manner, allowing us to retain air superiority.

Consistent with our total force policy, we will maintain strong reserve components.

Our investments in military research and development are of great importance to our future defense capabilities. We must not lose the vital momentum.

With increasing complexity of weapons, lead times for weapons systems are often as long as a decade, requiring careful planning and prudent financial decisions. An outstanding example of this process is the development and deployment of the cruise missile, which incorporates pinpoint precision by means of sophisticated guidance systems and is an exceptionally economical weapon to produce.

Security assistance programs are important to our allies and we will continue to strengthen their efforts at self-defense. The improvement of their capabilities can help to ensure that the world balance is not tipped against us and can also serve to lessen chances for direct U.S. involvement in remote conflicts.

As a vital component of our over-all national security posture, the United States must have the best intelligence system in the world. The effectiveness of the intelligence community must be restored, consonant with the reforms instituted by President Ford. We favor the creation of an independent oversight function by Congress and we will withstand partisan efforts to turn any part of our intelligence system into a political football. We will take every precaution to prevent the breakdown of security controls on sensitive intelligence information, endangering the lives of United States officials abroad, or affecting the ability of the President to act expeditiously whenever legitimate foreign policy and defense needs require it.

NATO and Europe

Fundamental to a stable, secure world is the continuation of our traditional alliances. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) now approaching the end of its third decade, remains healthy and vigorous.

The threat to our mutual security by a totalitarian power bent on expansion brought 15 nations together. The expression of our collective will to resist resulted in the creation and maintenance of a military deterrent which, while not without occasional strains, has served our vital interests well. Today that threat continues.

We have succeeded in extending our cooperation within NATO and have taken bold new steps in economic cooperation with our partners. Faced with a serious crisis in the energy field following the imposition of the oil boycott, we demonstrated that it was possible to coordinate our joint activities with the other NATO nations.

The economic strength of western Europe has increased to the point where our NATO partners can now assume a larger share of the common defense; in response to our urging, our allies are demonstrating a greater willingness to do so. This is not the time to recommend a unilateral reduction of American military forces in Europe. We will, however, pursue the balanced reduction of forces in both Western and Eastern Europe, based on agreements which do not jeopardize the security of the Alliance. With our Alliance partners, we affirm that a strong NATO defense, based on a United States military presence, is vital to the defense of western Europe.

Some of our NATO allies have experienced rapid and dynamic changes. We are encouraged by developments in the Iberian peninsula, where both Portugal and Spain now face more promising futures. Early consideration should be given to Spain's accession to NATO.

At the same time we would view with concern any political developments elsewhere in Europe which are destabilizing to NATO interests. We support the right of all nations to choose their leaders. Democracy and freedom are best served by ensuring that those fundamental rights are preserved and extended for future generations to choose in freedom.

The difficult problem of Cyprus, which separates our friends in Greece and Turkey, should be addressed and resolved by those two countries. The eastern flank of NATO requires restored cooperation there and, eventually, friendly relations between the two countries.

Republican leadership has strengthened this nation's good relations with the European Economic Community (EEC) in an age of increasing competition and potential irritations. We will maintain and strengthen the excellent relations we have achieved with the EEC.

In the final analysis, the NATO Alliance will be as effective as our will and determination, as well as that of our allies, to support it. The function of collective security is to deter wars and, if necessary, to fight and win those wars not successfully deterred. Our vigilance is especially required during periods of prolonged relaxation of tensions with our adversaries because we cannot permit ourselves to accept words and promises as a substitute for deeds. We are determined that the NATO Alliance shall not be lulled into a false sense of security. It can and must respond vigorously when called upon to act.

Asia and the Pacific

The United States has vital interests in the entire Pacific Basin and those interests lie foremost in Asian tranquility and stability.

The experience of ending direct American involvement in a difficult and costly war initiated during Democrat Administrations has taught us a great deal about how we ought to define our interests in this part of the world. The United States is indisputably a Pacific power. We have sought to express our interests in the area through strengthening existing friendly ties and creating new ones.

