History: The Democratic Party
* The Democratic Party: The Party of Everyday People *
For more than 200 years, the Democratic Party has represented the interests of working families, fighting for equal opportunities and justice for men, women and children of all colors, beliefs and social backgrounds. Party founders believed that wealth and social status were not an entitlement to rule, but rather that a stable government could only be successful if built upon a broad, popular base of the people.
From its inception, the Democratic Party emphasized the rights of everyday, hardworking people – a message that resonated well with farmers and factory workers. Even today, Ohioans identify with these values and apply them as a guide during our everyday living.
Today, Democrats are fighting to repair a decade of damage and to grow an economy based on the values of Main Street, not greed and reckless speculation of Wall Street. Democrats are focused on rescuing our economy not just in the short run, but also rebuilding our economy for the long run — an economy that lifts up not just some Americans, but all Americans by rewarding hard work and responsibility, by investing in people and by growing the United States of America from the bottom up.
* How Democrats Made America Exceptional *
The choice in November is between progressives and regressives
By Alan Colmes * Published 9.03.12, The Wall Street Journal - Opinion
Voters have a real choice this election season between a president who has redirected a country suffering the worst economic times since the Great Depression, including a global financial meltdown, and a Republican ticket that favors draconian cuts in our most popular programs. It's a good time to point out that it is liberals who, time and time again, have been on the right side of history.
Conservatives blast the left for not appreciating "American exceptionalism"—even though Barack Obama is the only president to have ever used that phrase, at least in the past eight decades or so. But let's take a moment to explore just what it is that makes us exceptional. It is, very simply, a battle between progress and regress.
The last time we hit the economic bottom, Franklin Roosevelt focused on relief, recovery and reform: relief for the poor, recovery from a bad economy, and reform so it wouldn't happen again. The Civilian Conservation Corps put young men to work in rural areas, with the income going to help their families. The men planted trees, built parks and laid down roads.
The Works Progress Administration put eight million Americans to work distributing food and clothing and building roads and housing. Firehouses, libraries, even the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut exist to this day because of the WPA.
Roosevelt created Social Security, a program that today keeps 40% of seniors above the poverty line and helps families with disabilities and those who have lost loved ones. The GI Bill, enacted in 1944, made sure that returning service members could get high school, vocational or college educations. It also provided veterans with business advice and, if necessary, a year of unemployment benefits.
Later on, Pell Grants, named for Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Claiborne Pell and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, gave millions of needy students the opportunity to attend college.
Johnson declared a "war on poverty" in his State of the Union address in 1964, and through his Great Society programs he brought down the poverty rate to 11.1% from 22.2% within a decade. Medicare provided health coverage to those over 65, the permanently disabled and those born with disabilities.
Our current president is the one who was finally able to move health care forward. President Obama overcame strong lobbying, even within his own party, to pass the Affordable Care Act. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that by 2022 the program will provide health coverage to 33 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured.
Today the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, feeds one in seven Americans. The program was established in 1939 by FDR's then Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace. Recipients are not all lazy bums sitting on their posteriors watching "The Jerry Springer Show." Most of them have jobs and only stay on the program an average of nine months.
Mr. Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act helped more needy families obtain food via the food-stamp program. And Moody's estimates that for every dollar in food-stamp money, $1.73 is circulated back into the economy. It was Democrats who fought to extend unemployment benefits during this difficult time. For every dollar in these benefits, the return is $1.64. The Recovery Act stimulus, 34% of which was tax cuts, included homelessness-prevention funds that allowed many Americans to stay where they were living or to quickly find new housing. It also provided them with job training.
The movement toward marriage equality may not sit well with a large portion of the right. But, again, it is the liberals who have led the fight, so that now we have state after state stepping up on this score, and even a military that no longer forces our heroes to have to hide their sexual preference. Years from now, people will look back at how we denied marriage equality, and heads will shake, much as we now look back and marvel at how women were regarded as chattel and weren't allowed to vote.
