For voters wondering which way they should vote this fall, or whether they should vote at all, here are 20 reasons why voters should go to the polls in droves and vote for Democratic candidates at all levels of government.
1. Respect education and science, including the overwhelming evidence of manmade climate change—and the imminent threat it poses—as well as the proper
protocols for dealing with relatively new viruses like Ebola and older diseases like measles.
2. Support the separation of church and state, which is essential to the enduring strength of both.
3. Know that a thriving middle class is crucial to our nation’s financial and social well-being.
4. Know that most people want to be self-sufficient but sometimes need temporary help (food stamps, child-care assistance) to make ends meet and work
toward that independence.
5. Recognize that a decent minimum wage would not only restore dignity and hope to millions of Americans, but would bolster the economy for everyone.
(“Trickle-down” economics has been proven not to work. Think instead of a tree, which draws water through its roots, and that water works its way up to
feed the entire tree, all the way to its highest branches. In short, lower-income citizens spend most, if not all, of their money, putting it back into the
6. Know that universal health care keeps everyone healthy. General public health means that the cook preparing your gourmet entrée is far less likely to be
sick while doing it. It also reduces costs overall, including taxes and hospital bills. (It’s also the decent, humane thing to do.)
7. Work to pass meaningful legislation, rather than filibustering at a record pace (as McConnell’s Senate Republicans did), or wasting time and lots
of taxpayer money passing repeal bills (as Boehner’s House Republicans did) that have no chance of enactment—which is nothing but political posturing.
8. Don’t see military invasions as the knee-jerk response to every overseas conflict.
9. Recognize that our military veterans deserve the best possible care after sacrificing to defend our nation.
10. See that renewable energy, beyond its obvious benefits to the planet, can and will create huge numbers of jobs that will have a supremely positive
effect on the overall economy.
11. Understand that the pay for a given job should not vary because of the employee’s sex.
12. Realize that sexual orientation is an essential part of a person’s physiology and that denying rights based on that is immoral and discriminatory.
13. Know that a woman has the ultimate right to make her own health decisions.
14. Don’t cherry-pick the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment are essential to our democracy; they cannot be ignored for political expedience, as many on the right would have us do.
15. Work to ensure every eligible voter’s right to cast a ballot, not just those who are likely to side with their own party. Republicans in many
states have enacted laws targeted to curtail voting rights for students and minorities—those who are most likely to vote for Democrats.
16. Understand that gun violence is an increasing national problem, and that sensible legislation will help protect our children and other innocent people
from becoming tragic statistics.
17. Recognize the role that labor unions have played in protecting our workforce and strengthening our social fabric and economy.
18. Support the EPA and the FCC, both essential to keeping in check the damage brought about by out-of-control energy companies and reckless financial
institutions. (Not all are irresponsible, but far too many get away with far too much.)
19. Create jobs and enhance public safety through investments in infrastructure.
20. Endorse campaign finance reform, so that billionaires can’t buy elections.