Proposed Republican Party Platform Amendment

I submitted this letter and amendment to the Utah Republican Party for consideration at the May 8th, 2010 state convention. I hope if you are a State Delegate you will support this amendment and help get your fellow delegates to vote for it. Please forward this link to all your fellow delegates.

The proposal is just the part underlined below. The blue paragraphs above and below it are already in the platform and are included below merely to show placement of the new section on the form of government.


To whom it may concern:

I would like to propose the following addition to the state party platform. My reason for proposing this change is because society today has become so used to identifying with the “democratic” process, that many people now believe our form of government is a Democracy. We are losing a vital piece of our national identity and by virtue of that, losing the most fundamental aspect of protecting our natural rights by no longer teaching our children what a Republic is, and what Republican government is all about.

Educational networks now promote the false notion that knowledge and morals are democratic which leads to moral relativism. The Framers of our Constitution said only a moral people can preserve a Republic. On this ground alone, we must ensure that each generation of Americans has the knowledge espoused in the proposed addition to the platform.

The one concern some delegates may have is the declaration that the Federal government has the right to intervene in a states’ affairs under the condition mentioned.  This was carefully considered by the Framers as they were most concerned about preserving the sovereignty and independence of the several states. They wrote into the constitution a guarantee to the states that they would be able to retain a Republican form of government, because they knew that only a Republic would preserve the rights of the people. Thus they gave permission for Federal intervention to protect the people of a state should their Republican form of government be in jeopardy of being changed.


Oak Norton,  State Delegate, Highland 7th

State Delegate Co-Signers
-Lowell Nelson, Highland 5th
-Kristen Chevrier, Highland 4th
-Don Baker, Highland 7th
-Larry Hilton, Highland 7th
-Sarah Nitta, Highland 4th

We, the Republican Party of the Great State of Utah, affirm our belief in God and declare our support for government based upon a moral and spiritual foundation. We affirm freedom for every individual as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution. We believe that citizens’ needs are best met through free enterprise, private initiative, and volunteerism. We support the “Rule of Law” and believe in upholding the law of the land.

We recognize that the United States of America is a Constitutional Republic. We recognize that when Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution declares “the United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican form of government,” this simple declaration gives the federal government the right to intervene in the affairs of a state whenever that states’ form of government is in jeopardy of being changed to something other than a Republic. We further recognize that a Republican form of government is one based on: law; representatives elected by the people to exercise sovereign authority on the peoples’ behalf; a system of checks and balances and transparency of operations; and based on protecting the unalienable natural rights of man as given by a beneficent God to protect the freedom and agency of man.

We believe government properly exists by the consent of the governed and must be restrained from intruding into the freedoms of its citizens. The function of government is not to grant rights, but to protect the unalienable, God-given rights of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

22 Responses to “Proposed Republican Party Platform Amendment”

  • Bonnie Pence:

    Even so, why do I get nervous when it declares the Feds have the right to intervene in the affairs of the state? Doesn't matter what reason is needed…I would never trust our current Federal Government, because I do not believe their intentions or their agenda would enable them to be truly helpful in any way, to any state.

  • Ken Wright:

    Not sure we can make the event, but we subscribe to the amendment to the party platform

  • teddanner:

    My two small daughters and I will be there.
    As I have mentioned before, I wish you to correct the phrase speaking of the Founding Fathers, “They wrote into the constitution a guarantee to the states that they would be able to retain a Republican form of government”. The Framers wrote the Constitution, not the Founding Fathers.

  • Ted, I have tried to integrate “Framers” into my writing when I'm specifically referring to the individuals that wrote the Constitution but as you can see above, I forgot to make that correction. I'll send another copy to the state office using Framers and see if they will adjust it.


  • Bonnie, I share your concern about the current administration, but we can't let that color our interpretation of the Constitution. We won't always have this administration :) and in this particular point, the Framers clearly stated their intention was to allow for intervention if a state went crazy and tried to put in a King or change themselves to a Democracy. Essentially, this is a warning to the states to not ever try and change their form of government from a Republic or else they will have the intervention of the Federal government to deal with.

  • Daniel Bates Lambson:

    I will not support this amendment. There a several reasons, all having to do with the wording of the proposal.

    First of all, the Federal Government has no rights or powers outside the 17 points outlined in the Constitution.

    Secondly, the Federal Government guarantees nothing, the Constitution of “The united States” guarantees rights. (notice where the capitalization is and is not)

    Thirdly, we do not want to give the Federal Government any rights not outlined by the Constitution. They take too much privilege as it is. We definitely don't want them to intervene in any of our Affairs.