Japan will remain the main pillar of our Asian policy. We have helped to provide the framework, over the course of thirty years, for the development of the Japanese economy, which has risen to second place among free world nations. This nation, without natural resources, has maximized its greatest resource, the Japanese people, to achieve one of the world's most significant economic advances. We will continue our policy of close consultation and cooperation with this valued friend. We have succeeded in establishing an exceptional relationship with Japan. Our long-range goals of stability and economic cooperation are identical, forming the essential strength of a relationship which both countries seek actively to deepen.

With respect to the Republic of Korea, a nation with which we have had traditionally close ties and whose economy has grown rapidly in recent years, we shall continue our policy of military and economic assistance. United States troops will be maintained in Korea so long as there exists the possibility of renewed aggression from North Korea. Time has not dimmed our memories of the sudden assault against South Korea. We reaffirm the commitment of the United States to the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the Republic of Korea. Simultaneously we encourage the Governments of South Korea and North Korea to institute domestic policy initiatives leading to the extension of basic human rights.

When Republicans assumed executive office in 1969, we were confronted with a war in Vietnam involving more than 500,000 United States troops, and to which we had committed billions of dollars and our national honor and prestige. It was in the spirit of bipartisan support for Presidential foreign policy initiatives, inaugurated in the postwar era by Senator Arthur Vandenberg, that most Republicans supported the United States commitment to assist South Vietnam resist Communist-sponsored aggression. The human cost to us was great; more than 55,000 Americans died in that conflict, and more than 300,000 were wounded.

A policy of patient, persistent and principled negotiations extricated the United States from that ill-fated war with the expectation that peace would prevail. The refusal of the Democrat-controlled Congress to give support to Presidential requests for military aid to the beleaguered nations of South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, coupled with sustained military assaults by the Communists in gross violation of the Paris Peace Accords, brought about the collapse of those nations and the subjugation of their people to totalitarian rule.

We recognize that there is a wide divergence of opinion concerning Vietnam, but we pledge that American troops will never again be committed for the purpose of our own defense, or the defense of those to whom we are committed by treaty or other solemn agreements, without the clear purpose of achieving our stated diplomatic and military objectives.

We must achieve the return of all Americans who may be held in Southeast Asia, and a full accounting for those listed as Missing in Action. We strongly urge continued consultation between the President and the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia. This country owes at least this much to all of these courageous people who have anguished so long over this matter. To this end, and to underscore our top priority commitment to the families of these POWs and MIAs, we recommend, among other actions, the establishment of a presidential task force headed by a special presidential representative.

We condemn the inhumane and criminal retributions which have taken place in Cambodia, where mass executions and forced re-settlements have been imposed on innocent civilians.

The important economic developments taking place in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and other Asian countries, will lead to much improved living standards for the people there. We reaffirm our friendship with these nations. Equally, our relationships with Australia and New Zealand are historic and important to us; they have never been better and provide a firm base on which to build.

United States-Chinese relations

A development of significance for the future of Asia and for the world came to fruition in 1972 as our communications were restored with the People's Republic of China. This event has allowed us to initiate dialogue with the leaders of a quarter of the earth's population, and trade channels with the People's Republic have been opened, leading to benefits for each side.

The People's Republic of China can and will play an increasingly important role in world affairs. We shall seek to engage the People's Republic of China in an expanded network of contacts and trade. Such a process cannot realistically proceed at a forced or incautious pace; the measured but steady growth of our relations best serves our interests. We do not ignore the profound differences in our respective philosophies, governmental institutions, policies and views on individual liberty, and we are hopeful that basic human rights will be extended to the Chinese people. What is truly fundamental is that we have established regular working channels with the People's Republic of China and that this process can form an important contribution to world peace.

Our friendly relations with one great power should not be construed as a challenge to any other nation, large or small. The United States government, while engaged in a normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China, will continue to support the freedom and independence of our friend and ally, the Republic of China, and its 16 million people. The United States will fulfill and keep its commitments, such as the mutual defense treaty, with the Republic of China.

The Americas

The relations of the United States with the Americas are of vital and immediate importance. How we conduct our affairs with our neighbors to the North and South will continue to be a priority.

