Am I a Democrat?

I’ve always considered myself a Democrat. In the party affiliation sense, not the “I am pro-democracy” sense. But lately I’m not sure. I know most of my views align with the Democratic party’s. I’m a registered Democrat, but if I’m being honest I had qualms with registering for a party. Mostly I wanted to be allowed to vote in their primaries, because I want to have a say in who the Democratic candidates are, as that’s who I’ll probably end up voting for. But I don’t feel any particular sense of loyalty to the Democratic party. I feel some loyalty to specific people within that party, but that’s very subjective. To continue to be honest, I don’t think any single party can encompass all my views. I don’t think anybody’s views align perfectly with any party. I think we come into America’s political system either as a finished sculpture or a lump of marble, and then the party system takes a hammer and a chisel to us and sculpts us the way they want us to be. The Republican party says, “Oh, you think universal health care might be a good idea? We can change that.” The Democratic party says, “How much do you really care about getting a single payer option? We can change that.” Conversely, if you don’t know how you feel about health care, or abortion, or any other issue, political parties basically scoop you up and spoon feed you their ideology. And their ideas about what works and what’s right could be vastly different than ideas you could have come up with on your own. Parties essentially erase the pluralities, and I think that’s a very bad thing.

So, am I a Democrat? I don’t think I really want to be. I fit most of their stereotypes, and I agree with most things they say, but do I really want to be part of this cycle? There aren’t only two sides to issues, or to the American people, so why do we keep pretending that there are? Problems are so much more complicated than we want them to be, but there are so many more solutions that we never seem to acknowledge, so many more compromises to be made.

The answer to my earlier question, I think we’ve all seen by now, is no. For now, I’m still registered, but just know, American Government, that I disagree with your party system shenanigans.

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5 Responses to Am I a Democrat?

  1. mswyney says:

    Generally speaking, on what are you basing that generalization? I believe there are certain things that the federal government is far better at than local governments. Personally, I think it would have taken New Jersey a lot longer to clean up after Sandy had the government not stepped in, and we can clearly see what happens when some states are allowed to impose their own requirements for voting.

    • Henshaw says:

      I wouldn’t consider “disaster relief” a “vast bureaucracy.” This is part of the problem with the debate. Stating the obvious limitation of bureaucracy doesn’t one is asking for anarchy.

      It’s also unclear what state voting laws have to do with my comment about “vast bureaucracy.”

  2. mswyney says:

    Exactly! Instead of taking so much time explaining why the other side is wrong, Congress should consider ALL the ideas that might work to solve a problem the American people are facing and then spend their time searching for a viable middle ground. I’m intrigued by your third paragraph, though, simply because if an idea is truly new, then we are never really capable of foreseeing whether or not it will work, and evidence for and against its being able to work will always surface. Even if Congress is only expanding a program that works at the local or state level, there’s no guarantee it will be viable at the national level. However, we never truly know the impact of a law until it’s put into effect and reliably enforced. (ie. Romneycare works quite well in MA at the state level, but we have no idea how well or badly Obamacare will work at a national level.) As for the drug war, I feel obligated to say that that particular idea is damaging our country. I volunteer in the juvenile prison system and I’ve seen the lives the “war on drugs” has ruined over what shouldn’t even be illegal.

    • Henshaw says:

      Generally speaking any vast bureaucracy is going to be doomed when it’s implemented on 300 million people. How could you ever impose a health care system like the UK (which is BTW one of the largest employees in the world) on the United States?

      I don’t believe in experimental policy at the national level. The federal government should leave complicated subjects up to local governments.

  3. Henshaw says:

    I’m kind of in the same boat. I’m registered as a Republican simply because of the primary system. I don’t really consider myself a Republican. Both parties are for increasing control via the state. There are so many 50/50 issues right now it would be nice to table that stuff and concentrate on issues Americans actually agree.

    A super majority wants a balanced budget amendment. It never comes up for a vote. Let’s identify what we agree on and drop the social issues. When Medicare was passed it was passed via super majority. Good or bad at least people agreed on it.

    Also, when the government passes a law there should be some evidence the law will work. We have so many polices from both parties with little or no evidence that they work (minimum wage, drug war, etc.) We need to think about these problems differently. The current two parties are like Home Depot and Lowes. Yes, they’re two different companies, but they work together to keep prices the same.

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