Values

Progressive Values

It is crucial that all who believe in the progressive values, best promoted by the Democratic party, can convey to their friends and neighbors the values that progressives hold dear! There are three fundamental principles that inspire the progressive Democratic philosophy.

First, Democrats are resolved to safeguard our individual freedoms. For two centuries, America has been defined by its commitment to constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and rights.

Second, Democrats strive to guarantee equal opportunity for all. America's historic success has come by providing all citizens, not just the privileged few, with an education that empowers every citizen to secure a better life for their families.

Third, Democrats are determined to protect our national security. To make us truly secure, America must not only stop domestic criminals and foreign terrorists, it must also promote our health security, seniors welfare security, infrastructure security, food security, product security, drug security, environmental security, fiscal security, job security and; imported goods security. While forcefully continuing to protect lives, health and property, we must ultimately feel secure that a competent government will also respond to protect and then rebuild our lives when disasters, like hurricanes and floods, strike our local communities.

These three principles might be summed up in one simple statement: Democrats believe that government exists to promote and protect the common good for all citizens; that government must play a role to ensure there is a level playing field for every American and that no one special interest is allowed to gain unfair advantage over even a single American.

Progressives believe in openness, equal opportunity, and tolerance. Progressives assume we’re all in it together: We all benefit from public investments in schools and health care and infrastructure. And we all do better with strong safety nets, reasonable constraints on Wall Street and big business, and a truly progressive tax system. Progressives worry when the rich and privileged become powerful enough to undermine democracy.

President Clinton contrasted the "Common Good" values of Democrats with those of Conservative Republicans stating that, "Where [Democrats] favor equal opportunity and empowerment, they believe the country is best served by the maximum concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the right people. We believe in mutual responsibility. They believe in large measure that people make or break their own lives, and you're on your own. We believe in striving, at least, to cooperate with others, because we think there are very few problems in the world we can solve on our own. They favor unilateralism whenever possible and cooperation when it's unavoidable."

The "Common Good" Value Is The Foundation Of Many Answers To The Question; "For What Do Democrats Stand?" What Happens To Countries That Stop Valuing The Public Good

While  it is important that Democrats are prepared to carry our Party's  message forward, we must also not allow Republicans to redefine any  message to their own advantage. First among the messages that  Republicans wish to define for themselves, is the message of security.  Republicans, particularly presumptive Republican Presidential nominee  Senator John McCain, seek to define "Security" only under its most  narrow definition of defending against a foreign terrorist threat. The  desire to own this "security" message is understandable for Republicans  since this is now the only issue where Republicans continue to poll  ahead of Democrats.

While  the hazard of foreign terrorist organizations is of vital concern and  must be thoughtfully addressed by competent leadership, Americans are  more likely to face a much more immediate threat of Flood, Hurricane,  Earthquake, Tornado, Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes, Contaminated  Food, Unsafe Imported Products, Off-shoring Job Loss or even Interstate  Bridge Collapse caused by governmental neglect of our national  infrastructure! Therefore, Democrats must remind voters that  government's responsibility to keep Americans secure applies to every  aspect of American day-to-day life. This is why the following sample  Democratic message elevator-speeches, cutting across several key  election issues, have been typecast under the "security" theme. (An  "elevator speech" is a short overview of an idea for a product, service,  or political position. The name reflects the fact that an elevator  speech can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride - for  example, 30-45 seconds).

Use  these sample messages as is or rework them into your own words so that  you can deliver the messages with heartfelt passion. Use them  individually or mix and match the messages depending on the issues most  important to your audience.

The Democratic Pledge To America "For What Do Democrats Stand?"

Economic Security - Give every American economic security and job security with a fair  opportunity to prosper and pass on a better life to the next generation!
National Security – The first responsibility of each U.S. President is to guarantee the  security of America through a well trained military that stands at the  highest readiness level! The President and every member of the U.S House  and U.S. Senate must have a firm grasp on when and how it is reasonable  and advised to use military strategy as a tool to advance our national  security interests.
Health and Welfare Security – The security of affordable quality health care should be available to every American.
Educational Security – Every American has the right to an education that includes affordable  colleges and universities, prepares them to live a better life than  their parents, and also allows them to bequeath a better future to their  children!
Environmental Security – All Americans deserve a clean, healthy environment!
Energy Security - We need programs to develop energy efficiency and alternative technologies. Energy Independence Strengthens National Security!
Rights Security - America's Constitutional Government has a responsibility to protect and  promote the common good for every single American, not just the  perceived "majority" Americans! Government shouldn't be allowed to  invade every American's email and phone conversations without warrant  just because the technology exists to do so!

