I have been a Democrat for nearly one year. A GOP friend of mine asked me about the differences between the parties. He is thinking of leaving the GOP as well. Many have followed me out and read my column loyally knowing I will let them know if the Democrats are as bad as the Republicans have told us.
A political party should attract and maintain members based on the inherent good of the party’s ideals. The Republican Party has derailed regarding goodness these days. I am ashamed to say it, but I had a hand in the derailing of the party in the late 1970s through the 2012 Presidential Election. I helped perpetuate the myths, a polite way of saying spread the lies, the GOP had to tell to keep the rank-and-file in line.
I spent forty-two years as a member of the Grand Old Party, and thirty-eight years in that period as a propagandist and party sycophant. I made a good living serving my Washington, DC, masters. When one pretends they are working for the greater good, it makes serving one’s self at the expense of society as a whole easier to swallow, if one has even a sliver of a conscience.
The year 2010, and the rise of the Tea Party was when my questioning the party became a serious matter for me. I fell out with the party during the George W. Bush Administration over making war against people who had done nothing wrong to the USA and then lying about it. I saw the bigotry against Muslims on display among party hierarchy and thought it was unfair, not to mention unconstitutional.
I witnessed men and women who had sworn to protect and defend The Consitution of the United States sit and hatch plans to strip Muslims of their rights under the law, and call it patriotic.
In fact, I was seeing many things going on in the party that struck me as unpatriotic. I was an eyewitness to the birth of ideas that appear to be unconstitutional if we are kind about the description of the notions put forward. I began seeing this flag-waving, Bible-thumping mob that took over the party that is not true to the words in either document.
By the rise of Donald Trump, I wanted nothing more to do with the once patriotic Republican Party.
I left the GOP and joined the Democratic Party. I did so with some trepidation. I had drunk the Kool-aid for years and had whipped up my fair share of disinformation about the loyal opposition myself. There were things about the Democratic Party I did not like. As I have learned over the past year, my fears were unfounded, and the GOP propaganda had kept me in line too.
What are the stories the Republicans tell that are not true about the Democrats?
The Democratic Party is anti-business. The statement is so far beyond the truth; I am shocked the GOP can make this claim and not laugh out loud. Tell that tale to Mark Cuban, Warren Buffet, the wealthiest private citizen in the world Bill Gates, Meg Whitman, George Soros, Mike Bloomberg, and Jeff Bezos. If they are not outright Democrats, they donate mostly to Democrats.
Democrats are socialists. See the list above. I do not think so. Part of the problem is GOP disinformation about what socialism is and is not. The Republicans have been successful in blurring the line between a social safety net and socialism. The big difference is under socialism, the government owns the means of production, and private individuals or corporations do not.
If the Democratic Party were socialists as the GOP claimed when the financial industry meltdown happened in 2008/2009 and the Government stepped in to rescue banks and insurance companies, they would have seized the assets and not given them back, and we would now have a government-owned banking system.
If you want to experience the malodorous aroma of Socialism, take a look at what Rick Perry is doing for the coal industry via the Department of Energy. Remember the Troubled Asset Recovery Program, (TARP) that bailed out banks, insurance companies, and automobile companies? That looks a lot more like socialism than Medicare, Social Security, and the Affordable Care Act as the GOP falsely accuse. Perry's program lacks the oversight of TARP, and that should be a concern for those who do not like Government control of private enterprise.
TARP was a GOP invention, with the bailouts signed into law by George W. Bush. Democrat Barack Obama took over the programs in 2009 and did not make any attempt to change our system into one that is socialist. With that Perry is doing for Coal, and looking at TARP, I cannot say the same for the GOP.
The Democratic Party is anti-family. This patent lie is a dog-whistle summoning the hounds to hate the LGBTQ community. If anything, the Democratic Party is pro-family by expanding the definition of family to any two humans who love one another and are committed to a loving life together.
The Democratic Party is anti-Religion and anti-Christian. This fairytale, invented by the Religious-Right, which is neither religious nor right in my view. The first Democrat, Thomas Jefferson, was the author of the separation of church and state. The founders saw the adverse outcomes in Europe when religion exerts influence over governing bodies, and they were not going to have any of it in the United States.
These are just a few of the stories the Republicans tell the faithful to keep them in line. The Democrats have a few whoppers of their own they like to spread around about the GOP, but nothing like these four big lies that are designed by the party elites to keep the peasants in line.
These lies are easy to explode, so why do they persist, and a more significant question is why they are successful if they are false?
There is a fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats we tend to ignore. The mindset of the GOP is the Government is something we should be suspicious of at all times. There is a core belief in the Grand Old Party that government is inherently evil and will only take your property. I have heard GOP faithful say the only legitimate role for the Government is to keep the enemy off the shores and deliver the mail. In today’s world, they are not so sure about that last one.
On the other hand, The Democrats believe the Government is here to help the downtrodden, to right social wrongs, and provide a leg up to those who are marginalized by society.
It was because of my suspicions about Government I was reluctant to join the Democratic Party. The Republicans exploited that fear. Should we be wary of Government? Of course, we should, but we should not be paranoid about it.
In the big scheme of things, the diverging views of the parties serve as a good thing in theory. The way it used to work, is the debate kept each side honest, and the best policy was the one worked out in a compromise.
Of course, if two sides will not compromise, then we get the mess we have today.
To my GOP friends who are not happy about the state of the party, and would like to leave, please join me in the Democratic Party. The stories the GOP tells about the Democrats are not real. You will find your political home, and your independent voice has respect in the Democratic Party.
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