Democratic Party (United States)

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You've got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one. ~ Will Rogers

The Democratic Party (DNC) is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Republican Party.

Quotes[edit]

I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat. ~ Will Rogers
When Democrats rush up to me at events and insist that we live in the worst of political times, that a creeping fascism is closing its grip around our throats, I may mention the internment of Japanese Americans under FDR, the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, or a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations as having been possibly worse, and suggest we all take a deep breath. ~ Barack H. Obama II
Neither West Point nor the Democratic party have been good schools in which to learn justice and fair play to the negro. ~ Frederick Douglass
I knew that however bad the Republican party was, the Democratic party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored man's cause than those of the Democratic party. ~ Frederick Douglass
Rioters were mostly Irish Catholic immigrants and their children. They mainly attacked the members of New York's small black population. For a year, Democratic leaders had been telling their Irish-American constituents that the wicked Black Republicans were waging the war to free the slaves who would come north and take away the jobs of Irish workers. ~ James M. McPherson
Southerners, supported vociferously by the Democratic Party of the north, were deeply opposed to any equality for the former slaves. ~ Eric Foner
The whole Democratic press... thought it horrible to keep U.S. troops stationed in the southern states, and when they were called upon to protect the lives of negroes, as much citizens under the constitution as if their skins were white, the country was scarcely large enough to hold the sound of indignation belched forth by them. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
The northern and southern Democratic Party command you to suffer. ~ Thomas Nast
Let's not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last forty years. The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are 'progressive'. This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. ~ The Wall Street Journal
Activists don't really object to police brutality or to the kinds of practices that now disgrace American law enforcement. They simply want the brutal police to be on their side rather than on the side of capitalism and America. The final proof of this was that all the misconduct and the corruption of the police was perfectly all right when the Democrats controlled Congress and the Presidency from 2009 to 2011. Nothing was done about it. ~ Kelley L. Ross
The history of the Democrat party is one of slavery, secession, segregation, and now socialism. ~ Allen B. West
Songs such as 'Nigger Doodle Dandy' reflect the racist tone of the Democrats' presidential campaign in 1864. How did Republicans counter? In part, they sought white votes by being anti-racist. The Republican campaign, boosted by military victories in the fall of 1864, proved effective. The Democrats' overt appeals to racism failed, and anti-racist Republicans triumphed almost everywhere. ~ James W. Loewen
The idea that citizens do not automatically belong to the militia, and that they do not have the right to keep and bear arms, unless they belong to the National Guard, passed seamlessly from the segregationist Democrats to the gun control Democrats, and so continues. ~ Kelley L. Ross
  • The Democratic Party was born in 1932. It gave the country four deals. These were the New Deal; the Fair Deal, which was the New Deal with hardened arteries; the New Frontier, which was the New Deal with a face lift; and the Great Society, which was the New Deal with hardened arteries, a fallen face lift and a Vietnamese accent. … The Democratic Party is a party of principle. It will sacrifice anybody to remain the principal party of the United States.
  • What would happen to the Democratic Party if they were to lose the election this year? The same thing that happened to it the last time it lost. It would sit in the wings until the Republican Party wiped itself out again and the return with the New Deal. As long as nobody cuts the cards, it can go on forever.
  • I was always raised to think that Republicans were about limited government, about individual liberty, about fiscal responsibility, about balanced budgets, about a wariness of military adventures abroad, about responsible encouragement to business. There's a whole list of things I thought the Republican Party was all about, and these guys that presently occupy the White House, are categorically against every single one of those things. So if they're Republicans, I'm not. But I'm really not a very comfortable Democrat. I mean the Democrats in the last elections proved themselves to be a bunch of dithering pussies... and it was pathetic. So I'm just waiting until one party or the other actually gets a moral compass and a backbone.
  • I knew that however bad the Republican party was, the Democratic party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored man's cause than those of the Democratic party.
    • Frederick Douglass, as quoted in Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1941), chapter 47, p. 579.