The Democratic Pledge To America "For What Do Democrats Stand?" Talking Point Messages

Economic Security - Give every American economic security and job security with a fair  opportunity to prosper and pass on a better life to the next generation!

  • Democrats stand for jobs for Americans in America that offer a living wage and fair benefits. Our economy should provide economic opportunities for all hard-working  individuals and families. Therefore, we support a legislative agenda  that not only keeps jobs from disappearing offshore to China, Russia and  India, but also guarantees a minimum living wage for every hard working  American!
  • Democrats stand for rational government spending and fiscal policies. Through the Republican Party's borrow and spend policies over the past  eight years, the National Debt continues to increase an average of $1.42  billion per day - or nearly $1 million a minute - as spending mounts  for the U.S. military policing action in Iraq. Republican spending and  fiscal policies have ballooned interest payments on the national debt,  which now stands at an incredible $9.13 trillion. Today each man, woman,  child and infant living in the United States is responsible for $30,000  in national debt; a legacy we will leave to our children and  grandchildren. ....Therefore, we support a legislative agenda that stops  the mounting deficit spending of the past six years, balances the  federal budget and stops the dollar's six-year decline from its status  as the internationally preferred business exchange currency.
  • Democrats stand for a strong dollar plan of action. The  Bush administration has allowed the U.S. Dollar valuation to fall to  historic lows against the Euro and other currencies. The dollar's 41  percent drop against the euro during Bush's term has contributed  substantially to the surge in imported oil and gasoline prices, fanned  inflation pressures and contributed to massive American balance of trade  deficits. Therefore, we stand for legislation that promotes a trade  policy that serves the interests, not just of multinational  corporations, but also of every American's vital interest in economic  security.
  • Democrats  stand for legislation that will allow the Federal Securities and  Exchange Commission to end speculative manipulation of energy commodity  trading markets. The so-called  "Enron Loophole" was created and attached to U.S. Senate legislation in  December 2000 by McCain campaign co-chair Senator Phil Gramm at the  behest of Enron executives. It was this "loop hole legislation" that  Enron exploited to speculatively manipulate electricity commodity  trading in California energy markets in the summer of 2001, spawning  artificial electricity shortages, steep climbs in electricity prices and  rolling brownouts across California. Therefore, we stand for  legislation that not only eliminates unbridled and unregulated oil and  gas commodity trading loopholes, but also regulates speculative  commodity trading practices, such as has skyrocketed gasoline prices by  as much as an additional 50 percent since the summer of 2007.
  • Democrats stand for national infrastructure investment. The lack of infrastructure investment by the Bush Administration and  previous Republican controlled congresses has allowed levies and  interstate bridges to decay into collapse, roadways to crumble and our  electrical distribution infrastructure to lag. Therefore, we stand for a  well-maintained national infrastructure where maintenance and expansion  is determined not by politics, but by what will maximize our safety and  homeland security, and by what will keep our economy growing strong.
  • Democrats stand against wholesale foreign ownership of our national infrastructure. The  Bush Administration and previous Republican controlled congresses have  actively promoted the policy of foreign investment in and ownership of  U.S. infrastructure. In 2006 the United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports  World almost acquired a company that ran critical U.S. ports until the  public became aware of the deal and pressured Congress and the Bush  Administration to stop the purchase. Yet, the Bush administration  continues to promote foreign ownership of key public interest  infrastructures such as roads, public water systems and airports. The  Spanish company Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte SA  was almost allowed to purchase the State Highway 121 toll road in North  Texas until public pressure derailed the deal at the last minute. In  June 2008 the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Affairs has  announced it will stop publishing a key report tracking those foreign  investments so as to hide such acquisitions from public scrutiny.  Therefore, we stand for reversing the Republican legislative and  administrative policies that actively promote and encourage foreign  ownership of U.S. public interest infrastructure.
  • Democrats stand for moderate regulation of financial institutions. Immediately after Republicans eliminated the regulatory guidelines of  prudent banking practices, unscrupulous home mortgage lenders were free  to unfairly prey on both American home buyers and securities investors.  Mortgage lenders were free to aggressively market risky sub-prime home  mortgages to unsuspecting home buyers and then speculatively trade those  risky sub-prime loans in securities markets to such unrestrained levels  that the U.S. Federal Reserve is now forced into government bailouts of  private securities companies to avert economic disaster. The U.S.  Federal Reserve was forced into such a Federal bailout of Bear Stearns  in March 2008 over these risky sub-prime mortgage loan trading  practices. The depth of sub-prime mortgage loan risks to the U.S.  economy are yet unfolding with thousands more American homeowners losing  their homes every month through foreclosure. Republicans would rather  allow banks and brokers to take unmitigated and unregulated risks, to  profit the few, and then socialize the bailout cost of those "too big to  fail" by adding the rotten fruits of their bad decisions onto the  public debt. Therefore, we stand for legislation that will restore the  federal banking regulatory authority that the Republicans discarded in  their zeal to eliminate protective government oversight in every quarter  of American financing and commerce.
