The title quote was penned by humorist Will Rogers during the FDR Administration. This brilliant satirist, with his Oklahoma drawl and lariat twirling, has lost some of his fame through the years…but not his bite.
Many of my friends chide me for actively supporting Democratic candidates whom, they say, are in bed with the same parasites as their Republican soul mates. The unfortunate thing is that they are largely right. The system has become so corrupt hat corporate largesse seems to be the easiest path to election and re-election. All it takes is blind obedience to the needs of human constituents. OK…I concede that the court has conferred a form of personhood on corporations…but not humanity…so I prefer the latter term.
Call them what you will…Blue Dogs…DINO (Dems In Name Only)…or our very own legislature’s self-style Road Kill Caucus…they are not my Democratic Party. Gov. Howard Dean summed it up when he described himself as representing the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. That is my piece.
Like it or not, we are a two-party political system, much to the chagrin of the founders who decried factions and parties alike. I believe it was John Adams who said it would lead to being governed by “men of party rather than men of state.” Prescient, to say the least.
Third parties have come and gone…”The Know-Nothings”…”Greenbacks”…”Liberty”…”Bull Moose” (Teddy Roosevelt received more votes than the Republican incumbent President Wm. Howard Taft). In 1980 Republican-turned-Independent, John Anderson was credited with helping undo Jimmy Carter. Ross Perot helped elect Bill Clinton in 1992. Ralph Nader sucked enough votes from Al Gore in some states to enable the five stooges of the Supreme Court to anoint George W. Bush.
OK…so third…and fourth parties have proven to be spoilers…but they have come and gone. The two major parties have swapped key pieces of their identities since the days of Lincoln…though the D’s still are considered the people’s party and the R’s the party of big business. The D’s became the de facto party of civil rights; the R’s of religious idiocy.
The D’s became the party that passed child labor law, union rights laws, work relief, Glass-Steagall, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, WAC, OSHA, civil rights, voting rights… etc. The R’s fought it all tooth and nail. Now they are working nonstop to roll it all away.
Yes, there are corporate whores at every level of the Democratic Party. But there are also a plethora of decent, caring, and effective people in and out of elective office. Especially at the precinct and legislative district levels. These are the people who advocate not only for candidates but for causes…like the ones listed above.
I know, because my wife is one of them. She is a serial Precinct Committee Officer PCO) in our legislative district. She attends meetings. She organizes and participates events and has worn out leather endlessly door belling during campaign season. And, we live in a reliably red legislative district, so the outcomes have not always been as we have wished…although we have seen successes in the statewide and national elections as well as in ballot issues.
So, I’m a Democrat. Do I like where my party is on the state and national levels?…no. I’m an American. Do I like what my country has become? …no. So I remain…and like my wife, I soldier on!