  • No, sir, th' dimmycratic party ain't on speakin' terms with itsilf. Whin ye see two men with white neckties go into a sthreet car an' set in opposite corners while wan mutthers Thraiter an' th' other hisses Miscreent ye can bet they're two dimmycratic leaders thryin' to reunite th' gran' ol' party.
  • The vast majority of white southerners, supported vociferously by the Democratic Party of the north, were deeply opposed to any equality for the former slaves.
  • Many participants in the anti-war movement, people who went to rallies or gave money or were involved in some other way, were Democrats, and once they saw Democrats in power they felt the job was done, and that a Democratic-led government would end the war without such a need for outside pressure.
  • Many leaders of the anti-war movement were Democrats and were not well positioned or strongly inclined to battle with those Democrats in government who were continuing the war.
  • The anti-war movement was too closely tied to the Democratic Party and that it would've been better to have more of an independent identity.
  • One thing has struck me as a bit queer. During my two terms of office, the whole Democratic press, and the morbidly honest and 'reformatory' portion of the Republican press, thought it horrible to keep U.S. troops stationed in the southern states, and when they were called upon to protect the lives of negroes, as much citizens under the constitution as if their skins were white, the country was scarcely large enough to hold the sound of indignation belched forth by them for some years. Now, however, there is no hesitation about exhausting the whole power of the government to suppress a strike on the slightest intimation that danger threatens.
  • Now, the Democrats have a different plan. The Democrats say that, 'If you have health insurance, we're going to make it better. If you don't have health insurance, we going to provide it to you. If you can’t afford health insurance, then we'll help you afford health insurance'. So America gets to decide. Do you want the Democratic plan, or do you want the Republican plan? Remember, the Republican plan. 'Don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly'.
  • Democrats were a major constituency in the anti-war movement during 2007 and 2008, during which time between 37 percent and 54 percent of anti-war protesters thought of themselves as Democrats. In contrast, members of third parties were relatively less common in the movement, falling between 7 percent and 13 percent of participants. However, after Obama’s election as president, Democratic participation in anti-war activities plunged, falling from 37 percent in January 2009 to a low of 19 percent in November 2009, and registering 22 percent in December 2009. In contrast, members of third parties became proportionately more prevalent in the movement, rising from 16 percent in January 2009 to a high of 34 percent in November 2009, and registering 24 percent in December 2009. Since Democrats are more numerous in the population at large than are members of third parties, the withdrawal of Democrats from the movement in 2009 appears to be a significant explanation for the falling size of anti-war protests.
  • The antiwar movement aspired to create a transgressive politics that challenged the institutions that generate war and imperialism. Yet, because it depended so heavily on the party in the street to mobilize support, it found itself caught up in the institutional, party-driven system that many activists saw as the cause of the problems that it mobilized to solve. In 2001, the antiwar movement began with an eye toward becoming an independent political force, yet it lived in the shadow of the Democratic Party. The Democrats and the antiwar movement struck a useful alliance from 2003 to 2006. The antiwar movement helped to demonstrate grassroots support for a key party issue and the party helped to provide activists, resources, and legitimacy for the movement. By early 2009, however, it was abundantly clear that Democrats were no longer interested in this alliance. Abandonment by the Democrats gave the movement the independence it desired, but also stripped it of its capacity for political influence. While Obama's election was heralded as a victory for the antiwar movement, Obama’s election, in fact, thwarted the ability of the movement to achieve critical mass.
  • Surveying the fall in support for the governments of Barack Obama, New York City's progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio, and France's Socialist President François Hollande, a diagnosis of the current crisis begins to emerge. The political left can win elections but it's unable to govern. Once in office, the left stumbles from fiasco to fiasco. ObamaCare, enacted without a single vote from the opposition party, is an impossible labyrinth of endless complexity. Bill de Blasio's war on charter schools degenerated into an unseemly attack on poor New York minority children. François Hollande's first act in 2012, like a character in a medieval fable, was to order that more tax revenue be squeezed from the French turnip. Mr. Obama's approval rating is about 43%. Mr. de Blasio's has sunk to 45% after just two months in office, and Mr. Hollande hit the lowest approvals even recorded in the modern French presidency. The left inevitably says their leaders failed them. The failure looks self-inflicted.