National Security – The first responsibility of each U.S. President is to guarantee the  security of America through a well trained military that stands at the  highest readiness level! The President and every member of the U.S House  and U.S. Senate must have a firm grasp on when and how it is reasonable  and advised to use military strategy as a tool to advance our national  security interests.
  • Democrats stand for rational use of our military forces. America must have a well-managed military force with rational tours of  duty for Active Duty, Guard and Reserve units that do not break down and  wear out our first line of national defense. Even before September 11,  2001, our military leaders indicated that members and families of all  armed services branches were stretched thin in meeting deployments  requirements. The subsequent miscalculations for a quick and cheap war  in Iraq, which has extended to five costly years of policing an Iraqi  civil war, added to the necessary operations in Afghanistan, have placed  extreme stress on Active Duty, Guard and Reserve forces alike.....  Therefore, we plead for legislation and competent Congressional  oversight in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate that will restore rational  tours of duty for Active Duty, Guard and Reserve units and that will  return America's armed forces to peak readiness levels.
  • Democrats stand for rewarding our men and women in uniform for their courageous service to America. In addition to our strong support for the 21st Century GI Bill  championed by Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, Democrats also  strongly believe that our veterans deserve the best health care  available, unimpeded by needless bureaucratic red tape and Republican  appointed VA Administrators who seek to hide the true extent of physical  and mental injuries that result from repeated back-to-back extended  tours of duty. Therefore, we demand legislation and Veteran's  Administration oversight from every branch of government that guarantees  our self-sacrificing veterans will receive the health care and benefits  they rightly deserve!!
Health and Welfare Security – The security of affordable quality health care should be available to every American.
  • ....Democrats stand for a security safety net for the most vulnerable Americans. We must protect the security of our nation's children, elderly, wounded  military veterans, and disadvantaged. Children should never have to go  to school hungry and never have to skip health care because their  parents can't afford it! Therefore, we support strengthened legislation  and strict enforcement of existing legislation to make health care,  child care, veteran care and elder care accessible, efficient and  effective.
  • Democrats stand for universal health care through shared responsibility. The  American health care system is broken. Over the past five years,  families have seen premiums increase by 90 percent while benefits have  been cut. America has an embarrassing 47 million adults and 9 million  children who are uninsured and 50 million adults who are under-insured.  Since 2001, premiums for family coverage have increased 78 percent,  while wages have gone up 19 percent and inflation is up 17 percent.  Republicans promote a "you're on your own" free-for-all market system to  drive health care coverage. Therefore, we support a legislative agenda  that drives universal health care for every single American citizen  through shared responsibility.
  • Democrats stand for modest oversight of insurance, drug and health care companies. Totally unbridled and unregulated free-for-all market forces allow drug  companies to reap unprecedented profits -- even after the drug  companies annually squander 65 billion dollars for advertising, derived  from what Americans paid for their pharmaceuticals..... In 2004, the  U.S. pharmaceutical industry spent 24 percent of their $235 billion in  U.S. revenues on promotion, versus 13 percent for research and  development. Therefore, we favor a legislative agenda that provides  modest controls over what insurance and drug companies can do with their  profits, what drug companies can charge for their products, and how  fast health care fees can escalate.
  • Democrats stand for expanded federal funding of advanced therapeutic DNA research. Advanced therapeutic DNA research will lead to treatments and cures for  a range of diseases that begins with Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's  Disease, Diabetes, Cancer and Spinal Cord Injuries. The American people  overwhelmingly support expanded federal funding of therapeutic DNA  research, and yet, the Republicans in Washington, bowing to the pressure  from their extreme right-wing base, have prevented the passage of  bipartisan funding legislation for seven years..... Therefore, we favor a  legislative agenda that seeks to increase federal support for every  form of advanced therapeutic DNA research.

