Why I left the Republican party

September 20, 2008

In thinking back about my personal move away from the Republican party to the Democratic party, it happened as part of the realization, “How can it all be just about me and just about what I want and need?”   It seemed to me, that the Republican party represented exclusivity rather in inclusivity,  you know, the old, “You’re either with us or against us!” line from Bush43.  I don’t like that.  I don’t believe in that.

I wanted lower taxes, smaller government, control on government expenditures–I know, I sound like Republican party rhetoric.  Today’s Republican party is anything but that in terms of actual practice.  The notion of “fiscal conservatives” is but a figment of our imagination.  I know that frustrates a lot of Republicans as well.

Here’s where I am today:

  • It isn’t just about me and minimizing my tax burden–I have a broader responsibility and interest than just worrying about me.
  • I’m not in favor of the government or a political party supporting and promoting the agenda of narrow interests as I’ve seen the Republican party.
  • I favor a woman’s right to chose because it isn’t up to me or the State to do anything other than protect an individuals rights. [I understand that not everyone agrees with me on this and it’s okay–we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.]
  • I’ve worked my entire career in management and executive management to support pay and worker equality. My best performers have almost always been women!  Barack Obama shares this belief about women.
  • I’m in favor of diplomacy and reject the Bush Doctrine of unilateral, preemptive strikes against another sovereign nation unless it is the only course of action possible.
  • I’m not in favor of bringing Democracy to the entire planet (or at least to those nations that have oil) at taxpayer expense.  Did anyone else sign up for this?
  • When it comes to armed conflict, our Armed Forces should be managed fully by the military, not by politicians.  If we are going to send our men and women into harms way, the rules of engagement should be to win.  We’ve lost over 4,000 men and women due to a nation-building effort, not due to a “war.”
  • I am not in favor of redistributing wealth via our system of taxation but I’m also not in favor of leaving people behind because of “me, me, me.”  Somewhere, there has to be a balance between these extremes.
  • I’m disgusted by the Bush/Cheney Administration and all they’ve done to undermine the U.S. Constitution and our standing in the world.
  • I want balance on the Supreme Court, not a Court of hand-picked individuals in place merely to push the agendas of narrow specical interests. 
  • I appreciate that our nation is built on a separation of church and state;  I want it to stay that way.
  • I am in favor of a government that values fiscal restraint, not printing money like there is no tomorrow as we are seeing now. 

Is the Democratic party perfect?  Far from it!  But, it offers a lot more to the world than the Republican party at this point.  And, it offers a lot more to America at this point.

Democrat Dave

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Distorting the Democratic agenda: setting the record straight

September 20, 2008

I’ve been troubled by distortions I’m hearing and reading this past week in people’s thinking about Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. 

There’s a woman whom I hear frequently encouraging others to vote Republican because “all Barack Obama wants to do is raise your taxes.”  And, she bases this on what? Tired, old, outdated perceptions of the Democratic party? What facts about Barack Obama’s plan is she familiar with?  None!  She hasn’t read anything.  Yet, she spews this misinformation like nobody’s business.   If she and her husband made more than $250,000 per year, she’d be right. But, her family income is no where near that.

She’s not open to hearing anything other than her own voice.  To debate the issues, it would be good to be armed with facts.  This person isn’t properly armed and never will be.

I calmly explained to the person next to me about my blog post comparing Barack Obama and John McCain’s taxation plans.  He appreciated seeing a side-by-side comparison and said he was voting for Barack Obama.  “Enough, ” he said. 

I found more distortions this morning when I read Mudflats blog and discovered the following in a post by Doug, a gentleman who decided to go out with a large placard proclaiming “Palin Lies” to get his concerns about Sarah Palin out to others up in Alaska.  He writes:

…I was accosted by a couple of 60-year old women….Suddenly they were quoting Palin’s approval rating and Obama’s record as America’s most liberal senator (reminding me they got their information straight from CNN). They were joined by their husbands and a couple of other tourists. They stood over me and shook their fingers. Did I want to be a socialist? Did I remember Jimmy Carter’s administration? Was I really for health care for “all” people?

Let’s examine these assertions.

So, Obama is America’s “most liberal Senator?” Really?  How has he had time to achieve this?  That would be quite an achievement given his limited time in Washington, D.C.

Barack Obama is in favor of Socialism?  No.  Republicans love to throw out loaded terms like “liberal” and “Socialism” to describe Democrats.  We’re seeing before our very eyes right now Socialism on a scale we’ve never seen in the U.S.  The Bush Administration is embracing Socialism by spending perhaps $1 trillion to recover from the train wreck of deregulation and oversight neglect. 

I’m not in favor of bailing out reckless corporations and executives, but, that’s what we–the American taxpayers–are going to do because, on the GOP watch, the Bush Administration has just about brought about a collapse of our economy (see statements by Bernake and Paulson this past week) unless we toss a life preserver to the companies who’ve caused the problem.  Sweet!  

There’s a price that the U.S. will pay on a longer-term basis in the global credit and capital markets.  $1 trillion will take the pain away, but, if we don’t find systemic solutions, we’ll be right back here again. 

A free market system is about letting things succeed that shoud succeed and letting things fail that should fail.  To see things as “too important to fail” and bailing it out with taxpayer money is to embrace a Socialistic solution.  This is Socialism at its finest.  We’ve not seen this since the Great Depression.

Health care for everyone?  Do these people think it should only be for a privileged few?

As for Jimmy Carter, excuse, me, but did these women forget about the budget surpluses and period of prosperity that we enjoyed as a nation under the last Democratic Administration led by Bill Clinton?  Hellllooooo!!!   Jimmy Carter, a wonderful human being, was not our best President.  George Bush has been much, much worse.  A McCain-Palin administration will do nothing but further erode our country and its standing in the world.  McCain has hardly been able to put together back-to-back sentences this week on this issue without stumbling.  Thank God he’s not in charge now.

There are many issues that this great nation faces. The Republicans favor those who are wealthy, those who aspire to be wealthy, and some special interests that they pander to each election year, e.g. the Christian evangelicals. The Democrats are concerned, rightfully so, about the destruction of the middle class under GOP rule.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would even consider the McCain-Palin ticket at this point.  McCain and Palin are completely non-sensical to me.  Both of them are out of control with power and ego and offer no change.  It’s time for a change.  Enough!

Democrat Dave