RCC Honors History Project

Republican Party Platform, 1988

Posted by nrohr on December 6, 2008

Here is a link to the Republican Party Platform of 1988, an even more surprising reference to manifest destiny.


Here is an excerpt, it kind of creeped me out:

The Republican Party will reestablish U.S. preeminence in space. It is our nation’s frontier, our manifest destiny. President Reagan has set ambitious goals for a space comeback. We are determined to meet them and move on to even greater challenges.


9 Responses to “Republican Party Platform, 1988”

  1. nrohr said

    I like big ideas and bold ideals and I’m proud of the power and the poetry of the United States of America. But I just can’t think that it is our “manifest destiny” to rule space. How can it be our frontier and ours alone? This is a slightly silly comparison, but we make horror movies about aliens who come to take over Earth, and I don’t know that there is much difference between something like that and between a nation on Earth deciding it must be “preeminent” in space. It’s nice to be powerful and preeminent, and my guess is that out technolgy and force would make a certain amount of leadership in space inevitable. But when it comes to political power, an American dominance in space would be the height of arrogance. Like it isn’t enough to be the most powerful nation on Earth? We have to conquer the Solar System? I don’t think that we do and I think that space exploration is an issue that demands global cooperation. In global politics we can be nations, but when we starting to talk about universal politics, we are one planet.

  2. andrewptscott said

    Wow. That is a great quote! I agree with nrohr in that I am proud of the power and bold ideas of the United States, but to conquer the realms of space is hard to grasp. But it is not hard to see how far off we are from taking that step. I do not see what would keep the United States from attempting this after studying its past and understand its Manifest Destiny. I also agree with nrohr in that it is unnecessary to control the entire solar system and that it should be a global cooperative effort. But as history tells us this new idea of unmarked territory will inevitably lead us to literal “star wars.” It is a risky thought that will more than likely be experimented with in the near future, especially if the idea was discussed during the Reagan administration. It is just amusing to think that we are going to try and put a nametag on space and call it our own property or territory. But once again I agree with nrohr that in global politics and economics we are one planet.

  3. katchtwentytwo said

    That quote is really interesting because it shows you, that even though we’ve expanded as much as we have as a nation, we still are looking to make ourselves an even greater power by expanding to the “last frontier”. I agree with the two post above me that state that the conquering, I guess, of space should be a global effort. Who are we to say that we own the whole solar system? Who is even the one to say that we have the right to claim the solar system in the name of the United States? This just makes me think of the idea that one day, each planet will be owned by a different country. It’s going to be as if China could own Mars, and England can own Jupiter! It’s pretty ridiculous. And by claiming the various planets in the name of different countries it would be, like andrewptscott said, like a star wars. That’s a really scary thought.

  4. drwprkr said

    If we were to take out “Manifest Destiny” then I think that this quote would be fine. The only thing that I find amusing about this quote is that he thinks that space is conquerable. (This also, in a way, destroys the purpose of God.) Space is enormous, beyond enormous actually but having the idea that we humans can, or will try to conquer it just keeps us busy for the next couple millions of years. It would take an extremely long time to even reach some of the other galaxies in the universe and we are extremely small compared the space. I cant even begin to describe the reaches of space. But I do agree that politics is and has always had a religious touch to it. This quote just shows that our leaders still hold a religious background and this is, in a way, against the Constitution.

  5. dselinger said

    I really like that quote because it shows who politicians are trying to persuade people with big words and unrealistic claims. As nrohr, Andrew and Drew have mentioned, space is a very large place and that expansion is always in the back of the heads of great nations. There is nothing wrong about exploring space but we haven’t come up with really good progress regarding that field so far. Of course, we have a lot of photographs of far away galaxies, but in consideration of “conquering” space we have only made it to the moon and our orbit. I consequently think that this endeavor can only be accomplished as a race and not as a nation. What do you guys think?

  6. freestylepro1 said

    I think this platform shows the self-centeredness of the Republican Party. It also shows more false “commitments” to the United State’s progress. I was reading more of the space section, and they continue by saying, “A resurgent America, renewed economically and in spirit, must get on with its business of greatness. We must commit to a manned flight to Mars around the year 2000 and to continue exploration of the moon.” It just seems so selfish to think in this manor, and to me, the whole idea of Manifest Destiny continues with this selfishness. What makes politicians think that God is allowing just their country to be prosperous above all others?

  7. kriemer said

    I always remember seeing my uncle wear a “no star wars” t-shirt as a child and I always wondered what he had against the movie. I think I was about ten when I figured out that star wars was Reagans idea of protecting America from incoming nuclear missiles and getting pictures of eveything. We must look like such bullies to other countries constantly spying on them with our sattelites. I don’t think it’s America’s place to do such things, it only raises tentions. As for Reagan using space exploration as a platform, it’s funny because it provokes the whole anti-communism thing again, first we raced the USSR to space, then the moon, now mars and so on. It’s funny how we used such petty things to try to belittle other countries. I think our money could be sent on many better things than space exploration or space missile defense systems and I don’t think there’s too much point to it.

  8. rcchonorshistoy said

    Here is another quote from the same site as the original quote was taken. This quote talks about America leading the world. It is interesting what they refer to America as:

    Under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush, America has led the world through eight years of peace and prosperity.
    In the years since 1980, our nation has become in fact what it has always been in principle, “the last best hope of mankind on earth.”

    This kind of shows that America is thinking that they are the leaders. I think America definetly brings hope to much of the world through its years of peace and prosperity but I would think this relates to the space manifest destiny because it shows that many americans beleive they are the super power so they should be the ones controling space.

  9. blooney said

    Why can’t why just explore, why must America always conquer? This goes back to our discussion about God Bless America, and only America. America has had a belief that it deserves everything. We are a greedy nation. I believe Americans want space to be our next “frontier” because then we wouldn’t have to deal with people. For example the Mexican War. America did not take all of Mexico because then the nation would have to deal with a different culture, language, and the issue of slavery. They could not possible extinguish the Mexicans like Americans did to the Indians so they didn’t bother. Its not like America didn’t want the land they just felt the merging of the two nations would be more bothersome then beneficial.

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