MY WORD: So here’s why I’m a Democrat

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By Kim Lawrence

Usually when I tell someone that I am a Democrat, I get a puzzled look and then they blurt out “WHY?!?,” as if they can’t believe anyone could be a Democrat. 

What I always say is that first of all I am more of a Moderate or Independent but they don’t win elections, and I feel that the Democrats actually look out for the greater good more than the Republican Party does or claims to do.

That statement probably angers some, so let me explain. 

Without using religion, as I feel too many politicians do, I will say that my religious upbringing taught me to accept all kinds of people and treat them fairly, even if you don’t agree with everything they do. 

I feel that message has been lost when I hear that some politicians don’t want to give any rights to those who are outside of the mainstream majority, such as non-whites, women, gays and low-income people.

I throw women into that because women were actually the last minority to gain voting rights in this country; it was blocked so heavily by the Republican Party that it became clear that our opinions were never to be considered. 

I know that has been a long time ago, but during a recent meeting to discuss women’s reproductive rights, no womenwere allowed or invited to speak. 

The one thing women can do that men cannot is have children, and men are hard at work to create legislation to take any rights from us to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families.

I know no issue is more controversial than the abortion debate. I don’t think anyone wants to end the life of a baby. 

But if you say you put the life of the baby first but then give exceptions to the mother in cases of rape or incest, you are actually not putting the life of the child first. 

Therefore, the real aim of making abortion illegal is to punish women that engaged in questionable behavior and ended up with a pregnancy outside of marriage. 

This issue is one that I struggle with the most because I do have children and would never dream of not keeping a pregnancy I was given, but again, we all don’t have the same mindset, choices and wherewithal to see the consequences of our actions and not make mistakes. 

I think for both the gay and abortion issues, I would remind those in opposition to those rights about the theory they preach the most, which is the government should stay out of our lives. 

If we do truly believe that, then we have to own up to what freedom really means and who it applies to. It may not always be pretty, but true freedom is a wonderful thing.

The other issue I can never seem to wrap my head around is the economic issues. 

Republicans work for the rich; they make no bones about that if you look at the facts.

They spend an enormous amount of money every four years to convince us all that they work for everyday people. 

Even when the proof to the contrary is staring us right in the face with the economy that George W. Bush left behind, we still don’t want to believe it because millions of average people are losing their homes or their jobs. 

I actually think that the Republicans pull out the abortion debate every four years because that is something almost everyone can agree that they don’t approve of, so it’s like a “smoke and mirrors” con game to get people not to think about the real issues. 

Here’s an interesting fact I came across: In the places where social programs are used the most, i.e. low-income areas, those are the areas that have the highest Republican turnout.

So Republican voters are taking advantage of the social programs that their Republican lawmakers are voting against. 

A recent column dubbed them “Moochers for Republicans” because of that illogical phenomenon. 

I encourage people to look at the facts and not just what the politicians say. Then, when you do go to vote, you can go knowing you have full knowledge of your decision and are honoring those before us who fought so hard for all of us to live in a free society where everyone has an equal voice.
Kim Lawrence lives in Shelby County.