Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority. - William Jennings Bryan
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Just Some Thoughts
I like Robert Byrd.
I know alot of people talk about him like he's a dusty old relic who Democrats should either forget, ignore, or just put up with.
I say we need to rally around Senator Byrd.
Senator Byrd stands for increased minimum wage, for affordable perscription drugs, for dramatically increasing veterans' health care funding, and for pulling out of Iraq.
I say Robert Byrd is one of America's last true giants of public service. We Democrats need to rally around one of our greatest leaders.
WARNER REVS THE ENGINE
Mark Warner is doing everything a Presidential candidate does. He's going to New Hampshire, appearing on national television shows, and has a PAC, available at http://www.forwardtogetherpac.com.
I'd like to excerpt from a speech Governor Warner made in 2003. I believe it is quite approriate:
"...In Washington the last couple of years, we've seen lots of talk, but few results. And we're heading in the wrong direction.
The last time we had a Democratic President, America saw the first budget surpluses in a generation.
Just three years later, the Republicans' own numbers show a future filled with deficits as far as the eye can see.
The last time we had a Democratic President, unemployment fell to record lows. But today it climbs a little higher every month.
The last time we had a Democratic President, the stock market soared. Today, it just sputters.
In 2000, America was promised something called "compassionate conservatism." And you know - that sounded familiar to a lot of us in the South. We had been saying for a long time - balance the budget, but not on the backs of working people.
But they meant something else - and all we got was more of the same....
Virginia hasn't voted for a Democratic President since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. When I ran for Governor, the Republicans controlled both houses in the legislature and every statewide office - and the White House picked our Governor to run the Republican National Committee.
And despite those odds, we won because we built a new coalition of Virginians.
We did that by laying out a message that focused on meeting the needs of an information age economy - a message that stressed economic opportunity, educational opportunities, and fiscal responsibility.
We started with the most loyal Democrats. We said to African Americans and to working people - We know that you have been taken for granted in the past. Those days are over. You will help lead this team.
We said, we're going to bring people together - just like Governor Winter showed us how to do here in Mississippi.
And then we reached out to Virginians in rural communities - to people who hadn't voted for a Democrat in a long, long time. And we asked them to give us a chance.
In a 21st century economy, you can be successful anywhere - if you have a good education and job skills.
We talked about giving young people the chance to get a good job in the place they grew up. Because you shouldn't have to leave your family or your hometown to get ahead.
We said, Virginia will never prosper if all the good jobs are in one area, and other places get left behind.
And then we said something that a lot of people had never thought of - you can like NASCAR - you can like hunting - you can like bluegrass music - and you can still vote for a Democrat.
We did all this because we recognized that if you're going to offer people economic hope, you can't spend all your time talking about the same old social issues that have divided us for too long.
You can't move forward if every discussion is about abortion and guns.
Those are all important issues, and we can't ignore them. But they create passion that often distracts us from more fundamental issues.
And let me say it again - if we can do it in Virginia, we can do it for America.
We have to do it for America. Because America deserves better than failed fiscal policy. America deserves better than an economy that leaves millions of people and whole communities behind.
And Democrats offer better. We offer optimism, and we offer hope for the future.
Now as you might guess, a lot of Republicans and Independents supported us. And since then, a lot of them have asked me, Mark - Why exactly are you a Democrat?
And I just smile. Because if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand.
I am a Democrat because since Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence - and since Jackson spoke for the common man - our party has never been the party of the status quo.
Instead, we have been the ones to see a challenge - and do something about it. Let's be honest - it hasn't always worked perfectly. Sometimes it has gotten us in trouble. Sometimes it has split us apart. But sometimes, those are the wages of progress.
And yet, I am a Democrat because the greatest and most noble political experiments of our time had their birth in our party.
I am a Democrat because the New Deal literally saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
I am a Democrat because a generation after a Democratic president started the Peace Corps, you can still find faded photographs of John F. Kennedy on the walls of homes from South Africa to South America.
I am a Democrat because fighting for working men and women is always the right fight.
I am a Democrat because our party led the struggle for civil rights and because we recognize that discrimination and bigotry are not dead - and that we must continue to seek equal opportunity for all.
I am a Democrat because despite our failures, our missteps, and our excesses - we know that waging a war on poverty does not mean fighting the individuals who are poor.
I am a Democrat because we know that today's battle is about the future versus the past - and it's time to put aside yesterday's battles of us versus them.
I am a Democrat because we know that criticizing success won't create a single job.
And most of all, I am a Democrat because when my three daughters go out into the world to make their lives, I want them to find a world where there's less hopelessness - less selfishness - and less violence.
I want them to find a world where there is more opportunity - more understanding - and more hope.
That is the mission of this party.
That is what we work for.
That is why we get up every morning.
That is why we're here tonight.
And our work is not done."
I think this speech is exactly what Warner needs to say out on the road. Mark Warner will be our next President if he repeats the truth like he did in this speech.