Our Tent May Be Too Large

Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.

One thing that Democrats have always proclaimed about our party is that we have a "big tent". Within this big tent we have always excepted many different people from different walks of life. However, recent developments should show us all that sometimes a "big tent" is not the greatest thing in the world, especially in the world of politics. Perhaps we should consider the fact that quite possibly our "big tent" has outgrown itself.

Now, do not get me wrong. One point of pride that I have always taken in my party is that we welcome groups of people that have one time or another been shunned by segments of society. I have always been proud that in my lifetime Democrats have counted among their ranks people of African, Irish, Jewish, Asian, Hispanic and just about any other decendency found in the American population in large numbers. We have also fought for the rights of other groups such as women and homosexuals that the other side often have viewed with scorn at some point in history. That to me is the greatest thing about the modern Democratic Party is that we believe in fighting for the civil rights and for equality for all people no matter their sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. The fact of the matter is that the Democratic Party despite the bluster of the other side about Patriotism has in my lifetime been the only party that has defended true American freedom for all to pursue happiness as long as that happiness does not infringe on another's rights and we have long sought fairness for all groups of people with a wide range of ideals.

However, despite the great appeal of a "big tent" somewhere along the way that ideal has been poisoned. The Party that was for generations the only champions for the creation and maintaining of a working American middle-class, and for the rights of workers to do their jobs in safety with fair wages and benefits as compensation has expanded too large. The party that has fought for fair wages and rights in the workplace for women and ethnic minorities has expanded too much. Even more recently the party that has fought to ensure that such small segments of the population as homosexuals are not persecuted simply because they choose a lifestyle in the privacy of their own homes and lives that others do not agree with has included too many.

And the sad fact of the matter is that none of these groups of folks expanded our party too much. I continue to be proud to count myself as a Democrat alongside women, African-Americans, Asians, my fellow Irish-Americans and homosexuals along with folks of all religous faiths. The varying degree of viewpoints brought into our party by all of these groups under our "big tent" has made our party a diverse collection of folks whom have little in common except the belief that America is the land of freedom, and that all Americans are equally valued and in fact welcomed into the fabric of American society.

While all of this is very good and a source of pride, this "big tent" has become way too large. Along the way we have allowed those who simply do not share our beliefs of equality for all, persecution for none, and a vibrant workforce of middle-class Americans who are valued enough by their employers that they are paid fair wages with benefits and allowed to attain the American Dream of owning their own home and raising their own families, no matter their ethnicities, sexual orientation or beliefs in comfort and security while having a chance to enjoy the fruits their labors have borne.

Yes, the problem with our "big tent" is along the way it has expanded to include those who fight for the greediest and least patriotic among us. Those that believe that Corporate profits and the wealth and power of elites in America are much more important than protecting the rights of all, and ensuring that every American who is willing to work and those that are unable to work will be treated fairly and have a chance at the same American dream that the wealthy have achieved.

So while our "big tent" has long been a good thing, it is now being turned up on its head. The poison spread among our party by Corporate Democrats who care little for anything but protecting the profits of the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else has tainted our "big tent" and threatens to defeat all that those within that tent that believe in the true ideals of our party and country have long fought for.

And one needs only look at the current state of events in our country to see how deeply that poison has spread into the veins of our party. Instead of being the party that seeks to have peace unless we are attacked, we have allowed ourselves to warmonger just like the other party. Instead of being the party that fights for the rights of all Americans to attain the middle-class and live the American dream we are allowing our party to fight for the same Corporations, entities and their kindred spirits that have long trampled those very rights whenever possible. Somewhere along the way these folks have infiltrated our ranks and prevented us from fighting for the ideals we all hold so dear, the ideals that America was founded on despite the wide range of differences between us.

And this is the great problem with our "big tent". Somewhere along the way it outgrew itself and simply includes folks now who do not belong in it, and are only here because it is the easiest way for them to keep their power and ignore the greater good of our country. As for this Democrat, it saddens me deeply to see that such a small minority in our ranks has lost the fight we all set out on to win together at one time or another.

Here is hoping our "big tent" is purged of these poisonous elements as quickly as possible before America sees us as the small, narrow-minded tent of selfishness so studiously maintained for generations by the other side we have long fought so hard against.

Tags: Democratic Party, Democrats (all tags)

Comments

2 Comments

and yet it barely got us more thn 50% of the vote

keep that in mind.

by ND22 2009-12-09 05:10PM | 0 recs
Always a tension

between advancing a principled agenda and attracting enough voters to be able to advance that agenda.

However, this is nothing new.  To take just one example:

Instead of being the party that seeks to have peace unless we are attacked, we have allowed ourselves to warmonger just like the other party.

While you could argue that Eisenhower set the ball rolling, it was JFK and primarily LBJ who got us into Vietnam.

by JJE 2009-12-09 07:20PM | 0 recs

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