Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Mass. education plan ... and why I'm a Democrat

Governor Deval Patrick unveiled a long list of education proposals designed to really take our state to the next level. I'm fairly excited about it. The thing that excites me most is his proposal for free community college and trade schools!!! This is absolutely a good idea. And it leads me to the topic of the very roots to why I've switched from Republican to Democrat.

In politics it's difficult to match perfectly with a party because there is such a wide variety of topics (abortion, gun control, immigration, taxes,etc). Generally you go with the party that believes more of the same beliefs as you- or at least the ones you feel strongly about. Another way of choosing your party is to look at their core philosophy. Which party's core philosophy resonates with you more?

The Republican party resonated with a lot of people because their core philosophy was "less government". This is an anthem for people like me: people who like to homeschool and homebirth and generally go against the grain of society. We value our freedom from government control.

But two things have happened that turned me Democrat. First, the Republican party was given control of both congressional and executive branch. Under this leadership... well... less government didn't really happen. In fact, spending kind of went out of control. Voters like me were a little baffled. A little disillusioned. Now they're turning to the libertarian party for "less government".

The second thing that happened is I've watched the American dream erode. I don't think my parent's generation sees it as much, but my generation is living it. My peers are crushed by college loans. Everyone I know is either living paycheck to paycheck or on credit cards. The housing prices (here anyway) are unattainable. Medical costs are bankrupting hard working middle class citizens. And now the gas and food prices are making it hard to even make ends meet. Surviving is our focus, and actually moving up is a fading dream. I am a firm believer that if you work hard you can move up in this country. That's one of the most beautiful things about this country- right next to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The economy is changing and there is becoming a class divide.

I support the Democrat party because they seem to recognize this crisis more than the Republicans and they are taking the vital steps to save our middle class. One of the greatest equalizers is education. A poor boy can move up in this country with a good education. So Gov. Patrick's proposal to make trade schools and community college's free, is a necessary step in keeping the American dream alive.

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