The Democratic mind

by | Oct 28, 2013 | Democrats, Editor's Blog | 30 comments

Yesterday, a letter-to-the-editor in the News & Observer responded to Rob Christensen’s column from last week, “A look inside the GOP mind.” The author asks what’s inside the Democratic mind. He says he can’t understand what Democrats are thinking or how they believe Barack Obama has done anything good.

Let me help you out.

We believe in fairness. Most of us believe the income disparity that is greater now than at any time in the past 100 years has negative consequences for our economy and our citizens. We believe that Reaganomics shifted the tax burden from the wealthy and corporations onto the middle class. As a result, we have a concentration of wealth and the gap between rich and poor is widening. The tax increases on the wealthy that President Obama introduced are just a first step toward addressing this problem.

We believe in a strong social safety net. As the wealthiest country in the world, we have an obligation to our fellow citizens to ensure no one falls too far into poverty. We also believe that health care should be part of that equation, as it is in every other industrialized nation. Most of us would prefer some sort of single-payer plan that would look more like Medicare but grudgingly accept Obamacare as the compromise we have to live with.

Most Democrats are capitalists who believe that the free market creates jobs and economic prosperity. However, we also believe that an unregulated market stifles economic mobility, threatens our environment and leads to social unrest. While Republicans worry about the government picking winners, we worry about the impact of the market’s losers.

Government is the only vehicle available to mitigate the harmful effects of an unregulated free market. We don’t like big government; we like responsible government. Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is an example of such regulation, though many on my side of the ideological spectrum wish it was more powerful.

We also believe that diversity is not only healthy but a defining feature of our country and society. We don’t want the government to encroach on our right to worship as we please or love who we choose but we want the government to protect us from discrimination because of factors beyond our control. Hence, we are the party that supports civil rights, gay marriage, the right to choose and freedom of religion.

Contrary to what the letter writer says, we don’t believe that everyone who opposes Barack Obama is racist. However, we believe there are a substantial number of people who are and that the GOP welcomed them with open arms. So we apologize if we sometimes confuse the non-racists with the racists in your ranks. You would be smart to disown them now. It might hurt your electoral chances in the short-term but it would probably help you in the long run.

There’s more, like believing in science, a more progressive tax code, the power of green energy, the benefits of organized labor, but these are my fundamental beliefs. I hope they better help you understand the Democratic mind. As Sun Tzu says in the Art of War, “Know your enemy.”


  1. Robert

    Thomas… really??? This post is nothing more than Democrat rhetoric. No fact, no substance, and all b.s.

  2. AJ

    “Contrary to what the letter writer says, we don’t believe that everyone who opposes GOP candidates are racist. However, we believe there are a large majority of people who are and that the left welcomed them with open arms.”


    Hold up the mirror to see the true racially challenged group. When anyone sinks to this level of discourse as a deflection away from policies which hurt America, they have lost the argument.

  3. AJ

    “we are the party that supports civil rights”

    Someone might want to check their history books to determine which party truly was supportive of civil rights.

  4. AJ

    “but also fully support a separation of church and state”

    A common misconception regarding this statement. There is NO separation of church and state noted in the US Constitution. But as the old saying goes, “repeat a lie………”

    • Aaron Aaronson

      It’s in the Treaty of Tripoli. The Constitution is the part that says that there shall be no law establishing a state religion or prohibiting the free practice of a religion, no religious test require to qualify for public office, etc — and the Supreme Court has upheld the idea of separation of church and state numerous times. It is part of what Laurence Tribe called “The Invisible Constitution.” Essentially, Supreme Court rulings are one of several factors that contribute to constitutional law in this country. That’s why studying Constitutional Law isn’t as simple as reading the Constitution — one also has to read into Common Law precedents, Supreme Court rulings, and a host of other influences that make up the concept of “Constitutional” in this country. The Constitution is the foundation, but it supports a building. Separation of church and state is a long-standing part of that building, present in many of the writings that inspired the foundation of the United States in the first place.

