by user AYD
I am a Democrat. That should come as no surprise considering the name of my blog is www.angryyoungdem.blogspot.com. (And as a point of reference, it alludes to a Billy Joel song, and nothing else). I always have been a Democrat, and always will be a Democrat. I grew up in the 12th district of NJ where Dick Zimmer was a well thought of moderate Republican who I had the joy of voting against numerous times. The 12th eventually turned blue when Zimmer ran for Senate and lost and his replacement, Mike Pappas, sang "Twinkle Twinkle Kenneth Starr" on the floor of the house. The 12th may have been a moderate district, but the district representing Princeton University had little tolerance for such nonsense. So they elected a rocket scientist, and former Jeopardy champion, Rush Holt. Holt is an excellent Democrat, who, in my mind, always votes the right way.
I gave you that introduction as a hope of showing my Democratic credentials. If you insist, I also worked for a Democratic Congresswoman for 2 years in Washington D.C. The reason I feel I need to explain this all up front is that I understand that there is an election coming up in less than 2 weeks, and I understand that people are sensitive about any distraction from the task at hand...Winning the Election.
But winning elections is not enough for me. Politics was never intended to be a baseball game. The end result is not supposed to be winning elections for the sake of winning elections. Make no mistake about it. I will be among the celebrating, ecstatic, and relieved if the Democrats can take back the House, or the Senate, or both. But come November 8, my concerns will begin again.
When it is election season, I let it slide when I read about the West Virginia candidate who got an A rating from the NRA. I rationalize it by saying that no matter who gets elected from West Virginia they are going to be supported by the NRA, so better it be a D than an R. When I read about the Pennsylvania Senate race and the views of both candidates on a Woman's right to choose what to do with her own body, I comfort myself by reminding myself how evil Rick Santorum is. When I think about the assault on the Constitution I think of Montana where...Wait, hold it a sec, Jon Tester had the most impressive statement of the election season when he said he wanted to obliterate the Patriot Act.
When I wake up on November 8, I want to wake up to a Democratic Congress. But I want to wake up to a Democratic congress that has an pro-active and progressive agenda. Merely stemming the tide of atrocious Republican legislation is not enough for me. I want a democratic Congress that is going to get real about gun violence in America. I want a Democratic Congress that is going to proudly stand behind a Woman's right to choose what to do with her own body. I want a Democratic congress that is going to restore a sense of rationality and even compassion to out criminal justice system. I want a Democratic Congress that is going to get rid of government sanctioned murder, i.e. the death penalty. I want a Democratic Congress that is going to restore the balance between the three branches of government. I want a Democratic congress that is going to restore respect for the Judiciary. I want a Democratic Congress that is going to restore the constitution, is going to restore international human rights, is going to restore civil rights, and is going to restore our nation's commitment to racial equality.
I recognize that Rome was not built in a day. I recognize that my agenda can only happen if Democrats are elected. That is why I have supported so many Democratic candidates. That is why I have sent money to candidates with platforms I don't necessarily agree with (aka Harold Ford).
I consider myself a Bread and Butter Democrat. I support racial equality, a living constitution, a living wage, and healthy respect for disagreement. I just hope that on November 8 that is the agenda we have elected. Because if my ideals are not realized in a Democratic congress, I have nothing left to fight for.