Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Democrats That Once Were

Compliments of You Tube, I am presenting a video clip of John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech in 1961. It represents to me the Democratic Party from which I have become estranged. He was unapologetic about America's role as a world power. He is unabashed about his determination to maintain America's position in the world. He sought to better the condition of the poor without condemning the capitalist system that is ultimately the engine of compassion. He was not unique in his expressed convictions. My parents never voted for a Republican for President, except in 1980 when my mother voted for Reagan. My parents classified themselves as liberal. They supported prayer in public schools. They favoured racial equality and assistance based on economic need rather than racial quotas. My mother was strongly against legalised abortion. They did oppose the Vietnam war. They were like many who today would be classified as conservative.Towards the end of the sixties , the Democratic party that earned the support of devout Roman Catholics and Orthodox Jews started drifting from its base. It is one thing to support the right to condemn the government. It is another thing to believe the critics and join them in a wholesale condemnation of all things American. I use the term "labour conservative" to represent an advocacy for working people that is rooted in religious values. It also represents the belief that in a democracy such as America, workers and capitalists both great and small need each other. The outsourcing of millions of manufacturing jobs to developing countries is a strategic and economic disaster in the making. It also has an underlying aspect of class warfare . Meanwhile, America's tax base is being eroded due to corporate greed. There is a way to aid developing countries that is beneficial to workers in the developing and the industrialised world. That has not yet even been attempted.
The ideas represented by the Democratic Party of JFK have similarities to a "labour conservative" outlook. These ideas are not dead. But neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party of today really seems to represent these ideas. My support for the Republican Party is reluctant. They do not have policies that are keeping jobs in the country at viable wages. I am only reluctantly voting Republican because of the dangerous road now being traveled by the Democrats. I believe that they want to abdicate America's role as a world power. The last time that was tried under President Carter, the Iranian people paid a terrible price for his naivete . I do not want to find out which unfortunate nation would pay for Barack Hussein Obama's political naivete.
I would like there to be a Democratic Party that I could consider supporting. I did not leave them. They left me.
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