In the recent past our attention has at times been diverted to more distant parts of the world. There can be no sensible alternative to close relationships and understanding among the nations of the hemisphere.

It is true for a series of new departures in our relations with Canada. Canada is our most important trading partner, and we are hers. We, as Americans, feel a deep affinity for our Canadian friends, and we have much at stake in the development of closer relationships based on mutual understanding and complete equality.

To our neighbors in Mexico, Central America and South America, we also say that we wish the opportunity to expand our dialogue. The needs of our friends are great, but this must not serve as an obstacle for a concerted effort to work together more closely. The United States has taken steps to adjust tariffs so as to maximize access to our markets. We recognize that our neighbors place no value on complex and cumbersome aid schemes; they see self-help modernization, and expanded trade as the main sources of economic progress. We will work with them to define specific steps that we can take to help them achieve greater economic strength, and to advance our mutual interests.

By continuing its policies of exporting subversion and violence, Cuba remains outside the Inter-American family of nations. We condemn attempts by the Cuban dictatorship to intervene in the affairs of other nations; and, as long as such conduct continues, it shall remain ineligible for admission to the Organization of American States.

We shall continue to share the aspirations of the Cuban people to regain their liberty. We insist that decent and humane conditions be maintained in the treatment of political prisoners in the Cuban jails, and we will seek arrangements to allow international entities, such as the International Red Cross, to investigate and monitor the conditions in those jails.

The present Panama Canal Treaty provides that the United States has jurisdictional rights in the Canal Zone as "if it were the sovereign." The United States intends that the Panama Canal be preserved as an international waterway for the ships of all nations. This secure access is enhanced by a relationship which commands the respect of Americans and Panamanians and benefits the people of both countries. In any talks with Panama, however, the United States negotiators should in no way cede, dilute, forfeit, negotiate or transfer any rights, power, authority, jurisdiction, territory or property that are necessary for the protection and security of the United States and the entire Western Hemisphere.

We reaffirm our faith in the ability of the Organization of American States, which remains a valuable means of inter-American consultation.

The Middle East

The preservation of peace and stability in the Middle East is a paramount concern. The efforts of two Republican Administrations, summoning diplomatic and political skills, have been directed toward reduction of tensions and toward avoiding flashpoints which could serve as an excuse for yet another round of conflict between Israel and the Arab countries.

Our commitment to Israel is fundamental and enduring. We have honored and will continue to honor that commitment in every way—politically, economically and by providing the military aid that Israel requires to remain strong enough to deter any potential aggression. Forty percent of all United State's aid that Israel has received since its creation in 1948 has come in the last two fiscal years, as a result of Republican initiatives. Our policy must remain one of decisive support for the security and integrity of Israel.

An equally important component of our commitment to Israel lies in continuing our efforts to secure a just and durable peace for all nations in that complex region. Our efforts have succeeded, for the first time since the creation of the state of Israel, in moving toward a negotiated peace settlement which would serve the interests and the security of all nations in the Middle East. Peace in the Middle East now requires face-to-face, direct negotiations between the states involved with the recognition of safe, secure and defensible borders for Israel.

At the same time, Republic Administrations have succeeded in reestablishing communication with the Arab countries, and have made extensive progress in our diplomatic and commercial relations with the more moderate Arab nations.

As a consequence of the Middle East conflict of 1973, the petroleum producing states imposed an embargo on the export of oil to most of the advanced industrial countries. We have succeeded in creating numerous cooperative mechanisms to protect ourselves, working in concert with our allies, against any future embargoes. The United States would view any attempt to reimpose an embargo as an essentially hostile act. We will oppose discriminatory practices, including boycotts of any type.

Because we have such fundamental interests in the Middle East, it will be our policy to continue our efforts to maintain the balance of power in the Mediterranean region. Our adversaries must recognize that we will not permit a weakening of our defenses or any attempt to disturb valued Alliance relationships in the Eastern Mediterranean.