      At any rate, the original article didn’t say anything about the Constitution, so I’m not sure what your point is.

      Also, comparing Democrats today to Democrats in the 1860s is silly at best, and demonstrates a critical lack of historical education at worst. Civil War-era Republicans favored civil rights, yes, but they also favored massive expansion of federal spending and power, while the Democrats were the party of states rights and small government. However, in 1896, the Democratic party’s rhetoric shifted to favor social justice and larger government (perhaps as a result of absorbing the People’s Party). For a while, both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party promised government expansion — the modern ideology of the Republican Party began in the ’20s. Regardless, if you explained the basic ideological tennants of the 1860s Republicans to a modern day red-stater, they would run screaming.

      I’ve noticed a trend in your responses particularly, AJ — you seem to be trying to oversimplify complicated issues to suit your argument. The truth isn’t simple. Trying to make it simple will oftentimes break it.

  5. ellsie

    “Math you got to do the math….” so you can create the answer you
    want to prove you are correct. How condescending.

  6. Sharon Hirsch

    To Blue Line: I find it sad that you don’t realize that policies, over time, have an impact on life today. The reality is that our current economy is influenced by the policies put in place years ago (and that are still in place today). To assume only the current President’s policies have an impact is short-sighted. To ignore history dooms you to repeat it.

    • Blue Line

      I understand that fact, but to hold the current President absolutely blameless for our current situation smacks of partisanship. I have seen nothing but finger-pointing from the left since January 2009. If the left desires to change those policies, why didn’t they do so when they controlled all the levers (Jan 2009 thru Jan 2011)? Why? By not changing those policies, they now own them, right?

      And don’t even get me started on unions….

      • bilhays

        Sorry, again, you’re wrong, 2 years they had a majority in the house and senate..but you need 60 senators to overcome a filibuster..and the dems never had more than 58. The filibuster has never been so widely used as in that period. Dems actually had true control about 2 months.

        • brysail

          Sad sad sad

        • Blue Line

          Actually, the dems had 60 senators from January 2009 thru Ted Kennedy’s death, then again from September 2009 thru Scott Brown’s election. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your message.

          • Blue Line

            I’ve gone back and fact-checked my latest post regarding number of senators. I stand corrected and will concede this point.

    • brysail

      You all do realize the current president has put this country into more debt than any other president or person in the history of the world, right? You do realize the current president has spent more money than any other person in the history of the world, right? And what do we as a county have to show for it….Please don’t even try using the Bush set it up crap. Deal with the numbers and the outcome of those numbers…. Math you got to do the math….

      • Blue Line

        See above. They’ve dialed back the “it’s Bush’s fault.” rhetoric. Now they’ve resorted to blaming Reagan. The hubris of democrats is astounding. They can never accept responsibility for the massive welfare state they’re creating. It’s always someone else’s fault. Just like what’s going on now with, NSA spying, etc. Liberals see themselves as the knights in shining armor here to save the day: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

        • Aaron Aaronson

          Every US president has put us into more debt than his predecessor — and as the richest country in the world, obviously our government spending is going to outweigh any individual in history. If you pin that spending on the President (which you really can’t do, but we’ll go with it), than every US President will always spend more money than any other person in history, every time.

          (I want to do one: George W. Bush was the only world leader to ever cut taxes during wartime in the history of the world!)

          That spending thing is not party-exclusive, or even recent. Obama has, however, increased that debt by a lower amount than any president since Eisenhower. One thing that we (and by we, I mean the nation, not any one political camp) can blame Bush for is the 2009 budget — just like every incoming president, Obama’s first year budget was approved by his predecessor. Yeah, he had to sign it — but five and a half months into the fiscal year is far too late to enact any sweeping changes.

          Similarly, it isn’t Reagan’s fault that our country is in crippling debt, but one can reasonably trace our current wealth disparity to his policies.

          In terms of welfare, we aren’t even on the map in terms of per capita spending — the five largest welfare spenders in the world were also the five most competitive capitalist economies last year, and the US was bumped off the list. We’re back on this year, but that doesn’t change the fact that the much-feared ‘welfare states’ across the Atlantic are competitive economies that bring in plenty of money.

