Rabid-Republicans need not attend this class. (Or waste time commenting, either... LOL.) Today will be a long lecture, so if you'd rather go play in the sun, just turn on those recorders, place them in your seats and go! Teacher isn't taking attendance today. (smile)
This will be a rather basic and friendly discussion of why I'm a Democrat. And why you might want to consider being one, too...
Have wondered why most 'blue-collar' workers are Democrats?
Ever wondered why most filthy rich people are Republicans?
As it was explained to me many (many) years ago, there are generally two reasons a person is a Republican.
One: A person is extremely conservative--generally we're speaking in a religious sense, by the way. (Think the 'old-fashioned' values of the Midwest or deep South here.) Those with liberal thoughts on sexuality (etc.) need not apply, in other words. (Remember, it's President Bush who thinks that only heterosexuals should be allowed to make the commitment of marriage... Just one example, of course.)
Two: A person is extremely wealthy and wants to remain wealthy. (Think tax breaks for those who probably need it least. Think voting down any taxes that are aimed at giving assistance to the poor and lower-middle-class people of our nation. Whether you liked Clinton or not, he and Hilary did try to get a national medical plan. People shouldn't have to avoid going to the doctor when they really need to just because they have no possible way to pay...)
I'm not a BBH Democrat (like my older sister, Sue). BBH? Big Bleeding Heart.
Nor am I anti-gun (we have two in our home for protection).
I'm not wildly and irrationally liberal. Unless you are one of those people who think that definition would be my saying I feel gays and lesbians deserve equal rights (including the right to marry).
Years ago I talked to two different friends who were registered Republicans to ask them what had made them make the decision to become a Republican.
One immediately pointed to her parents. She'd been 'brought up' a Republican.
So was I. So were my two sisters.
[More about that later!]
This friend was using more than one social service. I had her look into how little Republicans support social services. (Remember, they usually strive to keep taxes down--no matter what.) She couldn't survive without government assistance. She also got a minimum wage job soon after--and was fairly delighted when Democrats pushed through an increase in the minimum wage.
The second friend was an intellectual guy who loved to argue politics with me. He was a political science major in college and all over his strong Republican background.
Then at one point he lost several college benefits during a Republican term. He was pissed, but still diehard.
Later he went to work.
I remember clearly the day he admitted to both Marilyn and me that he'd decided to become a Democrat. He'd been screwed over on his contract and decided to get involved with his union. Suddenly he became aware that he was one of the people who needed what Democrats were out there trying to get...
Those are only two examples, of course. Minor, at best. But still...
(I doubt finding out his childhood friend was gay had anything to do with it, frankly. And he never mentioned it. But it may have had some impact, too...)
Let's revisit my personal situation again, shall we? LOL.
My older sister and I were recently discussing our own Republican roots, interesting considering our Mom's folks were serious Democrats. Personal friends (and financial supporters) of Hubert Humphrey. (We used to get the big thrill of taking the White House Christmas cards to school once a year to show them off...)
Mom became a Republican when she married in order to please my Dad. (In those days women often did things like that. LOL. Gag.)
Dad's reasoning? His Dad was a Republican. Grandpa was conservative about most issues--especially taxes. So, honestly, was my Dad.
(Although Grandpa Ed had three sons and a daughter and literally loads of grand kids, he never once voted in favor of a school levy. No matter how badly it was needed! He never voted for library levies. He never voted in favor of any social service taxes. Even though he had kids and grand kids who relied on them!)
I used to cry from both anger and disillusionment (hurt) as a child/teen, knowing that those things weren't worth a damn to my Grandpa. (Fortunately Dad didn't always vote the Republican ticket 100% down the line. LOL.)
Mom and Dad both voted for Nixon, by the way. (I cringe to think of it, but it's true.)
By the time Jimmy Carter ran for President our entire family voted for him, though!
It's interesting that each of us 'girls' decided on our political affiliation entirely on our own.
Marilyn mistressmarilyn is a Mensa-level intellect. In her case she used her head to reason it out.
Sue (our older sister) started out working for the telephone company and later became involved with the union. She went on to be an important female in the largely male-dominated (then) union world. She also served a term in the state House of Reps and has been very politically involved her entire life.