  • Rather than resolve the complexities of public policy in the world we inhabit, the left's default is to simply acquire power, then cram down what they want to do with one-party votes or by fiat, figuring they can muddle through the wreckage later.
  • Making the unworkable work by executive degree or court-ordered obedience is one way to rule, and maybe they like it that way. But it isn't governing.
  • Songs such as 'Nigger Doodle Dandy' reflect the racist tone of the Democrats' presidential campaign in 1864. How did Republicans counter? In part, they sought white votes by being anti-racist. The Republican campaign, boosted by military victories in the fall of 1864, proved effective. The Democrats' overt appeals to racism failed, and anti-racist Republicans triumphed almost everywhere. One New York Republican wrote 'The change of opinion on this slavery question ... is a great and historic fact. Who could have predicted ... this great and blessed revolution?' People around the world supported the Union because of its ideology.
  • The Democrats just never learn: Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies. When Van Jones called the Republicans assholes, he was paying them a compliment. He was talking about how they can get things done even when they're in the minority, as opposed to the Democrats, who can't seem to get anything done even when they control both houses of Congress, the presidency, and Bruce Springsteen.
  • Rioters were mostly Irish Catholic immigrants and their children. They mainly attacked the members of New York's small black population. For a year, Democratic leaders had been telling their Irish-American constituents that the wicked Black Republicans were waging the war to free the slaves who would come north and take away the jobs of Irish workers. The use of black stevedores as scabs in a recent strike by Irish dockworkers made this charge seem plausible. The prospect of being drafted to fight to free the slaves made the Irish even more receptive to demogogic rhetoric.
  • When Democrats rush up to me at events and insist that we live in the worst of political times, that a creeping fascism is closing its grip around our throats, I may mention the internment of Japanese Americans under FDR, the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, or a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations as having been possibly worse, and suggest we all take a deep breath. When people at dinner parties ask me how I can possibly operate in the current political environment, with all the negative campaigning and personal attacks, I may mention Nelson Mandela, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, or some guy in a Chinese or Egyptian prison somewhere. In truth, being called names is not such a bad deal.
  • The difference between American parties is actually simple. Democrats are in favor of higher taxes to pay for greater spending, while Republicans are in favor of greater spending, for which the taxpayers will pay. In foreign policy, Republicans intend to pursue the war in Iraq but to do so with a minimal number of troops on the ground. This is not to be confused with the disastrous Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld policy of using a minimal number of troops on the ground to pursue the war in Iraq. Democrats intend to end the war, but they don't know when. Democrats are making the 'high school sex promise', I'll pull out in time, honest!
  • I think it is much easier to be a good member of the Church and a Democrat than a good member of the Church and a Republican.
  • We Democrats believe that America can overcome any problem, including the dreaded disease called AIDS. We believe that America is still a country where there is more to life than just a constant struggle for money, and we believe that America must have leaders who show us that our struggles amount to something and contribute to something larger, leaders who want us to be all that we can be.
  • The southern Democrats are in the saddle and the northern Democrats must tag along as best they may, no matter what ill may betide.
    • John Jacob Rogers, remarks in the House (2 May 1913), Congressional Record, vol. 50, p. 42
  • I am not a member of any organized party—I am a Democrat.
    • Will Rogers, P. J. O'Brien, Will Rogers, Ambassador of Good Will, Prince of Wit and Wisdom (1935), chapter 9, p. 162. "Rogers was a lifelong Democrat but he studiously avoided partisanship. He contributed to the Democratic campaign funds, but at the same time he frequently appeared on benefit programs to raise money for the Republican treasury. Republican leaders sought his counsel in their campaigns as often as did the Democrats". Id., p. 162
  • We can make this thing into a Party, instead of a Memory.
    • Will Rogers, letter to Al Smith regarding the Democratic party (January 19, 1929); in The Autobiography of Will Rogers, ed. Donald Day (1949), p. 197
  • You've got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one.
