A lot of the reasons why I have chosen to be a democrat have to do with my religious beliefs. I believe that we were given the earth to live on and to be stewards over. That means that we must act responsibly and conserve resources, avoid polluting and otherwise harming the earth as far as is possible. I also believe that we were meant to enjoy the beauty around us and that there needs to be balance as far as land use goes. My Mister, for example, loves to ride dirt bikes. I think it's good that he is able to go out with his brothers and cousins and do something that they all enjoy together. I also think (and he agrees) that he needs to stay on set trails to protect the rest of the land. The world is not his to ride rampantly over. The Utah D. Platform says the following:
Natural Resources: Utah Democrats seek to ensure the protection of public health and create a legacy of clean, safe air, soil and water, and a sustainable and balanced plant and animal wildlife population... We place great value on conserving our diverse natural resources and public lands that belong to all the citizens and future generations...Utah Democrats support the protection of wilderness with the right of access to use it responsibly as well as acting to help preserve critical wildlife habitat. Multiple uses of the public lands in sustainable ways are encouraged.
I believe that we have a duty to care for those who are not as fortunate as ourselves. I don't believe in perpetual welfare, and think that we need to help people learn to help themselves. I think our current welfare policy makes it nearly impossible for anyone to overcome their current circumstances, creating the cycle of poverty. The state platform says...
Utah Democrats believe that all Utahns should labor to the best of their abilities to provide for themselves and their families. In return, employers should pay a decent, life-sustaining wage and appropriate benefits or taxpayers unfairly end up subsidizing those employers who fail to meet these standards... Utah Democrats support programs for low-income working families that break the cycle of poverty, reward industry, promote self-sufficiency, support parenting, and encourage
families to stay together. We also believe that government must continue to provide assistance to the low-income disabled and elderly members of our society who cannot provide for themselves.
I think that laws which attempt to push those in the country illegally to other areas are cruel and ineffective. I think that people should be here legally, but that our policies have created the current mess. I think that there needs to be away to allow those here illegally to pay a fine, or do some kind of community service, and then allow them to get work permits. The state platform says:
Utah Democrats strongly affirm that people who are in the United States should be here legally. We strongly encourage Congress to adopt humane and compassionate policies that control our borders while providing for a viable worker immigration policy that respects the contributions of these workers to our economy and their families and children, many of whom are United States citizens. This policy must not lead to programs of exploitation with employers engaging in a pattern and practice of recruiting undocumented workers, and must include whistleblower protections. We abhor the demonization and politicization – with undercurrents of racism – that has inhibited rational, fair-minded debate of the issue.
As far as health care goes, I think all people should have access to healthcare, and that medical bills should not be causing people to file for bankruptcy. While I have no problem with doctors making a good wage, I think a health care system based on making profit is reprehensible. From the state platform:
Utah Democrats seek solutions to our ongoing healthcare crisis. We affirm that accessible healthcare is a civil right; no person should be denied access to basic and adequate healthcare. It is a national disgrace that the United States lags behind every other developed country in caring for the medical needs of its citizens. It is unconscionable that thousands of Utahns suffer or even die only because they lack access to adequate medical care and that those numbers continue to rise.
I don't think that prayers in schools are appropriate, and it always seems weird to attend a government type meeting and have people pray first. I'm okay with it as long as all religions are allowed to participate equally, but I would prefer a moment of silence where people can pray or not according to their religion. I like what the state platform says about it...
Utah Democrats believe that the constitutional principle of separating church and state maintains the rights of all Americans to worship how, where, and what they may.We don't need to ban the practice of religion in public, we just need to be respectful, especially in utah, of people who do not share in the predominant religion.
It seems that there are two issues which keep most utahns from affiliating with the democratic party. Same sex marriage, and abortion. Same sex marriage isn't likely to be an issue in Utah any time soon. We already have a state constitutional amendment defining marriage, and I think the only way it might become an issue is if the federal government forced the state to change, in which case, it wouldn't matter what party you affiliated with. With abortion, I think we should do more to educate (Our current sex education isn't working, and I'm not sure if we could do more to teach parents how to talk to their kids, or if public schools need to expand their program) and prevent, then there would not be so much demand for abortions. I personally think that abortions should only be considered in cases of rape or incest, where the woman did not choose to put herself in the position where she might become pregnant, or in cases where the life of the mother is in danger, and I know many utah democrats feel the same way. The Utah Democratic party has a big tent that allows for differing views. The state platform says:
Utah Democrats believe in a comprehensive approach that protects reproductive freedom while fostering personal responsibility and education for thoughtful and moral decisions about sexuality, childbearing, adoption, and parenting.
I know people who are locally democrats, but still vote for republicans nationally because of those two issues.
I'll end with a quote that I think exemplifies the problems with our lopsided government: The state Republican party platform says:
We demand honesty, integrity, morality, and accountability of our public officials. We will work to expose and stop corruption.Because of the inbalance, we have dishonesty, lack of integrity, immorality, and zero accountability in many of our public officals. There is no one to keep them in check, and I really think they've become power hungry and are abusing that power.
I also recommend readingThis article.