Me? It's a combination of head and heart, frankly. Even if I had tons of money and it wouldn't serve me personally, I like to believe I'd remain a Democrat who is concerned with the welfare of those in difficult situations--and those less fortunate than I am.
Check the voting statistics, if you wish. But social services aren't provided by Republicans, my friends.
Interestingly enough, both our parents eventually registered as Democrats. (The joke used to be that Dad would cancel out votes, way back when. LOL.) And though Mom became a Catholic in later years and Dad a Lutheran (both very involved in their respective churches), they supported gay rights! (With votes, not just words.)
That's personal and probably has little meaning to most people reading, of course.
(Like talking about Sue meeting, walking and talking with President Carter. Or Hilary Clinton. Or attending Clinton's inauguration...)
But here's the thing...
If you've ever relied on a social service--or have a loved one (family or friend) who has--you really should be asking yourself why you'd want to be a Republican.
Hey, if you've got a ton of money and want to make sure you keep it, then I understand where you're coming from--even if I disagree with you. Look, it's the American way to want to earn--and protect--money. That's cool.
And if you're very conservative in a moral sense, that's another valid thing. Again, I'm never going to be there, personally. But we all have to determine our moral values--and when we take a serious stand--for ourselves.
Don't get me wrong. I think of myself (for the most part) as religious. I was brought up Christian and was the youngest person to have join our church (at ten). I wanted to be a missionary at one point. LOL.
I'm more divided than in the past on Christianity--though I still find it very valid as a philosophy (rather than to view Jesus Christ as divine). I taught Sunday School and Bible School for many (many) years and have also studied theology. (And a variety of religions that range from Roman Catholic to pagan. I'm still fascinated by my own search for the divine and love to watch others as they move toward enlightenment...)
I like making moral decisions for myself. Without any promise of the reward of heaven. I believe in trying to do what's right because it is right--and not because a church tells me it's right. (I happen to believe most of us are capable of telling right from wrong, too. I may be mistaken, but I prefer to be optimistic! LOL.)
You know, I was out there campaigning for Robert Kennedy. I was far too young, yet, to vote. But not to young to have ideals, I guess. (Marilyn--who is two years younger than I am--was right beside me! His death was incredibly hard to face...)
Kennedy wanted to take responsibility for our involvement in the Vietnam War. He wanted to step up and take us to the next level of Civil Rights. Those were exciting times.
Am I crazy about John Kerry? No. Would he have been my personal choice for President? No.
But there are two choices here. Bush or Kerry. Anything else is a waste of a person's vote.
I suppose I would have voted for Stevenson against Ike, by the way. He was an extraordinary man of immense intellect. I'm impressed by smarts. Can somebody please teach President Bush how to pronounce some very basic words? I can't imagine how annoyed his speech writer(s) must be, dealing with it. It drives me nuts. (Imagine what other countries think when they hear him? They must believe we're a country of idiots...)
Yes, Democrats are probably always going to be responsible for raising your taxes.
Sorry, but the fact is it costs money to take care of people.
Much of my life that didn't include my immediate family. But when Mom and Dad got older I started to realize how that impacted a large portion of the senior citizens in this nation!
And should it matter if it's my family that needs food or medical care? Should it have to be personal to be the right thing?
By the way, I have voted for Republicans on many occasions. I'm not suggesting that all Democrats are wonderful and all Republicans are not. Or that any one party is entirely good and the other entirely evil.
But go look at the voting stats. They're available to anyone who is interested! Go back a number of years. (Not just a decade. Try two or three. Or more.)
And if you still want to register and vote Republican, more power to you. At least you care enough to be a registered voter and to cast a vote!
The average 'little person' is unable to look out for himself. He might be under-educated. He's probably under-employed. He might be homeless or close to it. (My cousin, for example, moves every few months. And has lived in shelters.) His English may not be perfect (or close to perfect).
He might live in a nursing home (or similar facility) that is under-staffed. Or staffed by people who are underpaid and under-appreciated--which often turns them abusive. (I've seen that up close.) He might be suffering regular abuse and unable to tell anyone.
Am I my brother's keeper?
We all are. Even when we'd prefer not to be.