Monday, July 17, 2017

Why I Am a Progressive Democrat

A word about why I am a Progressive Democrat.

I got tired of all of the lies and confusion about Social Security and about health insurance so I did research. I have not received formal training in these subjects. But one day I realized that the Republicans in my state were telling one lie after another. The Democrats were better, but even they had problems with the truth (such as claiming that someone investing $1 in a business was a small business owner).

So I started looking things up and reading a lot, and I used original sources whenever possible (such as the Social Security Annual Trustee's Report). And I saw that the conservatives in Washington D.C. had become radical conservatives, interested only in ideology and money at the expense of practicality and common sense. I saw members of the GOP sign pledges for absolutely no tax increases, and I saw them claim that the government was going broke because of entitlements (such as Social Security, a self-funded program). I saw Bush and the GOP pass tax cuts for the rich while putting the expense of the Afghan and Iraqi wars directly onto the national debt without counting those costs in the yearly budgets (no deficits here, people!). I see politicians count Social Security surpluses in their budgets to make their deficits appear smaller. I see false claims about how the GOP is the party of fiscal conservatism, and Democrats are tax-and-spend.

I used to think I was a Republican. Turns out I am a Progressive Democrat. I don't put God and Greed above country and fellow citizens. I believe government and regulations have a place in our lives. I don't want corporations trashing our planet or dumping toxic wastes into our rivers and oceans or stealing our money or not paying their fair share.

I want to see roads, bridges, libraries, well-funded public schools, worker protections, fiscal protections. I want gender and racial equality, and I want our police trained to use non-lethal force. I don't want schizophrenics to have guns and I don't think people need machine guns. I want the Constitution followed without lies about our founding fathers' real intentions.

I think the government should be blind as far as religion goes. I want the government to stop making laws regarding religion; I want churches to be tax-exempt as non-profit charities rather than because they are religious organizations. I want patriotism to mean taking care of veterans and soldiers, the poor and the elderly, the children and the sick. Patriotism is not about waving guns and flags and wearing lapel pins, proclaiming that people who criticize our government don't love our country and should leave because they are not true Americans. Patriotism is about actions that show you really do love your country, not empty rhetoric.

I don't like the hate shown towards other people and other groups. I don't want people judged by the color of their skin, their country of origin, their age, their gender, their choice of partners, their religion, their political views or lack thereof, their professions, their health, the straightness or number or color of their teeth. I want people to be judged by how they treat others, how they treat their country, how they treat our planet.

I don't believe in American Exceptionalism; I believe that we can learn from other countries. I don't think that Climate Change is just a hoax. I believe in science, in its methods of verification and validation. Newton's Laws of Gravity are just a theory, the same as Climate Change. Ignore either at your peril.

Yeah, I used to be a Republican. I'm better, now.

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