Democrats committed to equal opportunities for all

Column by Robert Kahne

I wonder a lot what the term “Democrat” actually means. I’ve spent time studying the history of my political party, and I have decided that the Democratic Party in the United States has meant a lot of things to a lot of people, and that there is very little that unifies it throughout its history. But since I’m the surrogate for the Democratic Party on UK’s campus, I will use this space to describe what it means to me to be a Democrat.

At the last UK College Democrats meeting, I asked our members what they thought it means to be a Democrat. After discussing what the Democratic Party has meant historically and why we each individually were Democrats, we decided that the way to best describe it was as the party that desires to give all people in the world a chance to make a respectable life for themselves.

We reviewed historical events and discovered the Democratic Party has held this aim, in numerous manifestations, as its chief goal since its founding in 1794 — and it is reflected in the Democrats’ foreign and domestic policies today.

Democrats realize that we are doing no one a favor by remaining at war in Iraq, and the Democrats in Congress are working hard to bring our troops home as soon as we can. Iraq has been torn apart even further by our involvement, and it is in the best interest of Iraqis to have the United States leave.

Soldiers serving in Iraq have been stretched too thin and deserve to be at home. In other foreign-policy issues, such as the genocide in Darfur and the debate about trade, the Democrats will seek answers that lead to our final goal: a respectable life for everybody.

In our domestic policy, Democrats seek to give marginalized people a leg up. We recognize that there are basically two Americas — one for those who have enough money to do whatever they want, and one for everybody else.

We see the lack of a universal health-care policy, the outsourcing of American jobs, stagnant wages and the wealth disparity in this country as major problems. Our presidential candidates have all produced new and exciting solutions for them.

When Americans elect a new Democratic president in 2008 to complement the Democratic Congress we elected last November, we will finally have a chance to work on these problems that have been largely ignored by the Republican majority for the past decade.

Democrats have historically tried    to give all people a chance to make good lives for themselves. If you share this value, then the Democratic Party has a place for you.

Election Day is coming up very soon, which means we are about to have our collective voice heard.

We have the chance to say that we stand for these Democratic principles by electing Democrats in Kentucky. I encourage all who have not registered to vote to do so, and if you want to support Democrats actively,  I urge you to come to a UK College Democrats meeting on any Thursday night at 7:30 in room 359 of the Student Center I really hope to see you there.

Robert Kahne is a political science and economics junior and president of UK College Democrats.                 E-mail [email protected].