Yesterday I posted why I wasn’t a Republican, and one of my sons commented I should likewise explain why I’m a Democrat; so, here are my reasons – and I firmly believe this list will grow, and is not static, just as I believe my reasons for not being a Republican will no doubt continue to evolve.
I’m a Democrat because, as a soldier, I believe that – in the words of General MacArthur – “the soldier above all others prays for peace”; that’s not to say I don’t believe my country should never go to war, it means that war should always be – for the United States of America – the absolute last resort, and never so-called “preemptive”; however, that if attacked we should declare war against our enemies and strike hard and resolutely, united with clear goals and with a firm determination to fight and to win quickly and decisively, and then – and only then – we should spend our resources – our treasure – to rebuild the would be enemy that they would become our friend. We – as a nation must not use war to settle personal vendettas, and our young men and women must never be sent into decades long struggles because our leadership wants to do things on the cheap.
I’m a Democrat because I believe once we’ve sent the soldier, marine sailor and airmen into harm’s way it’s our moral responsibility to bind their wounds – both seen and unseen – and to ensure they receive a good education and the training needed to transition into the peace they’ve fought so hard to achieve.
I’m a Democrat because I believe words have meanings and that “ALL men ARE endowed with certain inalienable RIGHTS” not just Americans, but ALL men, including the enemy who is now my prisoner.
I’m a Democrat because I believe torture – no matter how you dress it up – is not just morally wrong, and beneath any American sworn to protect and defend our Constitution, but that it’s a violation of my country’s laws and international law;
I’m a Democrat because I believe once you’ve signed international agreements – such as the Geneva Conventions – you’re honor bound to uphold them, not just when it’s easy, but when your life and liberties may depend on it.
I’m a Democrat because I believe life’s a gift given by my creator, and that while execution may be justified for murder it’s not something we cheer. The death row inmate may have given up his freedom when he committed his crime, but his death is as tragic as the death of his victim because it signifies the end of his ability to repent and change his life. I believe the inmate should be executed only after we’re sure “beyond a shadow of a doubt” she’s guilty of the crime; if there’s doubt then she should be held for life. Saying “oops” after the fact doesn’t help the innocent man charged with the crime he didn’t commit.
I’m a Democrat because I believe the woman has the right to choose and not the state.
I’m a Democrat because I believe the woman has the right to choose because it’s her life and not the state’s; she’s the one who must live with the decision and not the government. I believe a woman has a right to choose, and that the real issue is that in 21st century America we have unwanted pregnancy at all; with all the many ways of preventing pregnancy no woman in America should become pregnant unless she chooses to. Rape, incest and the woman’s health are all absolute times when the woman should choose, not the man, and certainly not the government.
I’m a Democrat because while I believe abortion for the sake of convenience is morally wrong, if you’re going to give my wife, sisters, daughters and friends the choice of all or none, then I must morally support all. It’s the woman’s choice, not the government’s choice.
I’m a Democrat because I believe it’s morally wrong that in 21st century America anyone within our borders should be unable to receive preventative health care.
I’m a Democrat because I believe it costs the tax payer more to treat visits to the ER than it does to thwart the illness in the first place.
I’m a Democrat because I believe it’s morally wrong to talk about the evils of bank bailouts while simultaneously propping up the health insurance industry even as my fellow Americans suffer in needless agony and die at the same time health insurance corporations make obscene profits and its CEOs receive bonuses.
I’m a Democrat because I believe medicine should be practiced “to first do no harm” and not to first get rich.
I’m a Democrat because I believe the words spoken concerning the man who fell among thieves along the road to Jericho, and that while we should each be responsible for our lives and our decisions there are times when we all need help and that if no one else can – or will – help it is the moral obligation of a government to ensure its citizens are not without medical care. Who serves his country best is the man who is still alive, not the man in the grave.
I’m a Democrat because I believe that while it’s the parent’s responsibility to teach their children right from wrong it’s the government’s responsibility to educate them; and that our nation will only remain free if we have an educated and literate populace, and that it’s in “We” the people’s best interest to ensure that not only our children but that our neighbor’s children receives the very best free and public education, because I believe my taxes go to educate the future soldier, fireman, police officer, doctor, diplomat or president who will one day influence – and possibly save – my life or the lives of my friends and loved ones.
I’m a Democrat because I believe the ADA, IDEA and Title IX are not only necessary but are vitally essential in ensuring equality in education.
I’m a Democrat because I believe you balance a budget through limiting spending and through increased revenue and that those who have achieved the most wealth because of a free and independent America should pay the most back for what they’ve received; I believe “because I have been given much I too must give” speaks of more than giving alms and tithes, and that even the Son of God rendered unto Caesar what was Caesar’s.
I’m a Democrat because I believe it’s the government’s responsibility to pave roads, build bridges, direct air traffic, build dams and levees, patrol our streets, rescue the injured, extinguish the fires, ensure our water and air are the purest possible, ensure our food is safe, ensure our children’s toys are safe and free from poisons, ensure our drugs are safe; including regulating and punishing those who would place the general public’s health and well-being at risk.
I’m a Democrat because I believe it’s the government’s job to assist those who no one else is willing to assist; that we have many millions who are in need of warm clothing, a roof over their head and good and nutritious food in their belly, and that it’s morally wrong to see want and to turn a blind eye because we think the person has reaped their reward.
I’m a Democrat because I believe people are people and corporations are corporations; that free speech is guaranteed to “We the people” and not to “Those the corporations”; that words are what constitutes “free speech” and that money is what constitutes a bank account.
I’m a Democrat because I believe there’s an absolute separation between Church and State, and that no one religion should, or ought to, decide what my country does, or does not, believe in; that there’s good in many faiths and that “out of many we are one”.
I’m a Democrat because I believe the right to choose – to be a free agent – is sacred, and that it’s the right of “We the people” to choose who our spouse, partner or companion may be and not the right of the Government to do so; but that it’s also the right of a Church to decide who it’s officials may or may not “join in holy matrimony”.
I’m a Democrat because I believe in that same strong Federal government Lincoln spoke eloquently of so long ago, that was “of the people, by the people and for the people” which is responsible for establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general Welfare, and securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, as guided by “We the people”; and that words like “state’s rights”, which are so glibly thrown about today, are still – in reality – nothing more than cleverly couched expressions for treason and anarchy.