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.”

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