Sunday, June 01, 2008

This country cannot house its houseless - feed its foodless.


I'm a Democrat.

That was a difficult thing to type.

The Democratic party has at more times than I can count over my almost lifetime membership in it infuriated me in the positions it's leadership has taken. There have been many, many times over the past several years that I've considered leaving the party.

So why would I remain a registered Democrat? Why not join the Socialist, or Green parties?

Distilled down to it's base there are two separate reasons I remain in the Democratic party.

The first is that the platform of the Democratic party is generally progressive in nature and I'm a progressive.

The second, perhaps more important reason is it's the largest and most organized alternative to the other major political party - the Republicans. A Republican party which at it's core has spent the last thirty years working to destroy everything that is good and decent about the country I love.

So I'm left to supporting an imperfect party that at it's best is able to win us things like Social Security but at it's worst it can barely stand up to save Social Security when it was under assault by Republicans who believe the governing rule of society should be survival of the fittest.

As long as I call myself a Democrat I recognize that doing so entails responsibilities to my fellow party members. Those responsibilities usually take the form of compromising on my personal preference for who will represent us in contests with Republicans.

At the start of this seemingly endless presidential primary I supported Kucinich. He was the most progressive of the bunch and his politics are closest to my own. He lost his bid for the nomination fairly early into the campaign.

My fallback candidate was Edwards. His commitment to social justice was Kennedyesque. He voted for the war while he was in the senate but had soundly renounced that vote. His candidacy crashed and burned shortly after Kucinich's.

At this point I was pretty pissed off. It seemed to me that the truly progressive voices were dropping out while we were left with what I considered establishment candidates in Clinton and Obama. Yes, these two candidates represented historical firsts but their was nothing about their candidacies that threatened official Washington.

I also had some sour grapes about how about how my candidates were treated by the media...
But after I calmed down and thought about it I realized that part of belonging to a political party is that not everybody in the party thinks exactly like I do. Everybody else has a say. I may disagree but as long as the goals of the party are something I can agree with, how we get there isn't as important.
Besides it didn't matter if I thought my preferred candidates would do better against the Republican nominee in the fall. My candidates lost.

So I compromised again. Ultimately putting a Democrat into the Whitehouse where the Joint Chiefs will have to answer to that person and who will make the next few Supreme Court nominations is the thing that's most important to me.

Tomorrow the primaries end and the supporters of one of the candidates are going to be asked to compromise and put aside thier considerable personal stake in their candidate for the sake of the party. Just like millions of their fellow Democrats have had to do during the course of this last year as their preferred candidates were defeated.

The choice is theirs and theirs alone.

Are they Democrats?

17 comments:

Freida Bee said...

Crap, when you put it that way....

Joe the Troll said...

Very well put. We're much alike, except for the fact that I cannot bring myself to actually register with a party. I've always been registered as an independent, and only feel comfortable with that.

I would be interested in your opinion of my most recent post, if you would care to give it.

I would like to see the primaries all held on the same day in May, so that all candidates can have equal time to campaign and get their ideas across. Such a situation may have helped Kucinich or Edwards.

Bradda said...

The whole system is a joke to the electorate. As long as we have the electoral college then we cease to be a democracy. The popular vote should decide who wins, period and of story and I don't mean the "popular" vote that Clinton has dreamed up. Real popular vote.

Don Snabulus said...

I am not a Democrat either and some of my policy positions are at odds with Democrats, though most are not.

Nonetheless, let's say Joe Biden became the Democratic nominee through some trick of the rules ousting both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. I would still vote for him over McCain even though it would mean he was a serious A-hole.

I can't think of anyone, short of George Bush or Joe Lieberman, that would be worse than McCain for our country at this point in history.

Chances are low that America will make large progressive strides with any Democrat in charge. But I will take SOME chance over NO chance any day of the week.

(Just let hunters keep their rifles and get our civil liberties back [an item mostly absent from Obama's 64 page policy document])

Dr. Zaius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Zaius said...

I have no idea what you are ultimately tying to say with this post. You lost me in the last three paragraphs. (Sorry. Maybe I'm stupid.)

FranIAm said...

I agree with you about being a Democrat- I am with you on that.

I really worry about all the Dems who say that they will not vote or vote for McCain instead of Obama.

Consider the consequences!

Dean Wormer said...

freida-

yup

joe the troll-

Your link post is great. I'll throw a comment up over at your site.

I would encourage others reading here to check Joe's post.

bradda-

It's a joke but I keep waiting for the punchline...

don-

Fair enough. I'm not slamming Libertarians. I'm saying that those of us who call ourselves democrats have collective responsibilities as long as we do so.

As for guns- you still have your crossbow, Mr. Nugent.

Fran-

The consequences are too horrible to consider. (((Shiver)))

zaius-

In short I'm pointing out that many of have had to compromise quite a bit in this primary so I'm not that sympathetic to complaints about having to do so now. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Overdroid said...

Wait. . . are you talking about Hillary . . . I get it.

You can have my catapult when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

Liberality said...

I've been a Democrat all my life and the main reason why is because I thought of the Democratic party as being more progressive. I've always been for the underdog, probably in my own self interest as much as for empathy for anyone else it must be admitted.

I too wanted Kucinich and then swung over to Edwards. After they were ignored and pushed out of the race I didn't know who I wanted to support because I thought Obama and Clinton were more alike than not. I see them both as very conservative democrats, almost like republican lite.

I will vote for Obama but I wish he would have clinched it a lot sooner. It has made for some hard feelings on the part of some and I can understand that but I have to think of the future and hope that Obama doesn't screw things up too much. I know McCain will so he's a no-go.

pissed off patricia said...

My candidate from the beginning was Obama. For one thing he is a constitutional lawyer and to me the constitution needs him now like a man who has been hit by a car needs a doctor.

I do not agree with all things democrat, but I agree with more than I disagree with, so I'm good to go with the party.

Randal Graves said...

dean, I'm with you on this. A lot of us are voting for our second, third, fifth, seventh, whatever, choice, and each of them is better than the alternative. Our system is winner take all, unfortunately and the odds are pretty good that it won't be changing anytime soon, so this is what we're stuck with.

Don't vote for the evil old white guy, people.

Dean Wormer said...

OD-

I try not to use nouns, verbs or proper names in my posts. Thanks for calling me out.

Liberality-

I've always been for the underdog, probably in my own self interest as much as for empathy for anyone else it must be admitted.

Rooting for the underdog is also pretty damned American. :-)

Your comments on Obama and Clinton as Republican-lite are pretty much how I felt as well. Just from watching them in the Senate I didn't get the feeling they were really burning the midnight-oil for liberal causes.

OTOH both of their votes on Supreme Court noms have been great. If they would just support fillibustering those knuckleheads...

Pop-

that's a great point about him being a constitutional lawyer. It's not just a Godamned piece of paper to the guy.

randal-

Exactly. I wish it wasn't the lesser of two evils but I am at the point where I think there really won't be a candidate without warts.

Unless Christopher Walken actually runs for office...

Overdroid said...

You should avoid adjectives too.

Dr. Zaius said...

My apologies for not understanding. My comprehension is usually better if the subject is written on my forehead in red crayon. (I'm a little slow on the uptake.)

Swinebread said...

I voted for a Green party candidate once as a protest vote many years ago... he just got sentence to jail for eco terrorism. never again

If the greens really cared about the environment they would have made sure that GW would not be the president. Instead they helped him get the office and the environment will sadly never be the same.

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