Why I am Not a Democrat

Sunday, October 31, 2004
In honor of the election tomorrow this will be a two part blog. Today it is going to be why I am not a Democrat. Tomorrow it will be why I am not a Republican.

I actually am a registered Democrat. When I turned 18 I had different beliefs and ideals and I registered as a Democrat. In every election since 1996 I have voted for the Democratic ticket as I will this year. All that being said, I will, next election, un-register myself as a Democrat as I no longer agree with all of its philosophies. That does not mean I won't vote Democratic, I just wish to be independent as I disagree with BOTH of the dominant American parties.

I believe in choice. I believe that I know what is best for me better than my government. I know what my own beliefs are, I know what I believe to be moral, and I know what I want to do with the money I earn. Most of the people who read this blog know that I'm very opinionated. But I am opinionated only for myself. I recognize the fact that other people have different beliefs than I do and I do not wish to impose by force my beliefs on other people.

But the Democratic party (as well as the Republicans but that is for tomorrow) seems to think it knows better than I and the American public what to do with our lives. Democrats believe in big government. They believe it is proper for government to provide things like welfare, universal health care, etc.

I am not saying that I don't believe in these things. I am not saying that I don't think charity to others is a good thing. I am saying that it is not fair for me to force my beliefs onto somebody else. When the government takes your money from you that is exactly what they are doing. They are making a choice for you about what you should do with your money. They are telling you that you MUST pay for things like Art, Stem Cell Research, charity, corporate and farm subsidies, the war in Iraq, etc. even if these things conflict with your personal moral code.

I am not saying that the Republicans don't do the same thing. But the basic philosophy that is underpinning the Democratic party is that it is proper for the government to regulate the economy so long as it is for the public good. But who is the public? The majority? If that is the case who protects the minority interest? I do not believe in big government. I do not believe that it is OK to tax people to pay for the interest of others even if I agree with those beliefs. I believe in the Free Economy.

That means every man has the right to earn, through his own effort, a productive and happy life. That implies no man has a claim on another man. However, when you believe it is proper for the government to tax someone to pay for the health care, food, housing, etc. of another that is exactly what you are doing. You are stating a man must live for another. If you think that is your duty to provide the sustenance of another than I think that is wonderful. I think you have the absolute right to give all of your earnings to support churches, halfway houses, free clinics, etc. But these activities should be PRIVATE not public. That is your moral choice, and the government should not legislate morality.

And that brings us to the Republican party ....


Anonymous said...

Taxation and government programs aren't really a matter of imposing beliefs on everyone. It's about the people agreeing to form an organization (a government) and then agreeing to contribute to the programs that need to be run by government. A military, for example, is not left to private enterprise. The incentive for private enterprise is to ignore their effect on the environment, because it costs money to clean up after themselves. So the government must provide programs to protect the environment for the benefit of the group and all those who benefit should pay forit. As each new program (welfare, schools etc) is considered, it is a question of whether this is a necessary function of the government because it won't get done or won't get done well without them OR is it a program desired by the majority and which should be funded by all the individuals in the group.


T said...


Thanks for the very well thought out comment. I agree with you that not all government taxation and programs are a form of imposing morality on the public. I do believe that the proper role of government is to protect people which necessitates things like a military, police force, and a judical system.

I would even go so far as to say that it is OK for the government to provide welfare, impose economic policy like a minimum wage, and provide universal health care if it were done at a local or even state level. But imposing a blanket taxation and program policy on a nation with radically different views and giving no options to its citizens other than to leave the country is a little much in my opinion.

So yes, if a group of citizens wants to start a small communistic society where everyone is taken care of no matter their contribution and at the same time worship God, Yahweh, Buddah, or Allah than let them. Just don't have a national policy supporting that.

Anonymous said...

I agree that welfare or other social programs can best be set up with the "consent of the governed" when the governed are a small unit like a state or city - that's the theory behind our Republic. These days people are very mobile, technology allows a global market and borders seem so arbitrary, so establishing and maintaining a small governing unit is harder - but doing it on a national scale has the huge diversity issues you raised. i don't know the answer, but I don't think Communism or emigration are necessary. We can vote against the people who propose or impose laws/policies we disagree with - though we end up with people elected by a plurality, not a majority.

susan said...

John says exactly what I wanted to say but don't know how to express coherently. I think we have to have some programs but people take advantage and want a program for everything. Politicians try to please everyone and we get a mishmash of inefficient programs. Yes the answer is more easily handled locally but like John says, we're such a mobile society we want things to be the same everywhere so we buy into federal programs. I guess I like federal standards but state implementation. But then you end up with things like the transportation department forcing Nevada to impose lower speed limits if we want federal monies so really the federal government runs Nevada transportation when really I want to say "hey, we're a desert and you can go 80 miles an hour" be warned and don't drive here if you don't like. :) Okay, I'm not quite that upset about it but that is just one small of what I think the larger problem is.