Union County Progressives/Democrats

Lois Barry — Why I vote Democrat

I have, with one exception, always voted Democrat, primarily because Democrats, as I see it, are usually for policies or programs, offering solutions to national or international problems. Republicans seem to be against programs and solutions needed by communities or the country as a whole.

The Republican rationale for cutting or eliminating programs for the needy, the ill, the elderly (“entitlements”) is usually “fiscal responsibility.” Under the current administration, fiscal responsibility has been replaced by unfettered military spending and irrationally generous tax cuts to corporations and the nation’s wealthiest citizens.

During the Obama administration, the Republican-controlled Congress became the unabashed “Party of No” to every progressive Democratic program: No to affordable health care, no to a livable minimum wage, no to comprehensive immigration reform, no to bipartisan cooperation, no to essential efforts to control climate change.

As an environmentalist and a Democrat, I support laws and regulations that work to guarantee clean air and clean water and control carbon emissions in the environment our grandchildren will inherit. How can a loving grandparent vote for a party that is working to reverse pollution controls and denies the need to address climate change immediately?

No political party is perfect. That’s why national campaigns, even within the party, can be so abrasive.

Unfortunately, the politics of the past two years have suffered a tectonic shift away from the standard Democratic/
Republican philosophical positions arguing big government vs. local control. Much to the despair of many conscientious Republicans, the current administration apparently has also said no to integrity, credibility, diplomacy and compassion. I regret the congressional abandonment of bipartisan cooperation.

Debate on important issues formed our Constitution. Continuing open debate on many compelling challenges is essential, and Democrats will continue to propose programs to “level the playing field.”

We will accommodate and encourage diversity and welcome immigrants because our nation’s strength was built on the abilities and efforts of people who came to this country to flee oppression and find a better life.

Democrats created Affirmative Action to help those whose ancestors came to this country as slaves or who grew up with limited financial or family support.

Democrats see government as the safety net for people who need help. If the Republican mantra is individual success and capitalism, I like to think the Democratic mantra is community cooperation and compassion.

Cheryl Simpson — Why I vote Democrat

This is a timely topic as we all have the opportunity to exercise our civic responsibility to cast our vote in the Nov. 6 election. I choose to vote for people with whom I share values, hopes and aspirations.

Over more than 50 years of voting at the local, state and national level, my vote has been cast for Democrats.

Of the two mainline parties in the United States, the Democrats are striving for the kind of world I want to live in. One where neighbors are neighborly; government addresses the needs of all people, not just the wealthy; people are treated with respect and receive the health care they need when they need it; and the environment is protected. This year, 2018, I am delighted to state that the Democratic Party of Oregon has selected health care as its top priority.

The DPO Platform (Article 2: Healthcare, Basic Human Needs, and Human Rights) states that “Oregon Democrats affirm the rights of all individuals to be treated with dignity and respect. We believe all people have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We believe in the freedom and equality of every individual. We believe in a strong social safety net and basic health care as a human right.”