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Republican, you’re an old Democrat

An open letter to my brother

2008.11.02 — Government | Politics | by Derek Jensen

Harry Truman

A typical modern Republican [source]

You know you're a Republican. You think you're a conservative. But progress does funny things to politics. They shift over time. Let's put yours in perspective.

Your wife works outside the home. You don't expect your children to follow in the family business. You're even sending them to college.

You appreciate that Social Security is your mother's only source of income and that it will be an important part of your retirement plan.

You're not a sexist. You're not a racist. You're not an anti-semite. You even tolerate gay people, as long as they stay in the shadows. You oppose abortion.

You like having clean air, clean drinking water, and rivers that don't catch fire because corporations have dumped horrible chemicals into them. And you recognize that many (not all, but many) other regulations on business—especially in the financial world—are a necessary evil.

You would have made a great Democrat fifty years ago.

You recognize that we can't go back to using the gold standard without crippling the economy. You appreciate the need for NATO, the Marshall Plan, and even the United Nations, even if it's not very effective (and you wouldn't really want it to be)..

You even support an unpopular president who has gotten us into a foreign war with a weak coalition of allies that has lasted too long and cost too much.

You are a Truman Democrat... just like Ronald Reagan was.

Fifty years from now, politics will have shifted further. Progress is unstoppable, and the richer and more technologically advanced we get, the more we realize that we aren't so different from each other, that every American deserves the same opportunities as every other, and that it helps all of us to help the least of us.

In the intervening years, we'll pursue universal health care, stronger international trade relations, more environmental conservation, cleaner energy.

Join us. You would have made a great Democrat 50 years ago. Join us in the future today.




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