We shall continue to support peace initiatives in the civil war in Lebanon; United States envoys engaged in precisely such an initiative were murdered, and we express our sorrow for their untimely deaths and for all other dedicated government employees who have been slain elsewhere while in service to their country. In Lebanon, we stand ready to provide food, medical and other humanitarian assistance.


The United States has always supported the process of self-determination in Africa. Our friendship for the African countries is expressed in support for continued peaceful economic development, expansion of trade, humanitarian relief efforts and our belief that the entire continent should be free from outside military intervention. Millions of Americans recognize their historical and cultural ties with Africa and express their desire that United States policy toward Africa is a matter of great importance.

We support all forces which promote negotiated settlements and racial peace. We shall continue to deplore all violence and terrorism and to urge all concerned that the rights of tribal, ethnic and racial minorities be guaranteed through workable safeguards. Our Policy is to strengthen the forces of moderation recognizing that solutions to African problems will not come quickly. The peoples of Africa can coexist in security, work together in freedom and harmony, and strive together to secure their prosperity. We hope that the Organization of African Unity will be able to achieve mature and stable relationships within Africa and abroad.

The interests of peace and security in Africa are best served by the absence of arms and greater concentration on peaceful development. We reserve the right to maintain the balance by extending our support to nations facing a threat from Soviet-supplied states and from Soviet weapons.

United States-Soviet relations

American foreign policy must be based upon a realistic assessment of the Communist challenge in the world. It is clear that the perimeters of freedom continue to shrink throughout the world in the face of the Communist challenge. Since 1917, totalitarian Communism has managed through brute force, not through the free electoral process, to bring an increasingly substantial portion of the world's land area and peoples under its domination. To illustrate, most recently South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos have fallen under the control of Communist dictatorships, and in that part of the world the Communist pressure mounts against Thailand, the Republic of China, and Republic of Korea. In Africa, Communist Cuban forces, brazenly assisted by the Soviet Union, have recently imposed a Communist dictatorship upon the people of Angola. Other countries in Africa and throughout the world generally await similar fates. These are the realities of world power in our time. The United States is thoroughly justified in having based its foreign policy upon these realities.

Thirty years ago relations between United States and the Soviet Union were in a phase of great difficulty, leading to the tensions of the Cold war era. Although there have been changes in this crucial superpower relationship, there remain fundamental and profound differences between us. Republican Presidents, while acknowledging the depth of the gulf which separates our free society from Soviet society, have sought methodically to isolate and develop those areas of our relations which would serve to lessen tension and reduce the chance of unwanted conflict.

In a world beset by countless opportunities for discord and armed conflict, the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union is critically important; on it rests the hopes of the world for peace. We offer a policy that maintains our fundamental strength and demonstrates our steadfast determination to prevent aggressive use of Soviet power.

The role of a responsible, participating Congress in maintaining this diplomatic and military posture is critical to success. The United States must remain a loyal and dependable ally, and must be prepared to carry out commitments and to demonstrate a willingness to act. Resistance to open aggression, such as the Soviet-sponsored Cuban intervention in Angola, must not be allowed to become the subject of a partisan debate, nor can it be allowed to become an unchallenged and established pattern of international behavior, lest our credibility and deterrent strength be greatly diminished.

Soviet military power has grown rapidly in recent years, and while we shall prevent a military imbalance or a sudden shift in the global balance of power, we shall also diligently explore with the Soviet Union new ways to reduce tensions and to arrive at mutually beneficial and self-enforcing agreements in all fields of international activity. Important steps have been taken to limit strategic nuclear arms. The Vladivostok Agreement of November 1974 placed a ceiling on the strategic forces of both the United States and the Soviet Union. Further negotiations in arms control are continuing. We shall not agree for the sake of agreement; on the contrary, we will make sure that any agreements yield fundamental benefits to our national security.

As an example of hard-headed bargaining, our success in concluding agreements limiting the size of peaceful nuclear explosions and nuclear weapons tests will, for the first time, permit the United States to conduct on-site inspections in the Soviet Union itself. This important step can now be measured in practical terms. All such agreements must stand the test of verification. An agreement that does not provide this safeguard is worse than no agreement at all.