    Fourthly, the wording in and of itself creates a loophole as per the fact that we have strayed from being a Republic as soon as we agreed to the mandates of the Federal Government when we became a State.

    Last of all, people elected do not have sovereign authority, they are servants of the people and must uphold their oath of office to protect and uphold the Constitution and make decisions and vote according to the mandates of that Constitution under which they serve.

  • Bob Kochenower:

    Would it be too restrictive (or inaccurate) to insert the word “only” after the phrase “affairs of a state” ? /bk

  • Thanks for replying Daniel. I appreciate your list of concerns and hope I can respond satisfactorily.

    1) Art. 4, Sec. 4 says, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” From Cleon Skousen's “The Making of America” pg. 639, he writes, “This provision give the United States government the RIGHT (Skousen's capitalization) to intervene in the affairs of any state whenever the right to freely elected representative government has ceased to exist or is in jeopardy of being destroyed.” He then shares quotes and illustrations that no state has the right to adopt a different form of government.

    2) The word “guarantee” is directly lifted from the words of this article in the Constitution.

    3) The federal government appears to have this right, per the Constitution, and thus we are not giving them a new right, we are just acknowledging that it does exist. I'm totally with you on their overreach, but the Framers thought it important enough to protect Republican government that they wrote that right into the Constitution.

    4) I agree that we are straying from Republican government by accepting the mandates of the Federal government, but that is all the more reason to teach people what a Republic is and how it operates. There is nothing in this proposal that I see creates a loophole once you understand the things I wrote in 1-3 and 5.

    5) In my proposal, I wrote, “[a Republic consists of] representatives elected by the people to exercise sovereign authority on the peoples’ behalf…” This is correct. We the people hold sovereign power which we then delegate to our representatives who exercise that power on our behalf. We have limited recourse when they don't vote the way we want except to vote them out. We can't go vote on their behalf or that becomes mob rule in a Democracy. In what you wrote to me, you mentioned the people elected don't have sovereign authority…true, but they do exercise it on behalf of the people that elected them.

  • I think it would be inaccurate because this same A4S4 says the Federal Government will intervene on behalf of a state against invasion. So technically speaking they have the right to protect states against foreign and domestic enemies (invasion / those who would change the government from within) in this regard.

  • Also, by acknowledging where the constitution specifically guarantees federal intervention, we are making the case that where it is not specified that they can intervene, they are not allowed to intervene.

  • aarond61:

    I have a problem with the phrase” transparency of operations”. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was never transparent. The only thing that was transparent was the Constitution itself. Madison's notes on the Convention wasn't mad known to the pubic until 50 years later. I believe that giving the general pubic all power to establish The Law buy popular opinion is not the best idea. I believe that the full transparency of operations leaves the writing of laws base on transient opinions of the Day. I also believe that leaving the Government in the hands of secrecy is also bad. I believe that having the State have the right to define what the Feds can and cannot do by process of ratification of All Laws allows a check to happen where we can prevent Secrecy.

  • ellenfrazier:

    I believe that this should be taught in the higher grades of Elementary, secondary, and senior grades of the local schools. Patriotism should also be instilled in the local schools. Thank you.

  • aarond61:

    Patriotism is not something that can be taught but it is something that must be lived. It is the courage for one to stand for truth even when it is unpopular. It is those that vote not for the two parties, or for the man or woman; but for what is right and then choses the man or woman that will best protect that righteous standard. And that man or woman may only get 3% of the vote but those that vote that way are not accountable before man but before God. Patriots also realize that when the majority of a nation votes for evil that that nation will be destroyed by natural causes by The God Of Nature.

  • Aaron, thanks for this comment. I've been keeping it in mind and when the amendment came up today with the state committee I asked them to strike those words. They are now removed from the official version to be presented.

  • lewisbarnavelt:

    I don't like the Federal government being allowed the right to intervene because who is to say that the Federal government would not also become something other than a Republic? Also, what would the nature of Federal intervention look like? This proposed amendment is more akin to the Enabling Act of 1933 and I therefore do not support it. This is how dictatorships are made even though you mean well, Oak.

  • Lewis, I appreciate your concern. I had the same exact thought when I first read this concept in the textbook “The Making of America” and I immediately turned to article 4, section 4 of the constitution to see what it said. It was quite clear that the states didn't want a change in government from a republic to anything else in any of their sister states because they realized that would affect them. Here's a couple of quotes in support of the concept.

