There are fundamental differences between Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats think their message of sharing, individual choice, education, and making educated choices in politics should be obvious. The point they’re missing is that the two parties come from different worlds. Republicans don’t see the world the way Democrats do, and therefore, the Democratic message makes no sense to them.
Let’s illustrate this with a story.
A beggar is sitting on the sidewalk next to a busy Post Office. He’s dirty, with long hair, and unshaven. His clothes are old, worn and dirty. As people go by, he asks if they can spare a couple of bucks for food. One man passes him by, and the beggar asks if he can spare a couple of bucks, and the man replies, “You old drunk. What you need isn’t a couple of bucks of my money I worked hard for, but to go clean up and get a job, then you could care for yourself instead of bothering other people.”
A second man passes by, and the beggar asks if he can spare a couple of bucks, and the second man starts a conversation.
“I’m sorry to see things aren’t going well for you. How did you get in this condition?” he asks.
“I was once employed as a stock manager in a big factory,” the beggar began, “and I was doing well, but one day we were told that production was going overseas, and the factory would be closing. I had worked at that job for fifteen years, and I thought I would retire from that factory until that day. I looked for work, but with a couple of thousand other people looking for new work too, I found myself competing with people who had more experience than me, and were willing to take anything. In the end, there was no job for me. Soon my unemployment insurance ran out, and I wasn’t able to pay my bills, so I lost my house, and I had to sell my car and just about everything else to live. When everything I had was gone, I applied for public assistance, but since I have no kids, I was turned down. Now I live on the street and beg for money to eat. At first, I was too proud to beg for help. I felt ashamed, but I had to eat, so I have to beg,” he said, lowering his head and letting out a long sigh.
“I’m sorry,” said the second man. “I don’t have much money. But I can spare $20 I have here in my pocket. Get yourself something to eat, and maybe I’ll see you here again another day, and I can help you out a little more.”
He never saw the man again. From time to time, he wondered if the man had died. Then he would say to himself, “surely he survived; got a lucky break maybe. Somewhere, he’s happy and proud again.” Sometimes he asked himself what more he could have done for the beggar, and wished he had done it. The memory of that encounter forever haunted him. “There, except for the grace of God, go I,” he said to himself.
The first man had gone into the Post Office, and while he couldn’t hear the conversation between the beggar and the second man, he watched through the window as the second man handed the beggar the $20 bill. The second man came into the post office.
“You just wasted your money,” the first said to the second, “the old wino will just spend it on booze. You don’t see me throwing my money away like that.”
The second man gave no explanation, but just turned away and went about his business.
This story explains the essential difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. A Republican will read this story and say, “the first man was exactly right—the second man was a sucker to fall for the beggar’s sob story and he knew it, which explains why he wouldn’t even respond to the first man.” A Democrat will read this story and say, “the second man was the better man, the man who counted for something regardless of what the beggar did with the money.”
It’s a difference of perspective molded by an unforgiving Republican ideology, which teaches each man is responsible only for himself, and men shouldn’t be “takers.” They think giving to others is wasting their wealth, and a sign of weakness. They are so thoroughly indoctrinated that they think their way of life is the only “right” way to live, and want to impose it on others by law. This, they say, is Liberty. (The liberty to enslave others?) The Republican party is the party of cruel people. The Republican perspective says, “you’re either with me, or you’re against me,” as George Bush famously stated. (That’s known as a false dilemma, by the way.)
Democrats have a perspective that we are all in this life together, and that if we work to help others move forward, we all move forward. It’s a perspective that has compassion on the less fortunate and those who find themselves temporarily in need. It’s a perspective that lets all people choose what they think is right for themselves. This, they say, is Liberty. (The liberty to live one’s life without the encumbrance of the beliefs of others forced upon them.) The Democratic party is the party of caring people. The Democratic perspective says, “I’ve got your back, so go find your own way, and always remember, you’re not alone.”
Edmund Burke, an 18th century British Statesman, was famously quoted as saying, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Today we stand at the edge if a great precipice. The ultra wealthy of the United States want to buy the government so they can convert it into an oligarchy, with themselves as the Lords, and the 98% of the rest of us as Serfs. They wish to take us back to the Middle Ages in America.
So, you have to ask yourself, “what can I do to help good government get elected?” If the answer is “Nothing, I’m too busy,” or anything like that, you could live to regret it. If you “talk the talk” then it’s time to “walk the walk.”