I was watching C-SPAN today when I heard something I couldn’t hep but comment on. During an interview with the chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, a conservative African-American woman called in and stated "the Democrats have done nothing for me."
More below the jump...
The problem here is that statement is completely wrong–throughout American history, Democrats have done some exceptional things for this country, and we deserve recognition our accomplishments. So, if you’ve benefited from Democratic policies, make sure to thank a Democrat.
If you’re not a wealthy landowner and you vote, thank a Democrat: Andrew Jackson got rid of laws that discriminated against working-class Americans by restricting voting to wealthy landholders.
If you’re a woman and you vote, thank a Democrat: Woodrow Wilson supported the 19th Amendment, which was passed and ratified during his Presidency.
If you have ever voted while between the ages of 18 and 21, thank a Democrat: Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Congress passed the 26th Amendment.
If you never experienced racial segregation, thank a Democrat: Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial segregation in public schools and public places.
If you never had to take a literacy test or pay a poll tax to vote, thank a Democrat: Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed literacy tests as a requirement for voting, as well as the 24th Amendment, which outlawed poll taxes.
If you earn a fair wage, get paid overtime and/or was never subjected to child labor, thank a Democrat: Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Congress passed the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, which set the first national minimum wage, created requirements for overtime compensation and outlawed child labor.
If you have ever received benefits through Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, thank a Democrat: Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Congress passed the Social Security Act, while Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Congress passed Medicare and Medicaid.
If you or your child has ever benefited from Head Start or SCHIP, thank a Democrat: Head Start was passed by Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Congress, while SCHIP was championed by Ted Kennedy and signed into law by Bill Clinton.
If you have ever worked in a clean, safe workplace, thank a Democrat: in 1970, the Democratic Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which created national standards for workplace cleanliness and safety.
If you or anyone in your family has taken time off work due to a serious illness, accident, or birth of a child, thank a Democrat: Chris Dodd championed the Family and Medical Leave Act, which required employers to provide paid time off for their employees due to sickness, injury or to care for a newborn child. The Democratic Congress passed FMLA, which was signed into law by Bill Clinton.
If you, your parents or your grandparents were helped by the G.I. Bill, thank a Democrat: the G.I. Bill granted veterans loans to pursue higher education and purchase houses, as well as providing unemployment benefits. It was one of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives, and it was passed by a Democratic Congress.
If you’re a woman who is paid as much as your male coworkers, thank a Democrat: Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Congress passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, guaranteeing equal pay for workers regardless of their gender.
If you’ve never been discriminated against due to your age or physical disability, thank a Democrat: The Age Discrimination in Employment Act was passed by Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Congress, while the Americans with Disabilities Act was also passed by a Democratic Congress.
If you enjoy clean air and water, thank a Democrat: the Clean Air Act was passed by the Democratic Congress in 1963 and signed into law by Lyndon Johnson; the Clean Water Act was passed by the Democratic Congress in 1977 and signed into law by Jimmy Carter.
If you enjoy freedom and security, thank a Democrat: James Monroe established the Monroe Doctrine, which kept Europe interfering with the free Western Hemisphere. Andrew Jackson fought against the British in the War of 1812, engineering the American victory at New Orleans. James K. Polk rebuffed an invasion from Mexico and acquired the entire American southwest in the Mexican-American War. Franklin Roosevelt mobilized America to defeat fascism, turning the U.S. into a world superpower. Harry Truman created the Marshall Plan–which stopped the spread of Communism in Europe– and he took the initiative in establishing NATO. John Kennedy stood up to the USSR during the Cuban Missile Crisis and in Southeast Asia. Bill Clinton negotiated the historic Oslo Accords between Israel and Palestine, and he helped to both end the violence in Northern Ireland and the genocide in Kosovo.
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. And, of course, this isn’t to say that other political parties haven’t helped people or made this country better. But I doubt there is anyone in this country who can reasonably claim that the Democratic Party has not made their lives better in some way, and I wanted to take some time to point that out.