Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where Have All The Democrats Gone?


By: Amy Siskind

On the morning of June 4, 2008, I cried two tears.

One for the realization that the candidate of my lifetime, Hillary Rodham Clinton, would soon suspend her campaign. One for seeing the Democratic Party, so much a part of who I am, lose its way.

When I was a little girl growing up in a suburb of Boston, my mother taught me the meaning of being a Democrat. She taught me the core values of our party – equality and helping those less fortunate. My mother sat me down and told me stories about growing up in the Depression and how FDR created jobs for those that needed help. How these jobs gave people pride and hope. She told me stories of Eleanor Roosevelt and how Eleanor relentlessly fought for equality, and how she gave a voice to those that did not have one. She told me stories of the Kennedy’s and how they gave their lives to fight for the values of the Democratic Party. Such brave men and women. Such pride to be a Democrat.

As I became an adult, I proudly declared myself a Democrat and worked to embrace the values of the party. Even when it was unpopular to be a Democrat, I stood by my party. Even when I was one of the few on the trading floors of Wall Street to vote Democrat, I held my head high remembering the brave men and women who had fought so hard to shape our country. Knowing with an inner confidence and sense of pride that the Democratic Party would stand by its core values of equality and helping those less fortunate. Knowing that from decade to decade and from election to election, that the issues may change, but that with these core values, our party would always get to where we needed to be. But now I must ask, Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

My fellow Democrats, as this primary season started, something was terribly wrong. I have watched this race unfold with a mixture of shock, disgrace and disgust.

* I have watched as the DNC Leadership stood idly while our first female candidate was repeatedly the target of overt sexism in the media. Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

* I have watched as the DNC Leadership stood idly by when Reverend Phlager took a very personal and demeaning swipe at Hillary Clinton. Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

* I have watched as the DNC Leadership actively and repeatedly tried to force out a candidate who ultimately received over 18 million votes from those who WANTED to have THEIR voices heard. Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

* I have watched as the DNC Leadership stood idly by as Bill Clinton, the most popular modern day Democratic President, was ripped to shreds and called a “racist.” Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

* I have watched as the DNC Leadership, so quick to be critical of the Supreme Court for their 2000 decisions on Florida, would then sit idly by while Florida and Michigan voters were alienated. Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

Well the sad fact is, I cannot stand to watch this anymore!

I have a view that is most unfortunate -- and that view is that perhaps BOTH parties have lost their way. The Republican Party realizes this fact and is actively moving to understand how they must change their platform and focus and fix their party. The Democratic Party, the party formerly of the brave and courageous, the party that formerly stood for equality and helping those less fortunate, has instead become the party of hubris and elitism. Where, oh where, have all the Democrats gone?

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At June 18, 2008 at 7:34 PM , Anonymous George said...

This site is amazing! I wanted to say thanks to all of you. I bet my friend (a democrat) $100 in February that no matter who won the primary that supporters of the other candidate would find some reason not to vote for the other even though their policies are the same. I just knew that women would make up cries of sexism or that black people would make up claims of racism. As a republican I welcome you all aboard - as I laugh all the way to the bank.

At June 19, 2008 at 2:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear George,
I guess you have never lived with the sting of discrimination or you would not think women need to "make up" cries of sexism. Perhaps we will all join other like minded Independents and you will be standing at the bank wondering what happened.....

At June 19, 2008 at 12:35 PM , Anonymous kanaughty said...

george are you an obama paid blogger? because so far the republicans have had opened arms to us to get our votes, not disrespect... so this makes me think that you are not a repub, but you are indeed an obama blogger trying to get our vote to obama by acting like a rude republican...

At June 19, 2008 at 12:37 PM , Anonymous kanaughty said...

also, i love this article. i too cannot figure out how a few boneheads can absolutely hijack our party and turn it into the party of the elite for the elite so damned quickly. it makes me sad that at this point i don't feel like i have a home politically, which is just as bad as not having a country to call a home.

At June 20, 2008 at 11:04 PM , Anonymous Carolyn Mann said...

Like Kanaughty, I also feel like I no longer have a party to call home.

