I wrote this post 8 years ago in 2006. I still feel the same way.
If I had to pinpoint a time when I began describing myself as a Democrat, it would be the winter of 2000. By this point, my transition from a good little Baptist conservative to what Cartman describes so aptly as a "college know-it-all hippie" was really in full swing. As you can imagine, 2000 was not the best year to switch parties because we started losing...a lot.
It wasn't always easy to stand strong. 2004 was particularly devastating with pundit after pundit proclaiming the death of the Democratic party. However, I became and remain a Democratic because I believe to my very core that this party is better at governing our country. I do not believe that Republicans are evil (at least not ALL of them) or that they hate America. I do believe that the basic ideas of the Republican party spell disaster for America.
Corporate welfare does not work. Leaving corporations free to pursue the almighty dollar and expecting them to do what's best for America in the process is absurd. And who can blame them? It is their job to make a profit at all costs and most of them are pretty good at it. However, it is not their job to watch out for working men and women. It is the government's. The middle and lower classes of this country do not ask for much but when they do we should deliver. Democrats deliver. They delivered Social Security. They delivered the Family and Medical Leave Act. And they will deliver a raise in the minimum wage.
Wedge issues might be an election strategy but they are not a governing strategy. Without a doubt, religious and social values are important. It was a strong faith in God that led Americans to demand an end to slavery, an end to segregation and the right to vote for women. However, reducing complex issues of morality and faith into divisive discussions on abortion and gay marriage is wrong. Morality in government really means less corruption. In the first 100 hours, Speaker Pelosi has already said the first item on her agenda will be to close the revolving door between legislators and lobbying.
Nation building does not work. It never has and it never will. Being strong on national security requires diplomacy and restraint, not brute force and moral judgment. Our experiment in Iraq has failed. By refusing to address our failure, we have also made North Korea and Iran more powerful and more dangerous. Without a doubt, we are less safe and less secure. Democrats will demand the accountability that has been sorely lacking in our government's foreign policy. Tough questions are ahead but that does not mean they should not be asked.
I believe in the Democratic party. Not because we are perfect or have all the answers - but because the foundation of our party is built on real solutions for this country.