The fight for women's rights continues, as regressives try to put an end to already-established reproductive rights. Even if you don't believe that 98% of Catholic women have used birth control, as a 2011 Guttmacher Institute study showed, the overwhelming majority has, and charges of a "war on religion" by Mitt Romney are wildly inaccurate.
The left has fought to ensure that we aren't defined by any one faith, and that we are equally American even with no faith at all. And our current Democratic president signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which gives women who are denied equal pay for equal work a realistic window within which to obtain just compensation.
Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, whose father died when Mr. Ryan was 16, funded his college education with Social Security survivor benefits. Now he wants to dismantle that same Social Security program. He voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act and co-sponsored legislation declaring that life begins at fertilization, which would effectively make abortions illegal.
Under Mr. Ryan's budget, Pell Grants wouldn't keep pace with inflation, and interest on student loans would double, to 6.8% from 3.4%. He'd like to see Medicare replaced with a voucher system.
If Messrs. Romney and Ryan have their way, reproductive rights would be overturned and millions of Americans denied health-care coverage. Cuts in job training and student loans go against the grain of historical gains fought for and achieved to benefit the majority of Americans. This social compact is the real reason we can tout "American exceptionalism"—the phrase that the right thinks it owns.
Messrs. Romney and Ryan may be able to convince a large portion of the electorate that their way is the best, that their policies are what will save America. They may even win an election. But if they do come out on top, it will be only short term, as proven by years of American history and progressive victories—the ones that have truly made America exceptional.
Mr. Colmes is a liberal political commentator,
author and host of "The Alan Colmes Show" on Fox News Radio.
His book "Thank the Liberals . . . For Saving America"
has just been published by Hay House.
* Pillars of the Democratic Party *
James Madison is the Father of the Constitution.
Thomas Jefferson, in drawing up America's Declaration of Independence. wrote:
"All men are created equal", and fought for religious freedom.
Jefferson is regarded as the Father of what was to become the First National Democratic Party.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
John F. Kennedy
Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected to the Presidency for four terms, established social security.
No presidential candidate of either party has ever suggested
doing away with the Social Security Program...until 2012.
"The challenge for Democrats is to redouble our efforts to protect
every family's economic security and to make sure that all Americans
have access to a quality education, promising job opportunities and affordable health care."
U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur - 9th District
We are the Party of the People - committed to helping the disadvantaged.
The Democratic Party.
The Party of the Every Day People. For the People. By the People.
* The Ohio Democratic Party Principles *
Adopted June 8, 1996
As the Ohio Democratic Party, we are proud to adopt these principles based on our belief in an America which values opportunity and equality for all its citizens, and respects both the self reliance of individuals and the benefits of TEAMWORK, to meet the challenges of a fair and just society.
TO THAT END:
- We believe that the best government is an efficient government based not on systems or bureaucracies, but on people, ideals and values.
- We believe that all Americans reap benefits when we, as a nation, meet our challenges together.
- We believe in equality of all our citizens and condemn any discrimination.
- We believe in a society which strengthens our families and protects our children.
- We believe in the rights of all our citizens to achieve economic security and find affordable housing, to seek good jobs at a livable wage, and protection for our workers in a growing, robust economy.
- We believe in a society which promotes excellence in education, proper nutrition, choices in quality medical care, and a healthy environment for all its citizens.
- We believe in a society which values community and protects our citizens from crime.
- We believe in a society which respects our elders, who deserve the right to retire with the resources they need and have earned to support themselves in their golden years.
- And we believe in pursuing those ideals with honesty and integrity, with respect for the American freedoms which we are proud to call our own.
Why the Democratic Donkey?
The now-famous Democratic Donkey was first associated with Democrat Andrew Jackson's 1828 presidential campaign. His opponents called him a “jackass” for his populist beliefs and his ‘Let the people rule’ slogan. Entertained by his critics, Jackson decided to use the image of a donkey – a strong-willed animal – on his campaign posters. Later, cartoonist Thomas Nast used the Democratic donkey in newspaper cartoons and made the symbol famous. Democrats associate with the donkey as being smart and brave.