Why I Am A Democrat

>> September 28, 2008

"The common thread of Democratic history, from Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton, has been an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream. We remember that this great land was sculpted by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren."

~ The late Ron Brown — former Chairman of the Democratic Party

I have been thinking about doing a blog about this for quite a long time. However, I am not doing it to "convert" you to my way of thinking. I am merely doing it for myself, and maybe to explain to people where I am coming from.

A Little History:
Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic Party in 1792 as a congressional caucus to fight for the Bill of Rights and against the elitist Federalist Party. In 1798, the "party of the common man" was officially named the Democratic-Republican Party and in 1800 elected Jefferson as the first Democratic President of the United States. Yes, ladies & gentlemen the great mind behind our Constitution was also the creator of the Democratic party.

"Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists"

~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt
On the Issues:
1. Abortion: If a woman wants an abortion, she most likely will find one, why not make it safer for her? I would never get one. Ever. But I believe it's a personal thing, between a person and God, and I have no right to push my believes on others.

2. Immigration: America has always been a country of Immigrants. Even when I was little, I didn't understand why I was learning about how immigrants came here to flee persecution in Europe before the birth of our country, yet at the same time people were complaining about how bad immigrants are now. Now, I'm not saying we should have open borders and let everyone in. I believe in legal immigration, coming here the right way, legally. Nevertheless, I do not think it makes sense, or is right, for the illegals to be rounded up and shipped back to their home countries. This would cost the US way too much money, hurt our economy and depict an ugly picture to the world. Why not allow them to stay, contribute to society and become legal?

3. Economy: The Economy sucks. It is in ruin, and we cannot point fingers at any one party. Everyone messed up; the real question now is how are we going to fix it? I think for starters, there needs to be more oversight of the commercial and mortgage loan institutions. The mortgage meltdown is really because no one was paying attention; no one was monitoring the rules. Homeowners in trouble need help now, not later. If they are given the assistance they need, to get back on their feet, (whether that means to sell their house, or refinance), they will be more inclined to spend money and contribute to our capitalist economy. We don't want a depression.

4. Health Care: I believe in health care for all. Since when do we live in an elitist country where your health comes with a price tag? I don't think it's fair that a Doctor no longer chooses the next step in my diagnosis, but instead must first know if I have insurance to make any decision. Democrats , are also the founders of SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (Ted Kennedy, 1993: title XXI of the Social Security Act). The middle class, veterans and seniors all need someone to speak for them on healthcare, and find a solution for each of them.

5. Education: No Child Left Behind left more children behind. With a law that is based on test scores and charts, instead of creativity and learning, I believe American children are worse off. In this article: US Education Systems Fails to Lead World in Scholastic Aptitude, Achievement, the numbers presented are horrendous: "U.S. students placed 29 out of 57 countries in science literacy and 35 out of 57 in math literacy in 2006, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The U.S. is lagging behind Canada, Germany, Poland and Hungary." That is awful, is America really dumb? We need to remedy this, and with failed policies of No Child Left Behind, that is just not going to cut it. Barack Obama has a full education plan, to remedy No Child Left Behind, increase funding for Head Start programs, increase Teacher's wages and benefits and improve college opportunities for all.
“I don't want to send another generation of American children to failing schools. I don't want that future for my daughters. I don't want that future for your sons. I do not want that future for America.”
~ Barack Obama, Nov 10, 2007
6. Iraq: Oil. Lies. WMD. I was one that was fooled by the Bush administration's misleading arguments for Operation Desert Fox. I believed my government when they said Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Boy was I wrong. But, what's in the past, is in the past. We have stayed too long, lost too many lives, and taken our eyes off of the ball. Our troops are stretched too thin, American troops are being stop-lossed. Don't know that word? Look it up, you might be a little bit miffed. The most interesting part to me is that we wouldn't be even half as interested if 65% of the world's oil wasn't in the Middle East. We need to bring our troops home, let Iraq govern themselves as they have requested of us; and focus more on Afghanistan; and oh, I don't know maybe Darfur?