I picked up a new registration form last week and started filling it out. Got to the box where you select party affiliation, and had no idea there were so many parties. Also have no idea what most of them stand for because I've always been a Democrat, for 38 years I've been a Democrat. I inked in the box next to "Republican" and felt nauseated. The form is still on my desk half finished.

I've decided to wait until after the convention to finish it, to go to Denver and shout, at the top of my lungs, "I'm a Democrat and I don't like what you're doing to my party." After that, I don't know...

I've gone from rage to depression to deep sadness ... and now resolve. I will not vote for Obama. I will vote for McCain. Partly out of protest, but also because I respect McCain and trust him, even though I don't always agree with him. I feel he has earned the presidency. Obama has not.

But I do have to let the anger go. I feel physically spent from it. So I mute the TV when Obama is on. I mute it when his supporters are on. I scroll past the 'bots comments as soon as I figure out whose side their on. I will not give them two seconds of my time or my energy.

But I will not let go of my resolve.

Keep the faith. Pack your bags for Denver.

At June 26, 2008 at 10:11 PM , Anonymous sara b said...

A lot of Democrats - like me - have gone to the "Unenrolled" party. I can't be part of this party any more.

I can't believe that the DNC would throw the most impressive and well-rounded, intelligent, articulate candidate we've had in decades under the bus, out the door and to the side for someone who is entirely unqualified to be President. I mean, we could have another FDR in Hillary, a President who inspires Americans in an honest way, to feel hopeful and confident that things can get better. That we can make things better.

I shudder to imagine what kind of a mess feckless Obama and his cronies could make of things, given the opportunity.

At June 27, 2008 at 4:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you and God Bless You and America for this site. My friends and I all feel this way but I had no idea there was a group such as this until I saw the Larry King Live show tonight. Hillary for 2008 or McCain, Nobama, Hillary we will wait another 4 years for you!

At July 19, 2008 at 8:13 AM , Blogger mark new england said...

Wow it is upsetting to read these comments. I was a Hllary supporter, voted for her, sent her money. I didn't love her tactics and thought she and Bill were most definitely playing the race card. His comments comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson and that his campaign was a fantasy and Hilary's comments about "hard working people, white hard working people..." But I also was pissed at the way she was doubt sexism at play in why some people just hate her. I wanted her to win because I like her and because I thought she would win. But now I support Obama. He is a good candidate and I think he will be a nice change. He is running an excellent campaign. I don't see how he is unqualified. He definitely has less political experience, but so did JFK.

I can't understand how anyone who is a democrat and believes in that basic stands of democrats could possibly support McCain and that party which is committed to banning abortion, wants to stay in Iraq forever, doesn't support equality for women, doesn't support equal rights for gays and lesbians, is against affirmative action (which has helped white women tremendously). There are lots of other policies which I think are quite anti-women and anti-lots of other folks that I'm not listing here. Letting that party stay in power is inconceivable to me.

And I really don't understand what seems like total disrespect for Obama, even if him beating Hilary hurts. He did win fair and square in my opinion and he ran a better campaign than Hilary. The way the DNC handled Florida and Michigan was stupid right from the start, but I dont' think that was intended to make Hilary lose.

At July 21, 2008 at 12:31 AM , Anonymous Xkrat said...

ExDem/current PUMA here. I have now moved to McCain (not GOP). But I will say this, look at the pictures in this link and particularly the tears swelling up in McCain's eyes as he was being shown by a documentary filmer the first two pictures:

Tell me any PUMA (which are salt of the earth decent people) can have any hate for this man. Read any and everything you can on his POW experience and you too will be moved to tears.

At August 9, 2008 at 9:07 AM , Blogger Sharon said...

Thank you for your post. Like you,I was born a Democrat and could literally never conceive of being anything else. One of the proudest days of my life was the day I first registered to vote in 1972 and told the registrar "DEMOCRAT." My children felt the same. I actually have cried more than once this summer to realize that the political party that I loved and took such pride in has become...I don't know WHAT it has become, actually. Self-destructive, odd, out of touch, woman-hating, silly? My final decision, which I have suffered over, is to write in Hilary in November. I can't vote for Obama and someone would have to threaten my children to get me to vote for McCain. What a sad, sad thing. The saddest is that the Democratic "leadership" does not understand what is happening out here among real, solid Democrats.


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