Historically, party platforms cause a lot of sturm und drang at political conventions and then wisely are forgotten. Platforms are supposed to represent what parties stand for, but when there's a need to get elected and govern, platforms sometimes become inconvenient.
That may not be the case any more, at least for a Republican Party drenched in ideological purity. The GOP platform was approved at the Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla., an appropriate venue for the theme park it envisions.
In the Kennedy administration, Democrats had Camelot. The Republican platform describes GOPalot.
It is a magical place where everyone speaks English and everyone has a job - a low-paying job, probably, since GOPalot has a federal right-to-work law. But in GOPalot, people can still claw their way to the top, or at least back into the middle class.
In GOPalot, the 2008 financial collapse may have happened, but the Republicans can't be blamed for running the Titanic into the iceberg. Democrats should surely have raised the ship by now. In GOPalot, there are so many jobs that everyone on public assistance will be required to get one, perhaps two. These jobs will be created by loosening the triple shackles taxation, litigation and regulation.
The air and water are clean in GOPalot, thanks to the cooing of the doves between industrialists and environmentalists. Industries that burn a lot of coal - and, by the way, coal is huge in GOPalot - will sit down with sensible greenies to work out free-market solutions, unburdened by either greed or the heavy hand of regulators.
Bankers, too, will operate in the public interest and won't need a bunch of regulators telling them not to ever again write opaque mortgages or leverage capital 40-to-1. If they do, they won't be bailed out, even if the entire economy collapses.
Nuclear energy will be big in GOPalot, too, as will energy produced by fracking wells and oil wells drilled darned near anywhere, anytime. So-called "alternative energy" will be OK, too, as long as its proponents don't expect the kind of handouts and favorable tax treatment reserved for oil companies.
In GOPalot, immigrants will be welcome - as long as they speak English and have scientific and technical skills that industry needs. Any immigrants here illegally will be sent home, if we can catch 'em, which will be easier since we'll get off the backs of states like Alabama and Arizona that have "show us your papers" laws.
Abortion will be forbidden in GOPalot, thanks to a constitutional amendment. The platform doesn't mention any exceptions for rape or incest.
Men and women will be encouraged to marry in GOPalot, but only each other. Gay marriage will not be tolerated. If there's any squishy science that doesn't conform to popular opinion - gay genes, for example, or man-made climate change - people will be free to ignore it.
In GOPalot, all faiths and religious traditions will be respected and free from government intrusion, but the Ten Commandments will be posted freely. If you're not a Jew or a Christian, just think of them as historical markers. But don't imagine you can post any Sharia laws - or abide by any foreign, U.N.-type international laws - in GOPalot.
In GOPalot, many federal government functions will be sloughed off onto state governments, because in GOPalot, statehouses will be full of righteous, public-minded legislators who are not at all corrupt and are smart enough to understand they don't need a "euro-style" bureaucracy to manage health care.
Faith-based organizations will pick up a lot of the slack for social services that the government will abandon in GOPalot, such as counseling homeless, broke and suicidal veterans. Really. That's on page 43 of the platform.
Torts will be reformed. Vouchers will be issued. Students will study abstinence and the writings of the Founders. Prisons will be full because GOPalot will be tough on crime and state governments have lots of money to spend on corrections. If we need empty cells, we'll just execute a few more guys.
Besides, we'll have less crime because there will be lots and lots of guns and no restrictions on ammunition purchases or high-capacity magazines because that's the way the Founders wanted it.
GOPalot will have a massive military budget, plenty of ships, lots of soldiers and the very finest in aircraft. If the Soviet Union ever comes back, we will be ready. If the 21st century continues, not so much.
Kevin Horrigan writes for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.