When Republican state committee members come together this evening for a long-delayed vote on whether to endorse the national Republican platform — a document wildly out of step with most Massachusetts voters on social and economic policy — the decision will be a referendum on the future of the local party. Will it take an independent course by explicitly rejecting the hard-edged conservatism of the national party? Or will it choose to maximize the contrast with local Democrats by seconding even the most extreme of the national party’s stances?
For its sake, and the state’s, the Massachusetts GOP should pursue an independent course. The party’s national platform features, among other provisions, a ban on abortions without exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother, and a refusal to consider any deal on the federal budget that contains new tax revenues.