By Daniel A. Stafford © 2012
There are a lot of things for Democrats and Labor to be thankful for in this country. There are many achievements to celebrate that have been accomplished by both, and there is the system of government in the United States of America that made this history possible.
In these times, where Democratic and Labor achievements have been attacked and eroded by the Billionerati and large corporations, one could easily wonder why or even if being grateful for these things really matters at all. Shouldn't the focus be on the next battle? I firmly believe that keeping your eye on the goal is very important – but so is remembering the goals we have already achieved, and how we did so. Why? There is a very good answer to that question.
When we remember and give thanks for our past achievements and the things that made them possible – publicly – it serves to remind us and educate the public of the worth of these accomplishments, how we achieved them, what the nature of our character and motives, and sheds light on what we're likely to do going forward if we're given the chance. Many young people today – a key voting demographic – are unaware of much of this history. Many more recent immigrants to this country – another key voting demographic – are also unaware of the history of Labor and the Democratic party. Celebrating past achievements and their effects on our lives publicly helps everyone remember what those beneficial changes were, and how they came to be.
Giving thanks for past achievements also reminds us of what the spirit and vision of those early efforts were, and helps bring a similar vision, spirit, and tone into our modern efforts to improve life for all people, even the very wealthy. Clearly, the wealthy have also forgotten the benefits that they derived from a better life for the people around them.
We need to bring back the vision of promise and a better life to our efforts. We need to give people concrete hope that their future and their children's future will be better. Only when we can give people a solid reason to believe that we will work to make life better will people be able entertain the idea that the goals we set for the future might be worth listening to and that achieving those goals might actually be good for their own futures.
Spending the time to be grateful for past accomplishments while proposing new goals also lends depth to the spirit of working for positive change, and takes the emphasis off of the combative current nature of political discussion, moving the whole effort closer to a spirit of constructive endeavor. Until people have a reason to believe that working with us will be constructive, how can the political tone in our country ever move to anything cooperative?
With that in mind, I am going to begin a weekly series of articles celebrating one or two past accomplishments of the Democratic Party and Labor Movement, with a reference to source material and what those changes meant in ordinary people's lives. This preface is part one.
Thank you for reading,
Democratic Precinct Committeeman
York Township precinct 112
DuPage county, IL