Do you know 10 facts about Democrats? If the answer is no, it is not your fault. You, like many other Americans, are probably confused about what it means to be a Democrat these days. What used to be left has moved right and what used to be right has moved into a "mental hospital" as accurately described by Bill Maher. Well, here are a few things that remain true about the Democrats, or what some people are calling the "New Republicans."
- The Democratic party was started by Thomas Jefferson in 1794. Jefferson, along with other opponents of the Federalists, didn't want the nation's decisions to be made by wealthy land owners; so they formed the Democratic-Republicans, which later evolved into the Democratic Party.
- The Democrat's mascot is an ass. Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States was labelled a "jackass" by his opponents during the presidential race of 1828, so the Democrats went with it and adopted the donkey as their party's symbol.
- Democrats are smarter than Republicans. Okay, okay, the "correct" way to state this is that a 2008 study published by Nature Neuroscience, found that Democrats are better able to tolerate ambiguity and complex reasoning than Republicans.
- Democrats want to invest in higher education. Generally speaking, Democrats believe in funding higher education and creating more educational opportunities for minorities, nontraditional students and low income students to obtain a college degree. Specifically, democrats created the American Opportunity Tax Credit (2008), to ensure that the first 4,000 dollars of college tuition is free( for most students). Democrats also increased the amount of Pell grant that students can receive.
- Democrats know that women and minorities are people, not property. Democrats believe that women and minorities should have equal rights and equal opportunities in education and in the workplace.
- Democrats have fewer sex scandals than Republicans. The Democrats basically have Bill Clinton; then there are the Republican sex scandals, which make a blow job look boring: Ron Ashburn (arrested for drunk driving after leaving a gay bar, 2010); Mark Sanford (South Carolina Governor had affair with Argentinan woman, 2009); Larry Craig (the "wide stance" in the men's room).
- Democrats believe in sex education. Democrats realize that people, even young people, are going to have sex…even if you teach them "abstinence-only." Democrats believe that kids should learn about safe sex and how to prevent STDs.
- Democrats care about the environment. The 2008 Democratic Party Platform states that they support renewable energy initiatives and because they don't believe we have "dominion" over the Earth given to us by God, they support scientific research guided by climatologists.
- Democrats are not much different than Republicans in matters of fiscal policy. What Healthcare Reform? The 2010 Healthcare reform bill will eventually require everyone to carry health insurance or be subject to a fine…unless they can't afford insurance, then they can opt out. So…if you can afford insurance, you buy it? If you can't afford it you don't buy it? How is that making health insurance affordable for everyone? To borrow from Bill Maher again, "We've got a right of center party and a crazy party…one party endorses 'cap and trade' and the other party sits around saying, 'I like turtles'."
- Democrats are politicians, just like Republicans. At the end of the day, Democrats need to get elected (or re-elected) like all politicians. Unfortunately, with unlimited campaign contributions and no free air time, all politicians have to worry about funding their campaigns and subsequently they end up pandering to large donor interests when their issues come up for vote. Yes, Goldman Sachs (employees or other individuals) contributed just under 1 million dollars to Barack Obama's campaign in 2008.
Amar, Akhil Reed (2005). "In the Beginning". America's Constitution: A Biography. New York: Random House