    Article 4, Section 4, US Constitution: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

    James Madison: “In a confederacy founded on republican principles, and composed of republican members, the superintending government ought clearly to possess authority to defend the system against aristocratic or monarchial innovations. The more intimate the nature of such a union may be, the greater interest have the members in the political institutions of each other; and the greater right to insist that the forms of government under which the compact was entered into should be substantially maintained. But a right implies a remedy; and where else could the remedy be deposited, than where it is deposited by the Constitution? Governments of dissimilar principles and forms have been found less adapted to a federal coalition of any sort, than those of a kindred nature…

    If the interposition of the general government should not be needed, the provision for such an event will be a harmless superfluity only in the Constitution. But who can say what experiments may be produced by the caprice of particular States, by the ambition of enterprising leaders, or by the intrigues and influence of foreign powers? To the second question it may be answered, that if the general government should interpose by virtue of this constitutional authority, it will be, of course, bound to pursue the authority. But the authority extends no further than to a guaranty of a republican form of government, which supposes a pre-existing government of the form which is to be guaranteed. As long, therefore, as the existing republican forms are continued by the States, they are guaranteed by the federal Constitution. Whenever the States may choose to substitute other republican forms, they have a right to do so, and to claim the federal guaranty for the latter. The only restriction imposed on them is, that they shall not exchange republican for anti-republican Constitutions; a restriction which, it is presumed, will hardly be considered as a grievance…

    Among the advantages of a confederate republic enumerated by Montesquieu, an important one is, “that should a popular insurrection happen in one of the States, the others are able to quell it. Should abuses creep into one part, they are reformed by those that remain sound.” (The Federalist Papers, No. 43)

    George Mason: “If the general government should have no right to suppress rebellions against particular states, it will be in a bad situation indeed. As rebellions against itself originate in and against individual states, it must remain a passive spectator of its own subversion.” (Madison, The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America, p. 280.)

  • danlambson:

    Oak Norton, I made some strong comments early on concerning this proposed amendment issue and you have made some very distracting replies to all concerns that have been posted. I've had some time to think about this issue and have modified my views somewhat. i have decided that the proposed change is nothing less than opening the door for communism and tyrannic control over our state. Plain and simple, no if and or buts about it.

    Sincerely, a truly conservative Constitutionally minded Patriot of the Republican Party, in favor of restoring Our Republic.
    Daniel Bates Lambson

  • Daniel, two things.

    First, what are you referring to when you say I've distracted on replies to this issue? I just read down the whole page and can't imagine what you're talking about. I've just responded to each of the questions and comments made.

    Second, what is your interpretation of article 4 section 4 when it says the United States “guarantees” a republican form of government to the states? I take that as a duty the *United* States have to ensure nobody jumps the track to a different form of government. There can be no intervention in a states' business unless they change to a non-republican form of government. The states wrote this in to protect each other and the whole from ever letting someone move toward communism or tyrannic control (such as the citizens ethics initiative would create if it passed). The quotes below from Madison and Mason seem to clearly indicate this was the Framer's thinking.

  • A4S4 also says the United States has a duty to protect the states from foreign invasion. They don't do this on our borders, but it's still their constitutional duty.

  • Blackjack0214:

    Unfortunately, no matter what the Constitution said, or says, no matter what the Founding Fathers or the Framers “intended” we are a land of law and the Supreme Law of the Land has been so corrupted over time (progressive interpretation is that The Constitution of the land is a LIVING document.” What BS. What good does it do to quibble over wordings and meanings and interpretations when the entire system is left to the interpretation of a Supreme Court that no longer forms judgments based on the Constition but rather on precident making case law? The Supreme Court will say what it may no matter what you write into the State Constitution and as we've seen of late, the executive branch has exceeded the bounds of it's defined powers all while those REPRESENTATIVES who are supposed to REPRESENT us in this Republic fiddles while Rome burns. Quit wasting your energies on nuances that can't make a difference. Put your energies into educating others rather than messing around with the arranging of chairs on the sinking Titanc

  • Blackjack, what would be your plan to educate everyone? A lot of people are getting educated as a result of this website. Most people didn't realize the Utah state history standards didn't include the word Republic. By putting this amendment in front of some of the most involved people in the state, it gives me a platform to stand for a couple of minutes and educate people on the constitution and ask them to come to this website. That's not wasting energy in my book, it's just one more avenue to get people involved.

  • steve:

    The only problem is how much damage this administration will do to the county, constitution and bill of rights before he is done trying to turn this country into Islam and socialism. We have already seen him bankrupt us