On Being Democrat

Political rhetoric against Democrats may become even more malevolent during the next two years. We need to listen to our own hearts and state our case with eloquence, passion, diversity and truth about why we are Democrats. This is not your typical blog. Democrats have an attention span that can handle philosophical discussions. Please help make this column become a voice to one another and send your thoughts to valsmith_4@msn.com

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Location: Spokane, Washington, United States

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Diversity is our strength

What seems to create a problem for the Democratic Party is also the secret of it's strength, resiliency and progress over time.

It is our wholesale diversity. It's not just about race ...it's the diversity of ideas...of faiths...of cultures...and proposed solutions for the progress of our nation.

We are the face of America. We are the richness of it's history ...we are the backbone of the bluecollar workforce...we are the roiling pot of ideas to solve the issues that rise over time...we are the churched and unchurched....we own guns and shun them....we are ranchers and farmers and we are an urban population of whitecollar workers and service delivery folks.

We are the professionals...the judges, lawyers, the doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, counselors and we are the inventors and enterprising business owners.

We are the poor and vulnerable segments of society. We are all the colors of the rainbow.

There is no either/or....our ranks hold all and our conversations are the richer for the diversity. The solutions come from examining all points of view and the answers are found in the middle where the commonality of our values are found.

We embrace the privacy of personal choice in matters of abortion. I think it is because down deep we know we cannot legislate morality...nor spiritual beliefs...and we all will be held accountable before our own Gods in the end for our decisions in life.

We work hard to provide pregnancy planning and medical services, foster care , emotional counseling, adoption services to make sure there are alternative choices (without judgement) for an unplanned pregnancy.
We advocated Aid for Dependent Children so that poorer mothers could be there for children until they began school. That aid was cut under Republican administrations .

There exists a wide variety of voices within our party and all are honored.

Many of us own guns ...for the purpose of hunting, self defense and competitive meets. We do not want to take away all guns. We just want to keep them out of the hands of the crazies, kids, criminals and terrorists.

We think the NRA does a good job of education...and we wish they could come up with good ideas to preserve our rights to own guns while protecting us from those who are incapable of responsible ownership.

We take the risks to start up businesses and create jobs and we love the freedom to pursue financial success.

We have sons and daughters in the military and we honor their choices, support their efforts, and respect their role in our country's history. We worry about their safety, the resources available for their efforts during war and the services that should be available as they return home,

Mostly....we would argue that this most valued military resource ...should not be wasted or destroyed on forays into other peoples countries for less than honorable reasons.

We are Catholics, Jews, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Christian Scientist, Salvation Army,Congregational, Lutherans, Mormons, Methodists, Baptists, Christian, Buddhists, Moslems, Hindus, Native Americans (forgive me for the ones I left out) and those who have grown beyond the need to belong to organized religions.

We understand that man has always had an innate pull to believe in something or some deity beyond his immediate understanding ...and that we have done so since the beginning of time.

Societies have worshiped and organized themselves around those beliefs ...and so we tend to worship within the context of the country, century and society or religion into which we were born.

And if you look closely ...there is a middle ground of shared values ...in each one ...and space for us to respect this most profound need of mankind.

Diversity is our strength.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Why I am a Democrat - Ed Meadows

I am most comfortable among Democrats. I have Republican friends, but when I am with them, I sense strange vibes, sorta like with extraterrestrials, you know?

Because I was raised as a Democrat, I have that mind-set that often irritates Republicans.

Like when a very conservative lady asked me my opinion on abortion. I told her I support a woman’s right to choose. Well, she went ballistic.

In an effort to soothe her ruffled feelings, I further explained, “I not only believe in a woman’s right to have an abortion, I think that retroactive abortions are sometimes called for.” The lady turned purple, called me Hitler and never spoke to me again. Republicans take themselves too seriously.

Whenever I tell a Republican of the many good things that were made possible by Democrats and that we all take for granted, I’m usually presented with the argument that these “so-called benefits” smack of Socialism and aren’t really good for us. Minimum Wage, The GI Bill, V.A. home loans, Social Security and Medicare are Socialistic and bad for us? “Yep”, they say. Republicans don’t have a firm grip on reality.

Sometimes I commit a faux pas and imply to Republicans that welfare is not always a bad thing. They bristle and tell me that welfare will be the ruination of this country. They seem to think that things were much better under Coolidge, Hoover, Nixon, and of course that Academy Award recipient, Ronald Reagan. What? Reagan never won an Academy Award? Well, he should have, for his greatest role, portraying an American President.

Let’s face it. Republicans are just not very interesting people. That’s not true of Democrats. We’re often strange, but seldom dull!

George Santayana told us “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (Republicans don’t seem to have a sense of history.)

You be the judge.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Democrats have a Sense of Humor

Ever notice how optimists and humorists tend to be Democrats? I think it is a left-brained thing...the side that does not see everything in black and white. We see possibilities...solutions...and are ever hopeful that...sharing common resources...we can make life better in this world.

We can say “Oops!... Sorry! ...learn from our mistakes...and have another go at the problem...wiser for the experience.

I swear that a sense of humor makes common sense possible.

Common sense requires a balanced and even outlook on life. The only benefit of extremist stands is that they do get the attention of voters. Do those stances hold realistic answers for problems? I don’t think so... (left or right!).

A sense of humor requires the ability to look at the world (and ourselves) from all angles. It encourages looking at all the possibilities, thus the ability to be a problem solver.

A sense of humor results in flexibility and freedom of choice. The funny bone gives a defense against the stress of life...a way to keep equilibrium.

It gives patience to cope with the inane and insane. Without it...there is no joy and laughter...only the taking of one’s self and one’s issues entirely too seriously. With it...there is the balance that leads to common sense.

Hang in there....

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

To Walter and Anonymous

Well said, Walter. I was being snippy. I apologize. I honestly believe that we all have a right to our opinions. I don't have to agree all the time, but diversity and discourse are the paths to solutions and finding common ground. That ....and a sense of humor! I am deleting my prior comment as unworthy of this blog which seeks to elicit thoughts on why folks choose to be Democrats.