          Of course, the real problem is anybody who looks at the current system and says, “It’s all the liberals/conservatives fault!” If you think your ‘side’ is blameless, you’re part of the problem — simple as that. For example, you can’t reasonably bring up NSA spying or drone strikes as a pro-Republican argument, because Romney would have very likely done the same things. The truth is, our country has problems because being an elected official is too profitable. Ask most elected officials in the world what their goal is, and they’ll tell you that they want to solve X problem, or leave the country in a better situation. Ask an American politician, and they’ll tell you that they want to get reelected.

          • Nachturnus

            This is woefully wrong. Yes politicians are largely unfit for their jobs, but not all politicians are equally bad. For example, here’s how the national debt ACTUALLY performed over the last hundred years, as opposed to ‘every president putting us further into debt’ as you so claim.



  7. Blue Line

    This is typical of the left: blame the current economic situation, not on the current president, but one that was in office 25 years ago. Pathetic.

    • bilhays

      No, factual. 30+ years of Reaganomics have led to massive income disparity and boom/bust cycles in the economy. Laffer is wrong, Keynes is right, sorry, that’s just the way it is.

      • Blue Line

        “sorry, that’s just the way it is”

        While you’re entitled to your own opinions, you’re not entitled to your own facts. Just because you say it is, doesn’t make it so.

      • A guy in Raleigh

        Lol boom bust cycles are the result of the federal reserve. Go back and look when the first one occurred and when the federal reserve was formed. Then look at the paper trail that funnels out of the US every time there’s a bust

        • Alex Jones

          That’s no longer true. The Fed drove boom/bust cycles from 1945 until the early 1990’s, when policymakers mastered inflation control and asset bubbles became the main cause of recessions.

          By the way, boom-bust cycles existed long before the establishment of the Fed. In fact, the Federal Reserve Act was passed in response to the chronic financial instability of the late-19th century.

      • geek49203

        BilHays — I’ve never met anyone who said “Keynes is right” or as valid economic policy who has actually studied Keynes. Are you gonna be that lone exception?

        • Matt Phillippi

          Hey guys just thought I’d remind you, I covered this.

          Please note the link to the evidence that 40 years of supply side economics has had no positive effects at all.

          For anyone who enjoyed my pieces, sorry I haven’t been writing much, work has kept me really busy lately. I’ll try to write something soon.

    • Thomas Helms

      So you just don’t believe that what happens in the past has any effect on the present? Laws that were put on the books and are still there don’t count? That the man you most likely tout as being the “best President in history” didn’t have a profound effect on the country? Are you a history denier too?

  8. Debra Plach

    We believe everyone deserves a fair chance in the wealthiest country on earth. That women are people and not just baby makers.

    • brysail

      Debra what on God’s green earth are you talking about/ There is no, none, nada, greater purpose or job on earth then to bring a human being into this world.The richest CEO, the most well paid actor or actress that is not a female for one and a mother for another will ever do anything close to the greatest achievement on earth..bring another human being into this world. (Being a mother)
      By the way the rest of agree with your statement”everyone deserve sa fair chance….’ but a chance is not the same as taking something from the one who has it and give it to one who doesn’t>that is not giving a fair chance that is taking from one

      • Bella

        What she’s talking about is that regardless of your personal opinion, the use or disuse of my uterus is entirely my decision and none of your freaking business. I chose to bring no new humans into the world and will not be treated as less important than those who did. I fully support helping take care of women and children who need help. I also fully support helping take care of men who need help. And women who don’t have children. And you can pretty much go jump in a lake with your madonna complex, especially if you think it’s the basis of public policy decisions.

  9. Lucy Walters

    Amen, Absolutely AMEN.

  10. LE

    Great post. Possibly also mention that Dems can be very religious, but also fully support a separation of church and state – a history of religious persecution in other lands lent a heavy hand in the building of our great country.

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