Why I’m Still A Democrat

One of my conservative friends (who recently left the Republican party) and I had this conversation that sounded like the discussion I imagine everyone who still identifies with either major party has; Why are you a Democrat or Republican? The party conversation is one I commonly hear, especially considering how critical I am of my party. The reasoning is simple the Democratic party aligns more with my views on domestic policy. I strongly believe in giving people more freedom in their social choices about who they marry, love, associate with, choose to be, and on drug use. Democrats also align with my economic views by supporting policies aimed at economic mobility and social safety nets.

I have recently been taken aback by how many of my conservative friends have advocated more and more for policy limiting freedoms. I thought the debate over reproductive rights, marriage equality, and trans rights had ended. I thought progressives had expanded those rights and permanently won them, but clearly, I was wrong. We are watching as each one is being rolled back at the state level and challenged in courts. The progress generations fought for was not permanent conservatives mobilized, and we have to do the same. There seems to only be one party willing to fight for human rights, the Democratic party. While the Democratic party is not perfect and has dropped the ball, they are currently the only party responding to and trying to push back against the current cultural backlash, and I want to support them in those efforts.

If social issues were not enough, Democrats’ views on poverty reduction, economic mobility, and the safety net, while not perfect, are more in line with mine. I consider myself a libertarian socialist and believe the point of government is like in the Preamble to the Constitution is as follows.

“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Notice something there? The government’s purpose is to form a more perfect union and protect liberty something we come together to do. This is necessary because of the power private businesses have over individuals and how our economy tilts power in favor of the rich and well connected that is why we need a strong government. A government that will protect and enforce worker protections, collective bargaining, and consumer rights, one that will invest in and support education to allow people to develop fully, one that will help the old or infirm. We need a government that will not only redistribute resources to support its citizens but one willing to intervene on their behalf to push back against the market forces corrupting everything from relationships to healthcare.

When I look at the current parties and look at the ways to influence policy I only have one choice the Democrats. The Democrats are working towards pushing society in the right direction even if it is slow and even if they make mistakes and that is why I still call myself a Democrat and hope you will too.

(I would be remiss if I did not mention the strong civil rights ties the Democratic party has. The fights from the 70s on where Black Americans took the reigns, party apparatus, and positions within along with elected ones to make them more hospitable to Black Americans sadly that meant Republicans became less responsive.)

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