Democratic Underground  

Real D(d)emocrats
November 15, 2002

Well, geez, I'm confused again. There have been so many Democratic candidates for office qualifying all their votes for the Republican agenda that I think there's some need for a few definitions and clarifications of what it means to be a D(d)emocrat. In the hope of making the best of a bad situation, for the benefit of those in office or those voting who are unclear on the concept, I offer the following:

Real D(d)emocrats don't support Republican agendas, period. Trading with the enemy is treason. Republican right-wing bastards are the enemy - make no mistake about that; they are the enemies of the poor, the truthful, the ordinary American.

They are the enemies of true democracy. No believing them when they say they are the party of Lincoln - Lincoln would piss on George Bush and Trent Lott and Tom DeLay from a great height, had he the chance.

Real D(d)emocratic candidates don't take money from anyone, corporate or otherwise, who gives money to Republicans.

Further, real D(d)emocrat office candidates fight, tirelessly, for genuine campaign reform, instead of letting John McCain occupy legislative time with half-assed reforms. Real D(d)emocratic candidates use shoe leather to sway the public, not attack ads paid for by PACs.

Real D(d)emocrats don't pay any attention to right-wing media assholes. And you all know their names. And, you write your local media outlets and tell them you don't favor them or patronize their advertisers because of the obvious right-wing bias on their stations.

Real D(d)emocrats like sex, and aren't afraid to say so. And like sex education in the schools, so that everyone has the information needed to avoid disease or unwanted pregnancy in the process. Real D(d)emocrats tell the televangelists and Dubya to practice a little more verbal abstinence and a lot less hypocrisy and let the rest of us get on with one of the few enjoyments in life that isn't stamped with a corporate logo.

Real D(d)emocrats speak up for those without a voice.

Real D(d)emocrats regulate big business to avoid big business fleecing the poor.

Real D(d)emocrats understand that perpetual war and an increasing gap between rich and poor is a prescription for disaster. Real D(d)emocrats know that genuine equality at home promotes real democracy abroad.

Real D(d)emocrats know that Republican lies have to be fought with simple truths. Real D(d)emocrats know that supply-side economics is one of those big lies Republicans tell to make the rich richer. Real D(d)emocrats explain that fact to ordinary Americans.

Real D(d)emocratic politicians fight every Republican attempt to stack the courts with right-wing judges, by every means possible. Always. Every time.

Real D(d)emocrats fight for unions, union members and union causes. Real D(d)emocrats also warn union leaders that if they participate in pension fraud or union election fraud, they'll crucify them in public. Real D(d)emocrats do this because collective bargaining has provided a better quality of life for many more people than if unions didn't exist. Real D(d)emocrats protect workers in the workplace.

Real D(d)emocrats scream bloody murder at every Republican attempt to undo environmental legislation.

Real D(d)emocrats aren't afraid to call George W. Bush a pathological liar. He is, after all. Just part of telling the truth.

Real D(d)emocrats remember history, and learn from it.

Real D(d)emocratic politicians show corporate lobbyists the door, politely, but firmly.

Real D(d)emocratic politicians don't write tax legislation benefitting corporations, paying them tax credits to move offshore, and force corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, since corporations use the infrastructure to a greater degree than any individual and need to support schools and communities, because they benefit. Real D(d)emocrats see that pollution-creating, tax-evading, manipulative corporations have their corporate charters revoked. Real D(d)emocrats never think of corporations as having all the rights of people, especially without requiring of them the responsibilities of individual people.

Real D(d)emocrats invite democracy and free speech. Real D(d)emocrats fight the Bush administration tooth and nail on its policies against freedom of information, against its practice of relegating dissenters to "free speech zones" far away from view by those most in need of a dissenting message.

Real D(d)emocratic politicians would impeach and convict Richard Cheney for gross indifference to the rulings of the courts, under the "high crimes and misdemeanors" clause. Same regarding John Ashcroft. A Republican anti-democratic villain is still a villain.

Real D(d)emocratic politicians don't compromise on what is right in a particular issue for a few percentage points in the vote. Doing so costs many more percentage points in the vote.

Real D(d)emocratic politicians don't expect to get votes by appeasing Republicans. Except for those who still believe in Santa Claus.

Real D(d)emocrats love being called the "L" word.

In a society with a Constitutional mandate for freedom of the press, real D(d)emocratic politicians never approve of the means for a few media conglomerates to control the airwaves or the press and fight every government attempt, subtle and overt, to enable one body of ideological thought to prevail or predominate. Doris "Granny D" Haddock mentions in a recent speech that, on her walk across the United States on behalf of campaign reform, she met a man driving a garbage truck who told her, apparently quite earnestly, that the greatest problem this country needed to address was repeal of the estate tax. She said, "I didn't need to ask if there was a radio in his truck." Real D(d)emocrats know what that's about.

D(d)emocratic politicians would never vote for bankruptcy legislation as Draconian as that recently proposed. They would, instead, be creating legislation to tighten rules for corporate bankruptcy and re-establishing laws against usury and harshening penalties for predatory lending and irresponsible tactics on the part of credit card issuers to create consumer debt in those least able to manage large debt.

Real D(d)emocratic politicians can explain to the sensible part of the populace the need for separation of church and state. Faux D(d)emocratic politicians think they need to appeal to the minority Christian right-wing by avoiding the issue.

Real D(d)emocratic politicians would fight for an independent commission to investigate the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and use the information to improve government and intelligence-gathering entities, rather than voting for a massive reorganization of government for no other purpose than to appease a maniacal President.

Real D(d)emocratic politicians would remember past and present members of their institutions who, as their guiding principle, ask themselves before voting on any legislation only one necessary question, "is this best for the people?" War, taxes, corporate tax relief, budget, social issues, it makes no difference. That's the most important question any D(d)emocrat should be asking. Despite hype, PR, media spin, Republican whining and Democratic waffling, self-deception on the part of politicians for the sake of campaign contributions, that should be the only question in a true democracy. If every politician were to have asked that question of himself or herself before each and every vote in the last thirty or forty years, we might have avoided damaging and expensive wars, damage to our economy, the flight of millions of jobs, eliminated poverty and invited tens of millions of disenfranchised citizens back into the political process, and most recently, avoided the damage to our national image created around the world by dangerous and autonomous military action and global economic strong-arm tactics.

Real D(d)emocrats love democracy, for all its messiness and seeming inefficiency, because its precepts are simple. People count before corporations, tolerance is a paramount virtue, government openness is a necessity, and the opinions of all must be heard and evaluated. And most of all, governance is by all the people, not just the select few with the greatest volume. Democracy abhors plutocracy, oligarchy, monarchy, and today, especially, should abhor the tyranny by the radical few of the many, however the means to that end.

Gunter Grass, the famed German novelist who came of age toward the end of Hitler's reign, has said, "the first obligation of the citizen is to keep his mouth open." Good advice for all democrats, politicians and voters alike. If we don't, we'll go on being tyrannized by the few, to the detriment of our country, democracy at large and the rest of the world's people.

punpirate is a New Mexico writer who thinks the Bushies and plenty of people in Congress haven't been very careful about who they associate with and need a good shot of democracy to cure their case of the right-wing clap.

Printer-friendly version
Tell a friend about this article Tell a friend about this article
Discuss this article
Democratic Underground Homepage