Friday, September 23, 2011

Returning to the Fold

Recently I’ve been having a lot of discussions about the Democratic Party with my good friend Steve of Otter Limits fame.  We’ve discussed political philosophy, the history of the party, our own stances on the issue, and why we each left the party in the first place.  In the post Almost An Ass Steve discussed the validity of his fight against the two-party system in this country.  He and I both agree that the two-party system is completely broken but we have also both realized that the only real way to change the system is from within one of those two parties. 

During our discussion, we both took the Political Philosophy Quiz.  My results reminded me that in my heart of hearts and at my core I am a Democrat.  Now let me clarify that statement – I am a Democrat in the vein of John F Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Bill Bradley, and Bill Clinton not Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.  I left the Democratic Party because its leaders had abandoned what it truly means to be a Democrat and a true liberal and instead embraced stateism and extremely leftist ideology, swearing to not return until the party rights itself.  The only problem is, how can the party right itself if all of the moderates and centrists leave?  That is the question that I have been pondering. 

Then Steve showed me the Preamble to the Constitution of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, which states --
We, the Democrats of the State of Oklahoma, united under the banner of the oldest political party in the world, hereby rededicate ourselves to the principles which have historically sustained our Party. While recognizing the limits of government, we regard democratic government as a force for good and a source of hope. We seek individual freedom in the framework of a just society. We pledge ourselves to uphold the United States Constitution and to work openly and honestly in our efforts to conduct public affairs in a manner worthy of a society of free and responsible citizens.
He also showed me the Mission Statement of the Oklahoma Democratic Party which states –
Unlike the far left, we know that less government is sometimes a better government, and that government cannot solve every difficulty faced by our society. But, unlike the far right, we understand there is a role for government to play in finding solutions to our country's problems.
We firmly believe that government at every level has an absolute responsibility to encourage opportunity for success to all its citizens. However, government has no responsibility to guarantee success itself.
We believe in public education as the oldest and best method to improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans. We support improved funding for education at all levels, coupled with meaningful reforms to ensure taxpayers get the most from every education dollar.
I honestly couldn’t agree more with these statements.  And thus it was with s semi-heavy heart that I visited the Oklahoma Democratic Party Headquarters and changed my party affiliation from No Party to Democrat.  I’m still skeptical and unsure if this change but for now I think that it is the right thing for me to do. 

Oh and in case you were wondering, here are my results to the quiz –
The following are your scores. They are based on a gradual range of 0 to 12. For instance, a Conservative/Progressive score of 3 and 0 will both yield a result of social conservative, yet 0 would be an extreme conservative and 3 a moderate conservative
 Conservative/Progressive score: 8
You are a social moderate. You think the progressive movement is overall well meaning, but sometimes it goes too far. On issues like abortion and affirmative action, you see the negatives of both extremes on the issue. You probably value religion, but at the same time you think it should still stay separate from the government
 Capitalist Purist/Social Capitalist score: 8
You are a Moderate Capitalist. You support an economy that is by and large a free market, but has public programs to help people who can't help themselves or need a little help. Pretty much you believe in the American economy how it currently is.
 Libertarian/Authoritarian score: 2
You are libertarian. You think that the government is making way too many unnecessary laws that are taking away our innate rights. You believe that the government's job is primarily to protect people from harming other people, but after that they should mind their own business, and if we give the government too much power in controlling our lives, it can lead to fascism.
 Pacifist/Militarist score: 3
You're a Pacifist. You are angered that the United States thinks it should dominate the world through its military force. You think that the only time war is necessary is when we are in direct danger of being attacked. You also believe the US spends way too much of its money on defense, as we can practically cut it in half and still easily defend ourselves, and use that money to fix all our economic problems.
 Overall, you would most likely fit into the category of Democrat

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