Democracy, not capitalism, made America great

Once again we are treated to a diatribe from the extreme right, from a person calling himself a “conservative.” What is it, exactly, that he wishes to conserve? Certainly not the last 100 years of social progress. And once again, he begins with a denial of any party affiliation and then proceeds to tell us how awful the liberal Democrats are.

All my life I have worked hard and tried to follow the teachings of my Lord Jesus. I’m 75 now, and for most of my adult life I was registered as an Independent. I voted for Bill Milliken and Phil Ruppe and always supported my county commissioner, who is a Republican. As I watched the party lurch further and further to the right, I saw honorable and much-respected men thrown out of office for not being “conservative” enough. The party of Everett Dirksen, Jacob Javitz and Margaret Chase Smith is dead.

I’ve seen men and women who I thought were persons of moral and personal integrity calmly accept and excuse the most egregious acts of immorality, bribery, deceit and corruption because it seemed to benefit them. The party that formed to free the slaves now condones the disgusting display of swastikas and even a Confederate flag, that treasonous battle flag of those who killed their fellow Americans to preserve their “right” to own and sell humans. Heritage, my auntie. This is hate, pure and simple.

The writer also claims that capitalism made this country great. He is wrong. Democracy made this country great. For three centuries, people came together to help each other out, pooling their resources to accomplish together what they could not do alone. They believed that we all do better when we all do well. In the 20th century, the unions and the GI bill created the world’s greatest middle class. All gone now. Once the myth of the self-made man took hold, poor-shaming and money-hoarding became the order of the day.

Finally, about 10 years ago, my conscience demanded that I take a stand. I joined the Democratic Party and remain committed to liberal values to this day. This is the party that cares about people AFTER they are born, even if no one makes a profit.

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