Why I’m A Democrat
By David Todd McCarty | November 4, 2017
I’ve been a fan of Al Franken for some years now, but no more so since he ran for Congress and won. I still can’t believe he took the job sometimes. He says it’s never been as fun as working at SNL, but he claims it’s still the best job he’s ever had. That’s public service for you.
For many years I was basically an independent even though I was a registered Republican. A decade or so ago I finally made peace with the fact that I was a screaming liberal and today I’m a full blown Democrat. I always thought the terms liberal, leftist, progressive and Democrat were sort of interchangeable, with the exception that Democrat was actually a party affiliation, and not an ideology. Now it seems that liberal, progressive and Democrat all mean different things to people.
I’m a liberal, in the best sense of the word; a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties. I don’t know how you can say you’re not for those things and live in America.
But recently I decided to become a Democrat. I’ve been registered as a Democrat since 2000, but I mean I actually decided to become part of the party, not just choose to vote in their primaries. I did this because I believe that there are real problems with the party, and the only way to change them is get involved and be one of the people making the decisions. Also, I’d vote for anyone other than a Republican. I don’t care what level of government. If you feel comfortable calling yourself a Republican, I don’t feel comfortable with your view of humanity as a whole.
Al Franken recently gave an interview to promote his new book, “Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.” This is the reason he gave for being a Democrat.
I’m a Democrat because I grew up in Minnesota, in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, and my dad didn’t graduate high school, he’s was a printing salesman.
I grew up, my brother and I and my parents grew up in, we grew up in a two bedroom, one bathroom house. I felt like the luckiest kid in the world because – I was! I was growing up middle class, at the height of the middle class, in America, in Minnesota, in Saint Louis Park,
I thought I could do anything, and I think that people don’t feel like that any more and for very good reason. I think that’s why we lost this election because there’s so many people angry about 40 years of that.
My wife, who I met my freshman year of college, she grew up very differently. Her father, a decorated World War II vet, died in a car accident when she was 18 months old. She had a three month old sister then and three older siblings, and her mom was 29 years old and widowed with five kids. She had a high school education and they barely made it.
They made it because of Social Security survivor benefits. Sometimes they were hungry, sometimes they turned the heat off in the winter, this is Portland, Maine, but they made it. Every one of the girls in the family, the four girls when to college. They went to college on combinations of scholarships and Pell Grants.
At that time a full Pell Grant paid 80% of a public college education, today it pays about 35%.
I know kids, one of the big issues in my first campaign was the affordability of college and it still continues. We fight, I mean, we fight on that, but we’re not in the majority, and that’s a lot to do with the states, how much the states kick in on public education.
They made it. When the baby, when Bootsie went to high school, my mother-in-law got a GI loan, $300 to go to college. She got three moreloans, graduated from college, became a grade school teacher and because she taught Title One kids, poor kids, she had all her loans forgiven. My brother-in-law went in the Coast Guard. Every member of that family became a contributing member of our society, middle class, and that’s why I’m a Democrat.
They tell you in this country you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, but first you have to have the boots.
The government gave my wife’s family the boots, and that’s why I’m a Democrat.
I’m younger than Al, and my experience was a little different. But I grew up more or less lower middle class. We were sort of self-inflicted poor because my father chose to work in a religious capacity rather than the business route he had gone to college for. We were middle class with people with less money. But I was never hungry. I never wanted for anything. We didn’t have a lot of extras, and we didn’t go on fancy vacations, but we were happy. I was anyway.
I went to college and while my mother paid for my tuition with ballet classes that she taught, I paid all my own expenses. I began working when I was 14 and with the exception of two weeks when I was laid off from my construction job in college, I haven’t stopped working since.
I fear that the middle class is losing ground. The poor in this country are becoming more plentiful and the rich are getting richer. That’s not a democratic society.
I want to see the Democratic party return to being the party of the working man. Protector of the little guy. I’ve always been one to stand up to bullies and that’s what the Republicans feel like me to today. Rich bullies, ready to pick on the ones who don’t have the cool clothes or who are different.
We might as well just call them Chet.