At a recent Democratic Women’s scholarship luncheon, Texas State Representative Donna Howard spoke eloquently of the values on which Democrats stand. In America, all should have the opportunity to rise above their situations, no matter how dire. America isn’t just a place; it’s an idea. Expressing an idea isn’t always easy, but Representative Howard was able to truly define what it means to be a Democrat: “We believe in healthy families, responsible government and opportunity for all.”
Democrats believe that proper healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman and child in America should be able to see a doctor when ill, regardless of their economic status. It is a national disgrace that injured or ill Americans must sometimes choose whether to put food on the table or go to the doctor. Democrats believe that good health isn’t just for the wealthy; it’s for everyone. Every person in this country should be able to obtain a flu shot; no questions asked. It doesn’t just protect the person receiving the vaccination, it protects us all. We believe that it is time to adopt what so many other developed countries already have-single payer healthcare. It’s been promised by those seeking election for years. The time has come to keep the promise of good healthcare for all.
We also believe that the government should work FOR the people-ALL the people. Elected officials should be held accountable for their actions. In the past year, one Texas senator called over half the voters “deranged.” A politician, once elected must enter office with an understanding that he or she represents all the people-not just a selective few. We also believe that it is unethical for politicians to use dark money to win elections. When outside interests write checks to candidates for thousands of dollars, they are, in effect, buying Democracy. This is unacceptable. We oppose voter suppression, gerrymandering and the buying of elections by rich donors. Our country should not be owned by the wealthy; we are not an oligarchy. As Democrats, we believe that government must serve all the people, not just big business. Democrats stand for Democracy.
And finally, we believe in the American Dream. Democrats believe that everyone in America deserves the right to learn, grow and advance. We are stronger as a nation when we accept the talents of all, regardless of their country of origin. We are a land of immigrants, like my 3X great grandfather, who stowed away aboard a ship from Ireland when he was just 12 years old. He escaped the Irish Potato Famine and certain starvation to become a Texas Ranger and well-respected in his community. His story isn’t unique; it’s the story of America. Our country is filled with dreamers who have risen above life’s circumstances to make us all stronger as a nation. This is what we believe as Democrats, and I’m proud to be one.