Educational Security – Every American has the right to an education that includes affordable  colleges and universities, prepares them to live a better life than  their parents, and also allows them to bequeath a better future to their  children!
  • Democrats stand for building an education system that is the best in the world. Every child should have an equal opportunity to attend elementary and  high schools that provide a quality education, and then attend an  affordable college or university of their choice. Therefore, we support  legislation to invest in our children's education through smaller class  sizes, more after-school and pre-school programs, more affordable  colleges and universities and more widely available low interest student  loans.
Environmental Security – All Americans deserve a clean, healthy environment!
  • Democrats stand for a clean and safe environment. We must conserve our natural resources both to secure our own health  and well being, and to fulfill our responsibility to future generations.  Democrats believe it is prudent to control pollution through a series  of increasingly effective policy actions in order to prevent the total  destruction of our environment. Republicans would rather allow industry  to belch out poisonous wastes and climate warming carbon, in accordance  with their "anything goes" free-market philosophy. Republicans are in  denial regarding those hidden economic costs of environmental  destruction, devastating climate change, and unconscionable damage to  people's health. Therefore, we support a legislative agenda to restore  and then strengthen pollution and carbon emissions regulations that have  been eliminated by the Republican controlled congresses and Bush  Administration over the past eight years.
Energy Security - We need programs to develop energy efficiency and alternative technologies. Energy Independence Strengthens National Security!
  • Democrats stand for increased National Security through Energy Independence. America must lead the world in the development of new energy  technologies and conservation strategies that will free America from  dependence on foreign oil. Energy independence will reduce the country's  strategic dependence on Middle East oil and thus reduce the risk that  the U.S. must maintain armed forces in Middle East countries for the  next 100 years, as Senator McCain has suggested. Investment in the  development of new energy technologies will also fuel business  investment and job growth in America. Republicans would rather "drive  pedal to the metal" until the last drop of oil is burned, and then  socialize the cost of 100-year military expeditions to secure foreign  oil reserves. Therefore, we support legislation that redirects federal  tax subsidies that are currently "gifted" to big oil companies, into  programs that will develop alternative energy and energy conservation  technologies, similar in scope and urgency to President Kennedy's 1960's  era "landing a man on the moon in a decade" program.
Rights Security - America's Constitutional Government has a responsibility to protect and  promote the common good for every single American, not just the  perceived "majority" Americans! Government shouldn't be allowed to  invade every American's email and phone conversations without warrant  just because the technology exists to do so!
  • Democrats stand for the protection of family privacy. For Americans to be truly free, government must stay out of our private  family lives. Whether the personal and family choice is related to  sustaining artificial life support for family members, health care  choices for our aged parents suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or even  family planning choices, families must have the right to make the  difficult family decisions as God gives them, individually, the light to  make their choice..... Therefore, we favor a legislative and U.S.  Supreme Court appointment philosophy that keeps family life choices  strictly within the family without government interference and  demagoguery.
  • Democrats  stand for the appointment of non-partisan U.S. Supreme Court Justices  that will impartially apply constitutional oversight in the Supreme  Court's review of low court rulings. Long after the next president is gone, his appointments will be sitting  on the bench, making decisions that impact our rights and liberties.  The next President will likely appoint as many as three new Supreme  Court Justices to the bench. Therefore, we believe the President of the  United States should appoint U.S. Supreme Court Justices who support the  principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. We  demand Justices who support an individual's privacy and right to make  intimate and personal choices.
  • Democrats stand for crime deterrence that focuses on opportunity availability instead of retribution. Tough sentences alone don't make us safer. A report released in  February 2008 indicates that more than one in every 100 U.S. citizens is  now confined in an American jail or prison. The United States has 5  percent of the world's population, and yet it has 25 percent of the  world's incarcerated population. We need to deter crime with more police  on the beat, programs for at-risk youth, better education, a strong job  market and job skills retraining. ....Therefore, we favor a legislative  agenda that provides more funding to local police forces across America  in addition to the legislative agendas to promote youth programs, to  provide better education, and to build a vibrant economy that will  provide good jobs on American soil to every American wanting a job.
  • Democrats stand for the elimination of discrimination. Discrimination against any American diminishes freedom for us all.


