• No longer a Democrat
    July 19,2013

    No longer a Democrat

    The following is an explanation of a decision I made recently along with an expression of my sentiments regarding the matter of financial contributions to good causes. In response to pleas for money from Democratic candidates and/or organizations, I now include a copy with the contribution form left blank but including my name and address.

    For the past 64 years, from age 17, I have called myself a Democrat, most of the time with some degree of pride. But the term, when applied to today’s party, no longer seems appropriate to who I am or how I think. With few notable exceptions, my own Bernie Sanders being one prime example, elected members of my government today are interested in getting rich and getting re-elected. That leaves them generally uninterested in good government.

    Democrats in Congress and the White House kiss up to Wall Street and retire to shill for corporations that care only about profits and access and help their lobbyists to retire as multimillionaires while we ordinary and largely powerless people continue to be shafted.

    How, as a Democrat, can I accept, or even live with, elected members of my once proud party condoning the very risky actions taken by bankers who would make huge profits when successful but use our money to cover losses? And how can I excuse those same members for deciding that these corporate criminals be allowed to be lavishly rewarded for committing arguably illegal acts that hurt so many innocent people and then decide that this same recipe for disaster be allowed to continue, virtually guaranteeing future collapses and bailouts by us because we’re always there for the bankers, aren’t we? In my opinion my government’s decisions in this regard border on criminality in intent if not in deed.

    We are engaged in a war, the wealthy and powerful against the working class, and we are losing. The only way we could hold our own in this battle would be for good government to truly accept its role as our ally. It worked in the first half of the last century, but now that alliance has been broken.

    For 30-plus years now we’ve been on our own, gradually losing ground while our former ally has either not noticed or not cared. If we, the so-called middle class, have any hope of regaining a status approaching equality, that task rests with us and not with government as our partner. I am still a liberal and a new member of an imaginary Progressive Party and will continue to support truly progressive candidates and causes that show some hope of producing change, but I am no longer a Democrat.

    John Harris


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