Thursday, January 05, 2006

I Am A Democrat

In November I vote straight party. I walk in… I hit “all Democrats” then I go to work or home. I vote early and I vote in every election I can. I am a yellow dog and I am proud of that.

But it is primary season now and being a proud D can be very dangerous. I take my endorsements and my primary vote seriously. I think through the issues that plague our cities, state, and nation. I vote for who I think is best (not who I think will win in November).

Things get continuous this time of year. You begin to hear grumblings and challenges to your Democrat-ness. It is almost as bad for statewide races as supposedly non-partisan municipal races.

Before that happens this year I wanted to take just a few moments and say why I am a Democrat. Before I make my endorsements and before the yellow dogs and the blue dogs start calling candidates DINO’s and lefty’s... it is important to remember why we stand united every November.

I believe that Government is a tool. I believe that strong government and leaders mean helping those in need. There is a veil of ignorance, and I am young enough to live in it.

My generation feels entitled. We are educated, we are lucky. I have no idea about family or my future wealth. I say it now, if I am fortunate enough to live the life of luxury, I should live in a nation that defends those less fortunate. Medicaid and Medicare were designed to help those less fortunate, just as Social Security was designed to be a protection for senior citizens.

I believe that public schools should be temples. Educators should be worshiped like police and firefighters and that all public servants should be given the tools necessary to be successful. Textbooks, small classes, and the arts should not be luxuries. We have judged the greatest societies on their ability to read, write, perform and create, and public schools should be more than just holding pens for our children.

As a Democrat, I stand for fiscal moderation and a pay as you philosophy. My generation and the ones that follow are the ones burdened most by the poor choices of higher deficits and frivolous spending.

The environment is not a luxury. Air, water, and earth sustain us in every way. They are our tools for farming, innovating, and producing everything around us.

Business should not be harmed by environmental awareness, but nor should the environment be harmed by greedy corporations. There is something called smart growth and it should be a priority now before it is too late to anything at all.

There are solutions to the problems we face today, and the beautiful thing about the Democratic Party is that we open doors, windows, attics and basements to them. The primaries are for voting your heart… so do it.

Make your case. But remember that we are all Democrats and in November we make change together or we fail as Democratic cliques.


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