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The Democratic Perspective

Working people have not always had a voice in Washington. Growing up in rural Texas, most people were democrats. I believe that was because of FDR. He was the first president to reach out and help the impoverished and the working class of America and most of all, the farmers. He essentially created the middle class.

Before Roosevelt, there was little relief for the working class or the impoverished who could not work. Upton Sinclair wrote about the demise of the working class of Chicago in his 1920s novel titled, “The Jungle.” I have no doubt he embellished his novel, but he proved a point, the working class had no ally in the workplace, and getting ahead was next to impossible. We see an ever-expanding gap between the impoverished and the wealthy today. The middle class is struggling. Through a combination of hard work and luck, some are fortunate to make it to the upper-middle class. Others through no fault of their own end up impoverished. I was raised on a farm, and we were thought of as poor people, yet we were landowners. The land became valuable later in life, and if you were lucky enough to hang on to it, you too became more prosperous. My family was not one of the lucky ones.

So why consider the democratic perspective? We can look at history and see the many beneficial programs proposed by Democrats. We will, of course, start with Social Security. The idea of a pension for workers had been tossed around for nearly 50 years. With the depression in full swing, we had many older adults suffering from limited or no income. Social Security has been a blessing to many Americans, yet it was disliked by many at the time. It was threatened with termination in the early ‘40s. The 19th Amendment was ratified under Woodrow Wilson to grant women the right to vote. Women voting remains controversial in some circles today. The GI bill was signed into existence in 1941 by FDR. The peace corps was created under Kennedy. Civil rights, Medicare, and Medicaid were established under Johnson. Ironically, Johnson knew granting insurance to the poor and equal rights to minorities would be the downfall of the Democratic party. It can most likely be attributed to the south turning red and the north turning blue. At that time the south had been Democratic since reconstruction, and the north was where capitalism thrived thus it was red.

There are additional reasons why you should consider the democratic perspective. Public schools, grants to rural areas for water and sewer improvements, Pell grants, community development block grants, farm subsidies, disabled parking designation, Medicare assistance, earned income credit and affordable care insurance are a few more programs offered by Democrats. Most recently, these very programs have been challenged by Washington. As a result, many Americans have turned against some of these programs. Many who benefit from these very programs vote Republican even though they gain benefit from such programs.

Thus, it is time we take a hard look at what our government is doing for the working class and the impoverished. Are we going back to pre-depression days when you were on your own with no safety net? If you got hurt on the job, you were just out of luck. We see examples of working-class people who are injured on the job and treated like they are a burden to society, while those who have the resources can challenge the system. Hence, we have a governor who receives $15,000 monthly because a tree fell on him while he was out jogging and the employee at Walmart who was permanently injured on the job when struck in the head by a falling object was forced to accept Social Security disability. The worker had to fight for years because Social Security and the Texas workers comp provider fought over who would pay the medical bills.

Democrats merely want more equality in the system. The have-nots need to be treated the same as the haves. I challenge you to look at the many benefits the federal, state and local governments offer you and how it has enhanced your life. The United States will continue to thrive if we keep a system in place that allows capitalism to thrive but with parameters to protect our workers and those who fall upon hard times regardless of the reason. Are you one of the people who has fallen upon hard times?

The Olney Enterprise

213 E. Main St.
PO Box 577

Olney, Texas 76374

Phone: (940) 564-5558

Fax: (940) 564-3992