In December of 2011, USA Today ran a story about voters leaving the two major parties. However, the article noted that there is still a large advantage of registered democrats versus republicans and even fewer independents. Nationally we have about 42 million democrats, 30 million republicans and 24 million other party affiliations. It is time for Democrats and progressives to come home and vote our core beliefs of liberty and justice for all.
I was a registered democrat for 17 years, but I rarely voted with my party. My first election in 1976, I voted for Jimmy Carter. By 1984, I was a Reagan Democrat. I joined the Republican Party following the election of William Jefferson Clinton to the presidency in 1992, and by the election of 1996 I was a full on ranting red-faced conservative republican. I had not voted for a democrat for president since Carter in 1980. I voted for Dubbya twice and I still pray heaven’s forgiveness. I have now come full circle. I am ready to come out and announce to all who will hear that I am proud democrat.
Like many Americans, by 2006 or 2007 I was weary of war and Wall Street greed. The policies and actions of the George W Bush administration had become too difficult to defend. The inspiring rhetoric and soaring oratory of Barak Obama filled me with both pride and inspiration as he talked not of a red America or a blue America, but of a United States of America. It was the first time in my life that a political figure moved me. Yes, I believed we could change America.
As a republican, I proudly cast my vote for Barak Hussein Obama in the 2008 presidential election. I then changed my voters’ registration to No Party Affiliation, and left the Republican Party. It was an act of repentance.
I believe we should spend more on peace than on war. We should spend more on investing in our future than trying to recreate the past. I want to live in a country where we wouldn’t dream of asking a soldier, sailor, or airman to serve and then allow her to come home only to end up homeless. A country that allows a warrior it has sent into battle to return from the fight and become destitute is not worthy of the blood of patriots.
At the Republican National Convention, it sounded as if John McCain and Mitt Romney thought we didn’t have enough wars going and needed to mobilize quickly for Iran or Syria. I would rather make errors in negotiating for peace than to be right about going to war.
It is time for those who once believed that peace is preferable to war to reevaluate their current position. We are the largest military power in the world. We can defend ourselves. We can be anywhere in the world within hours and strike with massive military force laying waste to armies and great cities. We don’t literally need to be everywhere in the world.
We lost our jobs, our savings and our homes, and regardless of the vain babblings of the GOP mouthpiece, Fox News, the economic disaster was the direct result of GOP policies. Nevertheless, we always pick ourselves up, then reach down and help the person beside us. We do not step over our brothers and sisters on the way out, we take them with us.
Recently the S&P 500 hit its highest number since 2007. The auto industry has recovered and is growing again. Real estate is stabilizing. We have made the turn and are heading towards the potential of prosperous times ahead. Now is not the time to retreat to the failed economic practices and foreign policies that produced the mess President Obama is currently repairing.
Democratic ideas that invest in America by investing in her people are superior to those who demand that the market control all aspects of our lives both public and private. The free market has no use for those unable to afford her services, whether they are luxury cars and homes, or basic sustenance and health care.
Republicans want to return to power on the premise that there is something wrong with America. What is it about us that they don’t like? I reject the notion that America is in decline. I see an America that is on the rise, an America that is poised to reclaim her place as the leader of the free world. I see an America that is rightfully proud of its best and brightest. The US Olympic team won the overall and gold medal count while the hot shots over at NASA were landing rocket ships on Mars. In addition, and in honor of Neal Armstrong, might I point out that the only flag flying on the moon is the Stars and Stripes. Armstrong’s giant leap was not only the result of a small step by a young democratic president but was the result a long march by thousands toward a goal said impossible by millions. JFK challenged America to send a man to the moon not “because it was easy, but because it was hard”. Americans can do the hard things. We always have, and often the right choice is the hard choice.
Churchill once said, “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities." We have exhausted all other possibilities. The politics of global conflict, of military industrialism, of preemptive aggression is a failure. Diplomacy is a much more effective weapon for long periods of peace.
Democrats believe that personal responsibility includes a responsibility to our fellow citizens, to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to give without expecting a return; these are the Judeo – Christian values that built our civilization.
