What it means to be a democrat can vary from person to person, some lean more to the left than others, for some it depends on the issue at hand. It’s a messy business classifying what a party stands for when you mix in political pundits, connotation, and spin. So here is a break down of what it really means to be a part of the democratic party. Where we have been and where we are going, and all the shades of blue.
The Democratic party is one of the oldest political parties in the world and the oldest in the United States going as far back as 1792. Officially becoming the Democratic Party in 1844. Without the Democratic Party we wouldn’t have the social programs or many of the equal rights we enjoy (and sometimes take for granted) today. Democrats gave us women’s suffrage in the 1920s. The New Deal in the 1930s, which gave us a wealth of social programs reviving us from the Great Depression. Programs like Social Security, minimum wage, and The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (also known as the Wagner Act), which are still important and valued today.
After World War II democrats insured that soldiers coming home would be able to buy a home or receive higher education with the G.I. Bill. In the 1960’s we brought forth the Civil Rights Movement and Higher Education Act of 1965 which gave us financial aid.
Now in the 21st century democrats are still fighting to protect our progress and continue to move forward. Issues like equal pay are moving forward with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009. Fighting for LGBT rights with the Marriage Equality act, and guaranteeing affordable health care for all with the Affordable Care Act. The Democratic Party supports and works to protect a woman’s right to choose. We are fighting for environmental protection and are fighting against climate change. These are issues the GOP is fiercely refuting. They are trying to take away rights, benefits, and are denying science.
The Democratic Party has the obligation to constantly defend these causes, and see that the party — and our people — continue to grow and thrive.
Knowingly or not, we all benefit from democratic programs and ideas. Whether your grandparents are collecting Social Security or you’re a college student receiving the Pell Grant, democrats are fighting for equal opportunity for all people regardless of race, gender, or circumstance. Being a democrat means protecting the best interest for ourselves, our neighbors, and our future. We are the party of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Barak Obama.
You can insure that these programs stay alive and many more are created to better the lives of yourself and everyone around you. Voting democratic in not only the large elections, but for your local elected officials. We still have a long road ahead, every vote counts!
-Willow Flowers, Intern