When the Democratic Party Left You Behind

Many years ago, a very nice lady with whom I was having a political discussion announced to me, "I'm a Democrat." My immediate response was, "By birth or by choice?" 

It's a relevant question for many Americans, as some treat party affiliation as if it's akin to ethnicity. It can work like this: Their pappy was a Democrat, and their grandpappy was a Democrat, and their great-grandpappy was a Democrat, so they have to be one, too. This is despite the fact that the party has changed along with the generations. Their grandfather is gone -- and so is the party for which he once voted.

This is why it's interesting when an elderly person who was a passionate Democrat in his salad days is still so today. I would say to such an individual, "It was very brave of you to admit you were all wrong about things and abandon all your old beliefs." If this left him puzzled, I would explain that since the Democratic Party is radically different today from what it was fifty years ago -- since it's now pro-abortion, for all intents and purposes promotes faux marriage, advocates race-based quotas, pushes amnesty for illegals, bails out wealthy fat cats with our tax money, and refuses to enforce laws in a race-neutral fashion (the New Black Panther case), among other things -- that he must accept this radical agenda as well. After all, to oppose this ideological sea-change in the Democrats but still support them would be to place party ahead of principle.

We all know, of course, that principle must take precedence. So I have a question: How does it make sense, in the name of loyalty to your grandfather's party, to abandon his principles? Did he stand for the secular agenda outlined above, which also includes things such as an unconstitutional and coercive health care plan, measures to let non-citizens vote, suing states for enforcing immigration law (razing Arizona), punishing schoolchildren based on racial quotas, opposition to Second Amendment rights (not an issue presently only because it's a vote-loser), the effort at thought control known as hate-crime law, confiscatory taxation, politically correct speech codes on college campuses and sensitivity training in workplaces, and granting the federal government almost unlimited power over our lives? 

Certainly, there are rank-and-file Democrats who do embrace the above. You will find many of them in my area (near NYC), for instance; these are people who are every bit as liberal as the politicians for whom they vote. But when I traveled through Middle America, I encountered a different kind of Democrats. These were people who were fairly traditional Americans -- but ethnic Democrats. They don't accept the agenda I outlined; in fact, misled by the mainstream media, they often aren't fully aware their party has adopted it and, consequently, orphaned them. They don't realize that ceasing to vote Democrat would not be leaving the party, as you can't leave something that left you long ago. It would simply be a recognition of the abandonment.

Yet ethno-political patriotism can be a powerful force. When hearing evidence of this painful abandonment, many ethnic Democrats will rationalize it away, much like an abandoned child may convince himself that daddy will be home any day now. But that day will not come. Modern-day absentee Democrat politicians -- who, as Reagan said, "have gone so far left, they've left the country" -- will come home only for your votes. Their hearts are in Washington, D.C., which, under their dominion, isn't even in America anymore.

Of course, there are some middle-American Democrats who will still feel comfortable voting for their party's nominee in their district races, believing that he's far more traditional than the party average (often the case in conservative districts).  Here, however, we must be mindful of a certain factor: Politicians not only feel party patriotism -- they feel party pressure. If Democrat politicians buck their leadership's line too much, they can incur the wrath of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Axis. In fact, while some apathetic folks like to say it doesn't matter whom you vote for because, and we've all heard this, "There's no difference between the parties, anyway!" they have it exactly backwards. The difference is the greatest it has been in modern times.

Consider that while House Democrats in 1970 voted with their party's majority only 58 percent of the time, that figure is now 91 percent. And it is precisely the same among Senate Democrats. (Among Republicans, the party-unity figures are only slightly lower -- 87 and 85 percent, respectively.) Even more to the point, with extremely rare exception, even the least liberal Democrats vote with their party approximately 75 percent of the time.

What does this mean? If you want to stop the Obama-Pelosi-Reid unconstitutional, über-statist metastasizing of government, you must do what may seem to contradict this article's thesis. Instead of judging a candidate solely on his merits, you must also consider his party before casting a vote for him. But you don't do this driven by ethno-political loyalty, but instead for a thoroughly logical reason.

He will consider his party when casting votes for you.

In other words, let's say you have a Democrat and a Republican running in your district who are (or at least seem) like ideological twins. They may both talk a good game -- and it's even possible that both may be good people. But only one of them will feel pressure to join the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Axis. Only one will have the screws put to him to vote for legislation such as the health care disaster, cap-and-tax, the porkulus bill, and amnesty for illegals. Only one of them will be a member of the No-Longer-Your-Grandfather's-Democrat Party.

And remember, party affiliation is not ethnic orientation. "American," though, ought to be.

I think granddad would understand perfectly.

Contact Selwyn Duke