 What it means to be 
A Democrat

Democrats stand for Hope, Equal Opportunity and Fair Play. These are the values that Texans share in our personal lives and the values we expect to define our economic and social policies. Texas Democrats seek to build a better state and stronger nation where those who work hard and play by the rules can achieve their American dream.

We believe:
  • In equality opportunity for all citizens.
  • In rewarding honest, hard work with a living wage and a tax system that is fair.
  • In family values that are more than a political slogan.
  • In quality education that gives all citizens the opportunity to reach their potential.
  • In freedom from government interference in our private lives and personal decisions.
  • That individual strengths in our diverse population are a benefit.
  • In security in our homes and safety on our streets. Criminals should face swift and certain punishment.
  • In separation of Church and State to preserve the freedom to pursue our beliefs.
  • In a strong United States – morally, economically and militarily.
  • In common-sense reforms that give us cleaner and safer air and water.


I Am A Democrat Because

I am a Democrat because I believe in leadership. I believe in leadership that reaches out . . . that opens up government . . . and the political process . . . and our Party.

I am a Democrat because I believe the Democratic Party is the voice for those who would otherwise not be heard; because I believe the Democratic Party is the source of power for those who lack power . . . or the money to buy power.

I am a Democrat because I believe in both the work ethic and the worth ethic.
I am a Democrat because I believe the Democratic Party stands for the opportunity that is every person’s God-given right.

I am a Democrat because I am motivated by faith . . . and not by fear; by hope . . . and not by hate.

I am a Democrat because I believe that religion is a precious freedom to be enjoyed by all . . . not a tool for the repression by a few of the rights of many.

I am a Democrat because I believe in stewardship: of our land . . . and our water . . . and our air; stewardship of those natural and human resources that make our America such a special place; stewardship for those who need our help . . . and those who cannot help themselves.

I am a Democrat because I believe in growth: the growth of every individual through education . . . the growth of working women and men through good jobs . . . the growth of families, the elderly, the sick, the troubled and impoverished, and the young through programs of empowerment that focus on results, not policies that focus on process . . . and the growth of our economy and our communities through creative good sense and bottom-line good business.

I am a Democrat because I believe in tomorrow: in the future that every one of us . . . and every one of our children . . . and every one of our grandchildren . . . has a stake in.

I am a Democrat because I believe we can shape our future; we can shape what America will be like in the next year . . . in the next decade . . . and in this new century.

I am a Democrat because I believe in inclusion, not exclusion.

I am a Democrat because I believe in partnerships. I believe in partnerships between communities and neighborhoods . . . partnerships between business and industry and labor and education . . . partnerships between people of all races and ethnicity and faiths; all genders and commitments . . . partnerships between rural and urban and suburban America.

I am a Democrat because I believe in listening: listening to the concerns and ideas of those who share my philosophy . . . and of those who do not.

I am a Democrat because I believe in unity. I believe that there is more that unites us than separates us . . . that we must never abandon dialogue and resort to demagoguery . . . and that pride must never win out over principle.

I am a Democrat because I believe in service. I’ve believed in service all my life, and I’ve worked hard to convert my conviction into conduct.

I am a Democrat because I believe in giving my best to my job . . . my Party . . . and my Country. In this new century . . . this Democrat . . . and this Democratic Party . . . have the challenge and the opportunity to show this nation what giving our best is all about.

And because I am a Democrat I believe that all the partners must all be at the table . . . and that all must know that they have a stake in what happens to everybody else

Together . . . we share a common commitment to tomorrow. And that is why we are Democrats

There are some fundamental differences in the way Republican and Democratic politicians think. Here are just 15 examples:

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