Republicans believe in a tough-love government that encourages citizens to adapt a social Darwinism that believes only in the survival of the richest. Republicans believe the rich are simply smarter or have worked harder than others to become successful. However, Democrats take a more Jeffersonian view that intellect comes in all socioeconomic classes and is not limited to the elite.
Finally, it is time to recognize that the government of the United States is not the enemy of the people. But there are elements of our society, including elected officials that are enemies of the government of the United States, those who would like to drown it in a bathtub and replace it with the highest bidder.
Functioning democracy is not perfect. It is messy, chaotic and at times contradictory. Politicians lie, special interest exert influence for favors, somebody always feels like they are getting the shaft and the country is going to hell in a hand basket. Churchill said it best, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." So, for the republicans, the libertarians, the tea party patriots and others who are angry and feel we need to take our government back I say bravo. Let’s take it back from this insane and dangerous notion that government is the enemy of the people. Let’s take it back from the moneyed interest and stockjobbers of Wall Street. Take back the halls of congress from madmen that believe our president is some kind of foreign-born Islamic terrorist hell bent on destroying our American civilization.
For those who are in the anti government camp I would point to the words of Jefferson’s Declaration, “…that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed”. In other words, you can put up with some things you don’t like. You don’t get your way all the time.
Moreover, for our constitutional constructionist who insist that we get back to our founders intention as laid out in the Constitution I offer these words, “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty…” Domestic tranquility and general welfare could have very broad meanings and open the doors for many government programs like say, the Lewis and Clark Expedition or the Transcontinental Railroad. It could also include interstate highways and healthcare for all.
America is coming back, but we are not going back. We will not return to the policies of favoritism and cronyism for the carpetbaggers and scallywags of the 21st century. President Obama will take us forward into a role of leadership in the new century. Our comeback is a progression not a regression. We are constantly moving forward, not looking back.
We have put our hands to the plow and are not looking back, for as the scriptures warn, those who look back are not worthy of the Kingdom, and I propose to you today, that those who say we should take our country back are not worthy of the promise that is America. The Republican Party consists of what Thomas Paine called “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots” those who “shrink from the service of their country”. They want to reap the rewards while others toil for their pleasure.
It is time for the Reagan Democrats, whom are now likely card carrying Republicans’ to come home. If you are old enough to remember Vietnam, the Kennedy’s, Dr. King and the turbulent times of the 60’s you should also remember the hope one generation held out for change. President Obama is leading on those ideals today. He needs four more years to complete the work he has started and then let history be his judge.
If you believe in the “value” of sticking up for the little guy and not letting some bully push them around, then Barack Obama is your candidate. I’ll take the community organizer over the job outsourcer every time.
The stakes are too high and the cost is too great to allow President Obama to lose this election. You might not agree with him on every issue, but in the Democratic Party that’s okay. The prospects of a Romney presidency are too frightening to imagine. He has stated that he is not concerned about nearly half of our citizens. Romney’s economic policy will favor the rich at the expense of everybody else, and if you doubt this check his history as a CEO.
If you are a lover of liberty and justice for all then you should cast your ballot for President Barack Obama. Move forward toward a more perfect union, choose hope over fear, and embrace progress over a return to failed policies and practices. Make a willful choice to seek out what is best for the greatest number of people in our country. Choose unity over division. Come home democrats to a party with a positive vision of America’s future rather than remain in a party who feels we are in decline.
We once reached for the stars, and some soared among them. The challenges of the 21st century are no less daunting. Baby-Boomers, seniors, and working class folks, now is the time to reflect on your values. Do you really believe in liberty and justice for all and that we are, out of many, one, or have you been deceived by the avarice that passes for today’s Republican Party philosophy? Are you willing to let your neighbor die on the hospital doorstep for lack of healthcare, or let a child go to bed hungry so you don’t have to pay a higher tax?
America is better than that. We overcome great odds because we are a nation bound together by exceptional ideals. Help us continue to move those ideals forward by reelecting Barack Obama as President on November 6, 2012.