The Republican convention will approve a platform. It will get a lot of publicity--where the party stands on this issue or that. But what does it really mean? Not much.
Abortion is an example. "A moral and personal issue on which Republicans disagree," the 1976 platform says. By 1980 the GOP seeks a constitutional amendment protecting "the right to life for unborn children." Twelve years later the platform calls for appointing judges who oppose abortion. I'm not sure when rape and incest became a part of the discussion.
But the basic rule is pretty simple when it comes to a party's platform. Conventions adopt them. Candidates may run on them. Or not.
A new president can walk into the first policy meeting in the Oval Office, throw the plarform into the waste basket, pull his own list of must-pass stuff from his pocket and say, "Okay, guys, this is what we're gonna do."
That's politics. That's life.