The Republican Party of Texas released their official platform (warning: pdf) earlier this month. You won't be surprised by how much crazy they can pack into 22 pages. You'll be horrified.
I saw a summary blurb over at Think Progress and some of the the claims are so ridiculous they have to hyperbole. Right?
They oppose most taxation? They support the gold standard and privatizing social security? Those are horrible, terrible policy decisions but not out of line for the GOP in general.
Then I got to the next two - The Republican Party of Texas supports corporal punishment in schools and is against teaching critical thinking skills. Those are so extreme I had to check to make sure the truth wasn't being stretched a bit.
Classroom Discipline –We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas.
Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.I literally have nothing to say. A subsection of one of our two major political parties has come out in favor of beating kids and against critical thinking.
Think Progress only lists 5 of the most outrageous policy planks. Unfortunately that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.
The Texas GOP wants to outlaw pornography and red-light cameras. They want a ban on Sharia Law. They rail against environmentalism and now-defunct ACORN. They support giving clergy the right to advocate for political causes and candidates without losing their tax exempt status. They support voter ID laws and are against the Voter Registration Act of 1993. They oppose mandatory vaccinations. They support allowing prayer in public schools. They want the Departments of Energy and Education and others not enumerated in the Constitution eliminated. They oppose all foreign aid except during a crisis.
Those are extremely fringe views. However, those aren't fringe views within the Republican party. These are views espoused and supported by their presidential candidates and offered up as legislation.
This is the direction the GOP wants to take America in. Does that sound like an improvement? Progress? It sounds like a vivid description of the Dark Ages to me.