Saturday, May 15, 2021

These aren't the Democrats of yesteryear

by Carl Rieckmann
| October 20, 2020 7:00 AM

Should folks who traditionally think of themselves as Democrats consider whether the party still holds to their basic values? I have.

At age 77, I remember growing up how Democrats supported moral and family values, blue-collar jobs, the freedoms of religion and speech, and our Constitution. I recall Democratic presidential hopeful Adlai Stevenson putting religious and ethical values into civic issues and his messages. These values still matter to me.

Yet, today, much of the Democratic Party seems to have morphed into a secular, socialist, liberal and leftist entity with no respect for the Constitution and its freedoms.

In the 1970s and 1980s, I was a legislative assistant for Montana Congressman and Senator John Melcher, a man who stood in the gap for those values even as other Democrats were slipping away. A telling peek is when Melcher, during a 1980s senate reelection campaign, was the only one out of the 100 senators to receive a 100 percent rating on 15 votes surveyed by a whole-life-concept group. The votes reflected stands on such issues as abortion, euthanasia, help for babies and mothers, nutrition — basically protecting life born and unborn. His Republican colleagues tended to score around 67 percent and fellow Democrats seemed to land around 33 percent.

You could say also that Republicans are not what they used to be. Not all Republicans will do what you think they would do, but the odds are far better when it comes to moral values and constitutional freedoms. Native American activist Russell Means, a Democrat, eventually supported conservatives. He saw that the Democratic Party held down his people with a welfare approach used by big-city party machines to hold political power, stifling their self-respect and self-initiative.

I once thought it made sense to vote for candidates who seemed better suited regardless of party. But we’ve seen Democrats elected locally with innocent credentials gain name recognition for higher office and then get leveraged to support liberal-controlled Democratic caucus agendas, even if their early intentions were otherwise.

We know if liberal Democrats should win the Senate, House and presidency, they will try to repeal the Electoral College. That would remove the balance intended by constitutional framers between states and populations. The left’s quest for open voting, to include illegal aliens and ballot harvesting, will be disastrous.

Leftist Democrats are enemies of freedoms of speech and religion. Liberal allies like Amazon and Facebook are deciding what people should and shouldn’t read in an Internet version of book burning and of rewriting or obliterating history. Slavery and the Civil War were tragic products of their times, but they are real history. One-time Democratic heroes Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were slave owners. I enjoyed campaigning at the Democrats’ Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners. How’s that going these days? Politically incorrect? Neo-Nazis pretend the Holocaust is fake. Does “forgetting history” help, especially to keep from repeating it?

I think we all understand morally that black lives matter, just like all other colors. But when the liberal mainstream media takes isolated incidents under great tensions, however regrettable, to manufacture major racial anxiety and ignores the hundreds of black-on-black shooting deaths sadly occurring within their own communities, don’t you get a totally unrealistic status report on America?

Also mattering to me are lives of formed unborn babies, aborted and killed by the millions — another product of liberal Democrats. Murdered among them were and are future geniuses, leaders, educators, medical professionals, scientists, compassionate personalities and so on. They could be helping us now to make our country and planet better places. Liberal Democrats care about animal rights but not these human rights. Why not? People are creatures, too.

Christianity and Judaism, the biblical religions, are whipping boys of liberal Democrats, who try to force on them federal regulations and court rulings contrary to their core beliefs, as in the areas of abortion and same-sex “marriage.” I know it gets complicated and that we have liberal-leaning Christian churches and Jewish groups who always seem ready to conform their dogmas to secular society’s whims. But, to me, and maybe to you, religious beliefs and moral values are set in time and are not bendable to whatever the secular world says.

In recorded history, the concept of marriage was created by God and thus provided in the Judeo-Christian biblical books as being between man and woman for purposes of the family unit and moving humanity forward. This country’s legal recognition of a union between same-sex persons as “marriage” is an evil insult to God’s creation of marriage (so honored in most cultures through the many centuries). A bond between same-sex persons might be termed a legal civil union, but in no way is it able to produce the biblical and centuries-old reality of what marriage means and is able to procreate.

Children adopted into fatherless or motherless environments cruelly miss growing up in a true family unit — as valued by psychologists in written reams over the years. And this current fervor of people despairing over whether they are male or female or both seems to have come afire since the proliferation of same-sex family marriages.

Liberal Democrats have even pushed away labor union members, denied job opportunities by adding obstructing environmental overreaches on proposed projects. Public-sector labor unions worship at the altar of liberal Democrats, who cannot have enough big government. Liberals think the federal government is God, replete with all answers. States or local governments or school districts making decisions frustrate their designs to consolidate control of all societal aspects. Jefferson backed states’ rights, another strike against him, I guess.

Out of college, I thought the Democratic Party sounded right and even ran for statewide office as one. But as I saw the liberal secular socialist trend messing with lives and freedoms, I moved away, fearful for our country’s moral state and future.

Ignore all the shameless negative misleading trivial ads of both parties in these times and decide when you vote what values are really at the heart of our existence now and for those to whom we hand the future. I pray our nation does not shred apart, mired in moral and financial chaos, and perhaps face foreign intervention. Secular socialist liberal Democrats would not know God’s judgment, if such could be looming.

If you think you’re a Democrat, does the secular liberal leftist agenda define you? Do you fit in a party that seriously considers the likes of avowed socialist Bernie Sanders?

The author is a former congressional aide and current Kalispell resident.