We support the consolidation of joint efforts with our allies to verify that our policies regarding the transfer of technology to the Soviet Union and its allies are in concert and that consultation will be designed to preclude the sale of those technology-intensive products to the Soviet Union by the United States and our allies which will directly or indirectly jeopardize our national security.

Our trade in non-strategic areas creates jobs here at home, substantially improves our balance-of-payments position, and can contribute to an improved political climate in the world. The overseas sale of our agricultural products benefits American farmers and consumers. To guard against any sudden shift in domestic prices as the consequence of unannounced purchases, we have instituted strict reporting procedures and other treaty safeguards. We shall not permit concessional sales of agricultural products to the Soviet Union, nor shall we permit the Soviet Union or others to determine our agricultural export policies by irregular and unpredictable purchases.

The United States and the Soviet Union remain ideological competitors. We do not shrink from such a challenge; rather, we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate that our way of life is inherently preferable to regimentation and government-enforced orthodoxy. We shall expect the Soviet Union to implement the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and the Helsinki Agreements, which guarantee the conditions for the free interchange of information and the right to emigrate, including emigration of Soviet Jews, Christians, Moslems and others who wish to join relatives abroad. In this spirit we shall expect the immediate end of all forms of harassment, including imprisonment and military service, aimed at preventing such emigration. America must take a firm stand to bring about liberalization of emigration policy in countries which limit or prohibit free emigration. Governments which enjoy the confidence of their people need have no fear of cultural, intellectual or press freedom.

Our support for the people of Central and Eastern Europe to achieve self-determination will continue. Their ability to choose their future is of great importance to peace and stability. We favor increasing contacts between Eastern and western Europe and support the increasing economic ties of all the countries of Europe. We strongly support the continuation of the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty with adequate appropriations. Strict reciprocity must govern our diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. We express our concern for the safety of our diplomatic representatives in the Soviet Union, and we insist that practices such as microwave transmissions directed at the United States Embassy be terminated immediately.

Thus our relations with the Soviet Union will be guided by solid principles. We will maintain our strategic and conventional forces; we will oppose the deployment of Soviet power for unilateral advantages or political and territorial expansion; we will never tolerate a shift against us in the strategic balance; and we will remain firm in the face of pressure, while at the same time expressing our willingness to work on the basis of strict reciprocity toward new agreements which will help achieve peace and stability.

International cooperation

Strong support for international cooperation in all fields has been a hallmark of United States international policy for many decades. Two Republican Administrations have strengthened agencies of international cooperation not only because of our humanitarian concern for others, but also because it serves United States interests to be a conscientious member of the world community.

The political character of the United Nations has become complex. With 144 sovereign members, the U.N. experiences problems associated with a large, sometimes cumbersome and diverse body. We seek to accommodate to these changes in the spirit of friendly concern, but when the United Nations becomes arrayed against the vital interest of any of its member states on ideological or other narrow grounds, the very principles of the organization are threatened. The United States does not wish to dictate to the U.N., yet we do have every right to expect and insist that scrupulous care be given to the rights of all members. Steamroller techniques for advancing discriminatory actions will be opposed. Actions such as the malicious attempt to depict Zionism as a form of racism are inconsistent with the objectives of the United Nations and are repugnant to the United States. The United States will continue to be a firm supporter and defender of any nation subjected to such outrageous assaults. We will not accept ideological abuses of the United States.

In the many areas of International cooperation which benefit the average American—elimination of terrorism, peacekeeping, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, termination of the international drug trade, and orderly use of ocean resources—we pledge to build new international structures of cooperation. At the same time, we shall seek to insure that the cost of such new structures, as well as the cost of existing structures, are more equitably shared among participating nations. In the continued tradition of American concern for the quality of human life everywhere, we shall give vigorous support to the non-political work of the specialized agencies of the United Nations which deal with such areas as nutrition and disaster relief for the world's poor and disadvantaged.

The United States should withdraw promptly from the International Labor Organization if that body fails to stop its increasing politicization.

