10 July 2007

 

Kenneth Quinnell: "Why I'm a Democrat"

Kenneth Quinnell, over at T Rex's Guide to Life, posted this piece, explaining, pretty clearly and reasonably, why he's a Democrat. As a lifelong Democrat, I like it.
So I'm a Democrat. That doesn't mean I'm a huge fan of all Democratic politicians and the policies they pursue. Over the years, I've held my nose to vote for a few people I really don't like, policy-wise, and in a few cases in local races, I've voted for Republicans when there were no Democrats in the race or the only Democrats running were criminals. I didn't enjoy it, but I did it. And, as with most progressives, I have no problem complaining about Democrats when I don't like what they do, even Democrats I otherwise like.

There are a few things that I'm devoted to that some of my fellow progressives aren't. One, is that I'm totally opposed to third party politics. I have no problem with people forming groups or trying to change things, but to me it is totally unrealistic to think you can change the system from the outside or that you can change a party from the outside. Can't be done.

Two, I'm dedicated to winning elections. I think the philosophy out there that some have -- they'd rather vote for the right person and lose, than compromise on some things and win -- makes no sense to me. It never made sense to me, but the Ralph Nader-George W. Bush thing made it clear this way of thinking is a bad idea. [...]

Three, on a related note, is that I can't stand people who dismiss candidates, politicians or allies because of disagreement on a single issue. It's nonsensical and it's doomed to failure. If there is one issue that is particularly important to you, fight for it, but not at the expense of every other issue, because those other things not only affect you, they affect your allies -- the people you have to have fighting with you in order to win on your own issue. Battles are won by coalitions, not soloists.

[...]

The path to changing Florida and changing the world for the better is through the Democratic Party. It's not only a path, it's the only path. Spend all the time you want debating this, discussing it and trying to figure out if I'm wrong or right. Meanwhile, I'll be out there fighting to turn the Democratic Party into the party that I think it can be, the party of the people and the party for positive change for Florida, America and the world. Join me.
"Join me." I love it. Exactly the right approach. Good job, Ken. We don't always agree on all the details, even though we may share the broad strokes, but I do like your style.

What I'd add, is that the Democratic Party became some time betwee the 1930s and 1960s the party devoted consistently to the expansion of the meaning of "All men are created equal" to more and more people. Single-issue politics may be dumb (right on, Kenneth), but getting behind the party with a liberal interpretation of those words from the Declaration of Independence is being on the right side of history, of appreciating at least the possibilities of a positive Americanism, even with its years of slavery, denigration of native rights, etc. We Democrats may not have owned that idea consistently, but in these times, it's ours.

Believe it. Own it. Use it.

Join us.

Comments:
Bravo,Bravo
My feelings exactly. I wish I could express my leanings so elequently!
 
Thanks for the link and comments. I can't say that I disagree with anything you added...
 
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