“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776.
Thomas Jefferson was the founder of our Party and born on this day in 1743. A leader of the Enlightenment, he firmly believed that people could be guided by reason, justice and an eye toward the common good. So that’s what our Party was founded on. And it is our focus on the common good, instead of the “winner takes all” attitude of today’s Republican Party that sets us apart. We want to maximize Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for All Americans regardless of race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability or any other arbitrary differences other people focus on.
We are all Americans.
We all have the same rights, responsibilities and should have the same protections.
We don’t shy away from this. We are proud to be part of America’s Liberal traditions as defined here by John F. Kennedy. “If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.” – John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage
We will not allow our opponents to define us with their false definitions of what it means to be a Democrat or a Liberal. We will act in ways that bring about the most good for the most people and govern in a way that shows the falseness of these objections. Because what is the opposite of the common good? Oligarchy or Tyranny. What is the opposite of civil rights? Oppression. What is the opposite of civic engagement? Cynicism and greed.
We will proudly stand in opposition to all those things. Like Franklin Delano Roosevelt told us years ago… “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”
This is our fight today.
To take back our government out of the hands of billionaires and oligarchs and their destructive, fascist PR arm.
This is what we stand for. This is who we are.
Written by our Communications Strategy Team co-leader, Suzanne Magnuson