7. Foreign Relations: On the playground we are all taught to be nice, to treat others as you would like to be treated; and to respect different opinions, cultures and peoples. I'm thinking George W. Bush might have missed that lesson. Not that I hate the man, necessarily, he has done some good things with PEPFAR, and I respect him for that. However, PEPFAR is too little too late when you look at the International Community as a whole. I think that it is ludicrous to treat other nations like you are a bully. What about the saying, "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer?" Even during World War II, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, put their differences aside and joined forces against a bigger evil: Hitler's Third Reich. I truly believe that whomever becomes president in 2009 will have a lot of cleaning up to do; and I sincerely hope, whoever it is will learn to get along with and respect other nations.

8. Gay rights: Homosexuals have the same rights as Heterosexuals. Case closed. I don't understand how any humane person believes they have the right to control something as personal as marriage. How fair is it that a loving partner cannot visit, or be involved in decision making for their dying loved one?

9. Environment: Global Warming is real, and it is severely effected by Humans. I support the Environmental Protection Agency. I don't understand why we didn't sign the Kyoto Protocol, and I firmly believe that every American household should do their part to fight global warming. Reduce - Reuse - Recycle. Barack Obama has a laid out plan to cut carbon emissions 80% of 1990 level, by 2050. Will implement new laws to improve American buildings to be carbon neutral by 2030.
There is more to the environment and the health of this planet, than Global Warming. However, they are very much interrelated. Polar Bears are dying, and are considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act; this is partly due to polar ice melts. Yellowstone's wolves are also threatened by Republican policies toward wildlife. And last but not least, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). I'm sure I could spend a few pages on this issue alone. However, I will simply say the word drilling and refuge should never be used in the same policy.

10. Seniors:
  • Social Security: needs to be fixed, however I do not think that the Republican platform of privatizing the system is the solution. The Democrats have a different idea, by raising social security taxes just a few percent on those Americans that make more than a quarter of a million dollars a year.
  • Medicare: also needs a face-lift. It is an old system, and with the baby boomer generation getting older, now is really the time to fix it. WHY do prescription drug companies get to make so much money off of my grandma?
  • Retirement: While I was working at Delta Air Lines, there was a lot of talk about losing the pilot's pensions. These were hardworking, long standing pilots that were going to get their retirement benefits ripped right out from under them. I didn't understand how that was okay. Many of those pilots were nearing retirement age, and didn't have the luxury of starting over with a personal IRA instead of the pension they had counted on. There should be laws against such crazy corporate behavior.
11. Infrastructure: The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse last year opened my eyes to the infrastructure failures we have in this country. To be honest, I thought it was a problem that was more prevalent in poor urban areas; i.e.: New Orleans' levees during Katrina. However, it is a National problem, that must be addressed. I think it is crazy that we do not have a secure infrastructure, so how can we realistically help third world countries build theirs? More money needs to be spent on reinforcing bridges, railways, and highways. And, if we add more subway and public transportation systems to our cities, this will also have a positive impact on congestions problems as well as global warming issues.

12. Energy: Alternative Energy. Buy a Hybrid. Amen.

13. Taxes: Unfortunately, taxes are a necessary evil that we all must live with. They are not fun, and I hate being told my wages, and then seeing the chunk of change that goes to Uncle Sam instead of me. Nevertheless, taxes are how the government must pay for all of the solutions to problems that I have rattled on about in numbers 1 through 12. Without taxes, there wouldn't be a United States. However, I do not believe that every citizen should be charged the same tax rate. How is that fair? For a single mother to be charged the same rate as a corporate executive grandfather?


This is why I am a Democrat. Love me, Hate me, do what you will. But either way, please vote!

And now for a Bushism..
"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval office"
~ George W. Bush, Washington D.C., May 12, 2008

3 comments:

Amanda M September 29, 2008 at 8:50 PM  

Very very cool!! Yay for Thomas Jefferson!! He is awesome!!
And I totally agree with you on some of those issues! Espeically No Child Left Behind!! It's HORRIBLE!!!

Kim J October 3, 2008 at 12:44 PM  

Good post. Surprise, surprise I totally agree with you. I have always felt that Democrats have more compassion for people and aren't as greedy as Republicans. Neither do they base their beliefs on arrogant religous thinking.

FYI-one thing you left out was capital punishment.

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