Friday, March 15, 2013

Explaining Why You're A Democrat To Your Nine Year Old.

By: Dale Bowling

My wife and I were talking about current events and government policies and my 9 year old asked a question that every father dreads having to answer: if my political party's ideas are "true", or is that just my opinion?

I gave the best answer I could, which was some combination of the two. I doubt it satisfied his desire for a definitive answer, but it didn't provoke any further inquiries on his part.

But the question made me think a lot about what makes me a Democrat in the first place. And as I found myself trying to put it together in my mind, I found the question was less about "Truth" and more about "truths" and what they mean to me.

Let's take the example of the Bush Tax Cuts. Good idea, bad idea? If the idea was to stimulate job creation, then bad idea: Bush had the worse numbers on job creation of any President since Herbert Hoover - even before the onset of the Bush Recession. John Kerry hammered Bush on that point in the 2004 election. But if the idea was to make Rich People even richer, then Mission Accomplished. Great idea.

Both of these are truths. Didn't create jobs. Made the Rich richer. Which one is important to me depends on my values and what kind of America I want to hand off to my children.

Do I want an America that only creates opportunities for those who already have plenty? No.

Has that made America great in the past? No.

Do I want my 12 year old daughter and my 9 year old son to live in an America where the if you've had a bad break or were born without advantages, you're just screwed?  No.

That would mean they're just a bad break away from being totally screwed, wouldn't it? We all would be then, wouldn't we?

So while truth alone is on our side, it only tells part of the story. Yes, Democrats believe in evaluating things by whether they work and are true and not just expedient. But ultimately, Democrats are values-based. He want a better, stronger, fairer America. And we support policies that are in line with reality and truly going to get us there.

Thank you Sean for asking the question.

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