Eight years ago we pledged to eliminate waste and to make more business-like the administration of United States foreign aid programs. We have endeavored to fulfill these pledges. Our foreign economic assistance programs are now being operated efficiently with emphasis on helping others to help themselves, on food production and rural development, on health programs and sound population planning assistance, and on development of human resources.

We have sought to encourage others, including the oil producing countries, to assume a larger share of the burden of assistance. We shall continue our efforts to secure adequate sources of financing for economic projects in emerging countries.

The world's oceans, with their vast resources, must become areas of extended cooperation. We favor a successful conclusion to the Law of the Sea Conference provided it will suitably protect legitimate national interests, freedom of the seas and responsible use of the seas. We are determined to maintain the right of free and unmolested passage for ships of all nations on the high seas and in international waterways.

We favor an extension of the territorial sea from three to twelve miles, and we favor in principle the creation of a 200-mile economic zone in which coastal states would have exclusive rights to explore and develop natural resources.

We strongly condemn illegal corporate payments made at home and abroad. To eliminate illegal payments to foreign officials by American corporations, we support passage of President Ford's proposed legislation and the OECD Declaration on Investment setting forth reasonable guidelines for business conduct.

The growth of civilian nuclear technology, and the rising demand for nuclear power as an alternative to increasingly costly fossil fuel resources, combine to require our recognition of the potential dangers associated with such developments. All nations must work to assure that agreements and treaties currently governing nuclear technology and nuclear exports are carefully monitored. We shall work to devise new multilateral policies governing the export of sensitive nuclear technologies.

International economic policy

The tumultuous events of the past several years in the world economy were an enormous challenge to our creativity and to our capacity for leadership. We have emerged from this difficult period in a new position in the world, and we have directed and guided a sound recovery.

To assure the permanence of our own prosperity, we must work with others, demonstrating our leadership and the vitality of our economy. Together with the industrial democracies, we must ensure steady, non-inflationary growth, based on expanded international cooperation.

The Republican Administration will cooperate fully in strengthening the international trade and monetary system, which provides the foundation for our prosperity and that of all nations. We shall bargain hard to remove barriers to an open economic system, and we shall oppose new restrictions to trade. We shall continue to represent vigorously our nation's economic interests in the trade negotiations taking place in Geneva, guard against protectionism, and insist that the principles of fair trade be scrupulously observed. When industries and jobs are adversely affected by foreign competition, adjustment assistance under the Trade Act of 1974 is made available. This Act must be under continuous review to ascertain that it reflects changing circumstances.

The Republican Party believes that cooperation in the energy field is indispensable to international stability. Most of the industrial democracies and the less developed countries are increasingly dependent on imported oil, which causes them to be politically, economically and strategically vulnerable. Through the establishment of the International Energy Agency, steps have been taken to expand consumer cooperation. We shall also continue the dialogue with the oil producing countries.

We shall continue to work closely with the less-developed countries to promote their economic growth. Those countries will be encouraged to enter into mutually beneficial trade relationships with us that contribute to world peace. To achieve this, we must strengthen the confidence of the major industrial countries as they take part in discussions with less-developed countries. There is no reason for us to be defensive; our combined assets can be used in a coordinated strategy to make our influence effective. We will not yield to threats or confrontational politics.

While we shall support a global increase of investment in natural resources of all types, we shall also oppose the replacement of the free market mechanism by cartels, price-fixing arrangements or commodity agreements. We shall continue policies designed to assure free market consumers abroad that the United States will remain a dependable supplier of agricultural commodities.


The American people can be proud of our nation's achievements in foreign policy over the past eight years.

We are at peace.

We are strong.

We re-emphasize the importance of our ties with the nations of the Americas.

Our relations with allies in the Atlantic community and with japan have never been closer.

Significant progress has been made toward a just and durable settlement in the Middle East.

We have sought negotiation rather than confrontation with our adversaries, while maintaining our strategic deterrent.

The world economic recovery, led by the United States, is producing sustainable growth.

In this year of our nation's bicentennial, the American people have confidence in themselves and are optimistic about the future.

We, the Republican Party, proudly submit our record and our Platform to you.

Republican Party Platforms, Republican Party Platform of 1976 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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