Why I’m a Democrat
I grew up with Republican parents who believed in fiscal responsibility, social justice and equal opportunity. They trained their children to be critical thinkers; to learn to think for ourselves, gather facts with an open mind, and be able to change positions when the facts and circumstances warranted it. The GOP lost my family in the 1970s, when the radical right-wing religious fanatics began to take it over, and our country became increasingly polarized by their extreme tactics. I am saying that as a Christian who belongs to one of the mainstream Christian churches, and as an ordained minister myself. The right-wing tail is now wagging the dog in the GOP.
The Democratic Party best represents the needs and values of the middle and the working classes, while the Republican party now best represents the interests of CEOs and large corporations. In the past 20 years, the rich have literally gotten richer and the middle class has actually shrunk, thanks to Republican leadership.
I vote Democratic today because: “We believe it is the responsibility of government to help us achieve a fair society: a society where the elderly and the disabled can lead lives of dignity and Social Security remains an unshakable commitment; all people can find jobs in a growing full-employment economy; all workers have the legal right to join unions … and to bargain collectively for decent wages and conditions of employment; taxes are clearly based on ability to pay; equal rights of women are guaranteed in the Constitution; civil rights of minorities are fully secured; the strengthening of the family and protection of children are essential to the health of the nation; a sound education, proper nutrition, quality medical care, affordable housing, safe streets and a healthy environment are possible for every citizen; a strong national defense is a common effort, and promoting human rights is a basic value of our foreign policy.”
Rational people recognize that the economic difficulties we face today began long before President Obama took office. The so-called TARP “bailout” was not a free gift, but a loan that is being paid back to the taxpayers, with interest. The health bill will eventually assist all Americans to have fuller, less expensive coverage. We would be a healthier society if the American people had a more accurate memory on political and economic issues, were less easily swayed by hysterical and irrational rhetoric, and developed a longer view so we can move forward on needed changes that will improve the quality of life for every citizen. We need to end the polarization of our elected representatives for the good of the nation; to end the demonizing of people who differ from us and treat each other with respect. We need rational and critical thinking, a will to work together for the good of the whole, and policies that are both compassionate, fair and affordable.
Rev. Dr. Jane Foraker-Thompson