- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 16, 2020

Only desperately lonely people — and a scattering of special-interest addicts — read party platforms.

Said lonely souls and interest addicts will find no trace of President Trump’s DNA in the Republican Party platform this year.

But then, who cares if the GOP statement of policy intent for 2020 is the same 54 pages of hyperventilating left over from the 2016 platform, which was also devoid of the Donald’s inclinations?

He cares.

Mr. Trump wants a short, to-the-point statement of principles — his principles.

His idea is the best thing that could happen. People might then actually read the Republican platform, thanks to its brevity and “America-first!” common sense.

He said as much on June 12, when a full-scale Republican National Convention was still thought possible.

“The Republican Party has not yet voted on a platform,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “No rush. I prefer a new and updated platform, short form, if possible.”

Since then, Mr. Trump decided a traditional convention is not possible, thanks to the degree of social distancing that North Carolina’s governor says is required to cope with China’s chief export to U.S.

But a platform that doesn’t feature the America-first principles of a new Republican Party?

That would be a mistake of far-reaching proportions.

A 2020 platform that doesn’t recognize this president’s first-term achievements would be just as serious a mistake.

The senility and naked ambition of the Biden-Harris ticket makes the Nov. 3 election look good for the Donald.

But you-know-what happens.

In the event he doesn’t prevail, it would be a pity if there was left behind no hint, no trace of the new, vastly improved direction in which the president has steered the party since his nomination four years ago.

Without this president at the helm, the rudderless GOP would be adrift in a woke sea of Biden-Harris blather, buffeted by the winds of crackhead Seattleism.

The POD (Party of Donald) can still make the 2020 platform a Trumpian manifesto of modern conservatism.

It can do it at the August 21-24 Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

The convention will be a pandemic-truncated event where the party will formally make Mr. Trump its standard bearer for a second term.

A mere 336 presidential-nomination delegates will assemble in that city. That’s one-sixth of the usual number because North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper finds ample reason to have the willies over the Wuhan, a virus that keeps on taking.

Still, the shrunken knot of delegates in Charlotte will have the power to add the missing Trumpian principles to this year’s platform. As of now, that platform is merely a holdover from the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

A “short-form” statement that reflects Mr. Trump’s new direction for the party would consecrate for Americans the primacy of America’s interests in the world.

It would sacralize human rights at home and abroad.

It would enshrine the achievement of national energy independence under Mr. Trump.

And it would engrave his desire to expand choice in education and try to preserve human life in the womb.

Without the addition of that short-form statement, you wouldn’t know that Donald J. Trump managed to turn this nation in a new direction that put American interests fiercely ahead of all others.

To get us on that new policy path, the president first had to lead his party in that direction.

He had to steer Republicanism away from its blind adherence to free but often unfair trade.

He had to put jobs, national security and “made in America” on an equal footing with the true-believing free-marketeers’ eternal quest for cheap wages abroad.

His new direction brought to the GOP enough new voters for him to win the Electoral College, to the astonishment of everyone including his advisers.

Once in the Oval Office, he led the nation to achieve what few believed possible: a settlements freeze and United Arab Emirates recognition of Israel. It is an ingenious way to give cover to other Arab states afraid to make peace on their own.

Arab leaders have long been sick of Palestinian chiefs’ tactical and strategic errors. All Arab states now can follow suit, one by one.

Tax-code changes may be his signature legislative achievement, permanently slashing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

Under Mr. Trump, the U.S. became a net oil exporter for the first time in 75 years and rang up record low unemployment rates for Americans of African and Hispanic heritage.

Pre-Chinese virus sneak attack, unemployment nose-dived to 3.5 percent — the lowest it has been since 1969.

His presidency’s impact will endure thanks to the number of conservative federal judges he appointed.

In another first, he established the Space Force to protect the U.S. military’s assets in space.

He won a reduction in both mandatory minimum sentences for drug felonies and the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses.

His achievements list runs longer, but not in short form.

That Mr. Trump tends to exaggerate his accomplishments a bit may contribute to the dearth of press recognition.

But the man simply doesn’t get the thanks he deserves.

Short form and long term, convention delegates in Charlotte can do their part to keep his 2016 new voters in the 2020 GOP column, along with the White House and the Senate.

The delegates need only add to the platform a short-form summary of his policy principles and the achievements they made possible.

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