    • Will Rogers, Good Gulf radio show (24 June 1934), Radio Broadcasts of Will Rogers, ed. Steven K. Gragert (1983), p. 92
  • African Americans comprise the least number of left liberals and the highest number of libertarians. The result that African Americans comprised the least number of left liberals and the highest number of libertarians might raise some eyebrows, since it is commonly assumed, when they vote 80-90% Democratic, that black Americans are staunchly liberal, statist, and far from any kind of laissez-faire libertarianism. Of course, as historic and continuing victims of statism, African Americans should be libertarians–and perhaps they are, without realizing that the Democratic Party does not well serve their preferences.
  • The idea that citizens do not automatically belong to the militia, and that they do not have the right to keep and bear arms, unless they belong to the National Guard, passed seamlessly from the segregationist Democrats to the gun control Democrats, and so continues.
  • Buy a gun. They hate it. As Machiavelli said, 'There can be no proper relation between one who is armed and one who is not'. Statists know this instinctively. As I have noted, it is better that you be killed by criminals than that you should be able to defend yourself against the state. The left makes a big show of disliking the police, and I think that they do dislike actual policemen; but the existence of the police is absolutely essential to the leftist vision of political life. The SWAT teams that break into your house in the middle of the night, with a no-knock warrant, and shoot your dog, and perhaps you as well, are authorized, not just by Republican drug warriors, but by Democrat drug warriors and Democrat congresses also.
  • The best that Democrats could do with an example like Seung-Hui Cho is to try and use it to rebuild their case for 'gun control', meaning the disarming of the citizens, as in Britain. After devastating Supreme Court decisions against them, the 'gun control' movement pretty much fell into a shambles, until 2013. Nor was the Virginia Tech shooting hopeful material for rebuilding it. Incoherent laws had made it easier for Cho to buy guns, when he was not eligible to do so for psychiatric reasons. On the other hand, Virginia is a state where most citizens can get concealed carry permits. But Virginia Tech did not allow guns on campus, even for those licensed to carry them. Not even the ROTC. So Cho did not need to worry that any of his victims might shoot back. When it was proposed that a state law override the university prohibition, the university president sputtered that there might might a tragedy if guns were allowed on campus! Well, sir, the tragedy happened already. Mister Cho didn't care whether you had a prohibition or not.
  • Herman Cain, as a successful, articulate, and aggressive black businessman, deeply frightened the Democrats. From their bag of tricks they produced the sort of thing familiar from the treatment of Clarence Thomas, namely old charges of sexual harassment. Having hanged black men during segregation, often for bogus rape charges, Democrats now are content to smear their political prospects with harassment charges.
  • What has happened to the Democrats is that they have become the Party of Government, where all of their purposes are to promote the interests of government, as opposed to the interests of citizens.
  • A man died over cigarettes because Bill de Blasio and his tax-and-spend Democrat friends wanted those taxes. In the aftermath of the Garner case, New York police have stopped enforcing the laws against the sale of untaxed and loose cigarettes, 'loosies', on the streets. It is not clear whether this lack of enforcement is the result of decisions of individual policemen, the police department, or even a quiet word from the mayor's office. Also, the new leftist campaign to stop arrests of low level, 'quality of life', or 'broken window' offenses may have something to do with it. This project reflects the desire of the left to roll back the policing policies of recent years, i.e. under Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, so that the city can return to the high crime and shooting-gallery regime that developed in the '60s and '70s. Crime, after all, is the protest of the oppressed against capitalism, and it doesn't matter that minorities, then and now, are disproportionately the victims of such crime. In other words, white New York liberals, with their security guards and fortified apartments, don't mind that gangsters gun down black people, or just the poor, on the streets. I mean it.
