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Party of Trump: 2016 RNC Platform vs. 2013 RNC Autopsy

Four years ago, after Mitt Romney was crushed at the ballot box partly because of the Republican Party’s alienation of African Americans, Latinos, LGBT Americans, AAPI voters, Native Americans, women, young people, and many other groups, the RNC produced an autopsy report with recommendations for the party to broaden its appeal.

Instead, the Republican Party has burned and buried those recommendations with the impending nomination of Donald Trump, the most dangerous and divisive candidate to lead a major political party in modern history.

It’s only getting worse for the Party of Trump in Cleveland. The Republican Party’s platform has lurched far to the right to match the standard bearer’s divisive tone and offensive rhetoric, and the party is about to approve one of the most extreme platforms ever considered by a major party.

Here’s a quick guide to how the RNC has completely failed to follow the recommendations of their ‘autopsy’ report.


Hispanic-Americans & AAPI Voters

The GOP autopsy report called on the party to be more inclusive toward Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Instead, GOP standard-bearer Donald Trump kicked off his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “drug-dealers,” has called for a “deportation force,” mocked Asians on the campaign trail, and has contended that federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, born in Indiana, can’t do his job because of his heritage.

2013 RNC Autopsy:

  • “Among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.”
  • If Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn’t want them in the United States, they won’t pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies. In essence, Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.”
  • Re: AAPI Voters: “In the modern media environment, a poorly phrased argument or out-of-context statement can spiral out of control and reflect poorly on the Party as a whole.”

2016 RNC Platform:

  • The GOP platform supports Trump’s border wall proposal along the southern border of the United States – dismissed by security experts and wasteful of taxpayer dollars.
  • The platform’s position on immigration includes a plank supporting a mandatory five-year prison sentence for undocumented immigrants attempting to re-enter the United States.
  • The RNC platform went out of its way to offend Hispanic and AAPI voters, changing the term “illegal immigrants” to “illegal alien,” and including a plank supporting English as the official language.
  • The RNC platform calls for dismantling programs that disproportionately impact communities of color, including repealing the Affordable Care Act, cutting nutrition assistance and block-granting Medicaid to the states


LGBT Americans

After they lost the 2012 presidential election, the Republican National Committee’s autopsy didn’t bother to include a section on appealing to LGBT Americans, but did recommend that Republicans adopt a welcoming tone toward LGBT Americans as a way to make their party more palatable to millennial voters. If you look at the 2016 RNC platform, it’s clear they threw that advice out the window.

2013 RNC Autopsy:

  • “For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be. If our Party is not welcoming and inclusive, young people and increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out.”

2016 RNC Platform:

  • The GOP platform calls for a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, and states: “Our laws and our government’s regulations should recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman…”
  • The committee voted down language that would acknowledge the murders of LGBT people in the Middle East and in Orlando, where the deadliest shooting in U.S. history occurred at a gay club exactly one month before.
  • The platform committee adopted an amendment essentially endorsing widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy for LGBT children.
  • The platform endorses the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act” which would allow businesses and government employees like Kim Davis to discriminate against LGBT people and even single mothers or unmarried pregnant women.
  • The platform condemns policies that allow transgender people to use the restroom that is in alignment with their gender identity, and states that President Obama’s measures to allow transgender students access to the correct restrooms at school “is at once illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues.” Even one of its own platform committee members said, “We have a bathroom or restroom obsession in this platform.”
  • The platform uses discredited “research” to assert that children raised in a “two-parent household” are likelier to have healthier outcomes than those raised by same-sex couples or single parents – a slap in the face to families all across America.

The New York Times said the platform “amounts to a rightward lurch even from the party’s hardline platform in 2012.” The head of the Log Cabin Republicans put it best, saying“There’s no way to sugar-coat this… the Republican Party passed the most anti-LGBT Platform in the Party’s 162-year history. Opposition to marriage equality, nonsense about bathrooms, an endorsement of the debunked psychological practice of ‘pray the gay away’ — it’s all in there.”



The GOP’s stance on abortion and lack of action on many economic issues important to women has produced a historic gender gap between the two parties. It won’t be easier for the GOP with Trump at the top of the ticket calling women “pigs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals,” questioning the role of women in the workplace, and saying women should be “punished” for abortions. The GOP platform makes clear that Trump and his party are in lock-step on the GOP’s anti-woman agenda.

2013 RNC Autopsy:

  • “Much was written after the 2012 election regarding the Republican Party’s ‘women’ problem.”
  • “The Republican Party needs to offer [a forward-leaning] vision and message demonstrating that our policies, principles and vision address the concerns of female voters.”
  • The RNC should implement training programs for messaging, communications, and recruiting that address the best ways to communicate with women.”

2016 RNC Platform:

  • The platform lurches farther right on abortion, seeking to defund Planned Parenthood,  continued in wanting to ban abortion with no mention of exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother, and called  for conservative Supreme Court justices or a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade.
  • The platform seeks to turn back the clock on women in the military by barring women from combat roles.
  • The platform does not mention equal pay, paid family leave, affordable childcare, or raising the minimum wage.
  • The platform calls for repealing the Affordable Care Act, which would disproportionately impact women – raising costs for reproductive health and removing protections that ensure women aren’t charged more than men for their healthcare.


Younger Voters

Younger Americans have been put off by the Republican Party’s record of exclusion, and their party’s divisive nominee isn’t helping matters. Polls show that nearly three-quarters of young people think Donald Trump is a racist.

2013 RNC Autopsy:

  • “Younger voters are increasingly put off by the GOP…[The Republican Party should] promote forward-looking, positive policy proposals that unite young voters.”
  • Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents…when someone rolls their eyes at us, they are not likely to open their ears to us.”

2016 RNC Platform:

  • The platform enshrines divisive anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, and anti-women views that contradict the views of many younger voters.
  • The platform rebukes the Obama administration’s moves to curb sexual assault on college campuses, ramping up enforcement of how colleges respond to reports of sexual violence and investigating claims of colleges mishandling sexual assault cases.
  • The platform confirms the GOP’s obsession with citizens’ private lives, including a section describing pornography as a “public health crisis,” and opposing “policies that encourage cohabitation” out of wedlock.
  • The platform offers no solutions for students currently struggling to repay student debt, but wants to force students to borrow student loan money from Wall Street instead of the federal government
  • The platform enshrines the Republican Party’s opposition to net neutrality.



Since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, African-Americans have fled the Republican Party in droves. The GOP autopsy’s section on African-American outreach was mostly lip-service with no recommendation to support policies that would help the African-American community. Couple that with Trump’s birtherism, his divisive campaign and his failure to distance himself from the KKK, and it’s not hard to see why Trump is polling at zero percent with African Americans in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

2013 RNC Autopsy:

  • The Republican Party must be committed to building a lasting relationship within the African American community year-round, based on mutual respect and with a spirit of caring.”

2016 RNC Platform:

  • The RNC platform supports discriminatory voter I.D. laws that even Republicans have admitted are specifically designed to stop young people, seniors, and people of color from voting.
  • The RNC platform calls for dismantling programs that disproportionately impact communities of color, including repealing the Affordable Care Act, cutting nutrition assistance and block-granting Medicaid to the states
  • Gun violence is the leading cause of death for young African-American men, outstripping the next nine causes of death, combined. The platform makes no mention of the gun violence epidemic in America. Instead, the platform moved farther right on guns, opposing any law that would restrict magazine capacity.

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