  • Activists don't really object to police brutality or to the kinds of practices that now disgrace American law enforcement. They simply want the brutal police to be on their side rather than on the side of capitalism and America. The final proof of this was that all the misconduct and the corruption of the police was perfectly all right when the Democrats controlled Congress and the Presidency from 2009 to 2011. Nothing was done about it, even as the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, added many more IRS agents to hunt down young people who had not signed up for government mandated health insurance, and incidentally to hassle conservative, or even pro-Israel, groups, who were applying for tax-exempt status, to the point of desiring the prosecution of such groups, apparently just for existing. Democrat senators wrote open letters endorsing and urging these practices. The poster-child for the level of insolence, arrogance, and irresponsibility involved is former IRS supervisor Lois Lerner. Now, Richard Nixon was going to be impeached for trying to suborn the IRS to political purposes; but today the actual use of the IRS by Obama and the Democrats for disgraceful political purposes earns no more than a shrug, with a perfunctory whitewash by the Justice Department. So obviously, the principle, as we have seen, is that when you do something, it is an abuse that is a threat to constitutional government, while when we do it, it is just fine. That is the problem at issue.
  • There are always a few questionable police shootings in the news, and every so often someone dies in police custody under suspicious circumstances. It has been a long time since riots have occurred over such things. So, why now? Well, my theory is that it is frustration with Barack Obama. After six years of an Obama administration, Obama has done next to nothing for black people. He has paid off various leftist constituencies, but things for African-Americans have only gotten worse. Worse unemployment. Worse poverty. Worse income. Worse education. Baltimore, like Detroit, dominated for decades by Democrats, has lost population, lost business, lost jobs, and sunk further into poverty, all in a state where the ruling class lives high on the hog in the counties around Washington, D.C.
  • No Democrat is going to say that Obama has done nothing to help black people, much less nothing but help them become more dependent on the government. And, to the extent that black voters are deceived by the Democrats, they may not even be prepared to say this themselves. But it's the truth. And the sense of frustration and failure 'in the community' is evident. After the riots, the Democrats, including the whole city government of Baltimore, and President Obama, had nothing they could say but that they just needed to spend more money, after they have now been spending trillions of dollars on 'anti-poverty' programs since 1964, all of them failures.
  • The victory of Barack Obama in 2008, with the Democrats seizing strong majorities in Congress, led to a fairly open program to begin building socialism in the United States.
  • The whites have absolute control of the State government, and we intend at any and all hazards to retain it.
    • Benjamin Tillman, as quoted in Pitchfork Ben Tillman, South Carolinian (1967), by Francis Butler Simkins. Louisiana State University Press. OCLC 1877696, p. 144.
  • We deny, without regard to color, that 'all men are created equal'; it is not true now, and was not true when Jefferson wrote it.
    • Benjamin Tillman, as quoted in Pitchfork Ben Tillman, South Carolinian (1967), by Francis Butler Simkins. Louisiana State University Press. OCLC 1877696, p. 144.
  • How did we recover our liberty? By fraud and violence. We tried to overcome the thirty thousand majority by honest methods, which was a mathematical impossibility. After we had borne these indignities for eight years life became worthless under such conditions.
    • Benjamin Tillman, as quoted in "The Question of Race in the South Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1895" (July 1952), by George B. Tindall. The Journal of Negro History 37 (3): 277–303. JSTOR 2715494., p. 94.
  • You're not supposed to say this in polite company, but what went up in flames in Baltimore Monday night was not businesses and police cars. Burning down was also the blue-city model of urban governance.
  • As order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, let's not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last forty years. The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are 'progressive'. This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960, Baltimore was America's sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn't in the top 25. The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three. High crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning.
  • Of late the progressives have been making a comeback, led by Bill de Blasio in New York and the challenge to sometime reform Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. This week's nightmare in Baltimore shows where this leads. It's time for a new urban renewal, this time built on the ideas of private economic development, personal responsibility, 'broken windows' policing, and education choice.
  • I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It's liberals and Americans.
    • James G. Watt, in a statement of November 1981, quoted in New York Times (10 October 1983); also quoted in Energy and Environment : The Unfinished Business (1986) by Congressional Quarterly, Inc., p. 91
  • The anti-war movement in America evaporated because Democrats, inspired to protest by their anti-Republican feelings, stopped protesting once the Democratic Party achieved success in Congress in 2006 and then in the White House in 2008.

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