Well, I have alway been a Democrat I guess. I've never actually felt the need to examine why, because I just believe in what it stands for. What "it" is, in my mind, remains unchanged despite the manifestations that the party goes through.
Partly of course, like many, because my parents were Democrats. My earliest memory of politics was a party my parents had supporting Eugene McCarthy for president in 1968. I don't remember the party so much, but the flower power stickers were posted all over the house. I was 9.
I grew up Moorestown New Jersey. A very wealthy suburb of Philadelphia then and it still is. My fourth grade teacher was Mrs. Cunningham. She was a black woman and I loved fourth grade, one of the grades I remember most (seventh being another). We did the coolest projects, a homemade yearbook with shellacked binding, and black history. I played Phyllis Wheatley in the school play of famous black people in American history.
My mother says that was the worst year of her life...my Daddy was merciless in teasing me about Mathew Henson etc. I would sit at the dinner table and talk about what I learned in school that day about what Mrs Cunningham was teaching us and Daddy would tease me. I loved school and learning, and I just stood my ground because I just did, but my mother says I would fight while crying.
Lest you think my dad was horrid, I suppose he was but this was in the 60s. I didn't know from the Civil Rights Movement, but I guess he was an adult witnessing all this change. As a child, this was normal, to learn about black history. As a child, you just accept that what is around you is the way it's always been I think.
As a young adult visiting my dad in LA, I saw him giving change to people on the street begging. He said he always kept some cash in his pockets to do that. I do this to this day. Not always. Sometimes I try to avoid being in the lane where people are standing with their cardboard signs. Sometimes I hope the stop light stops so I can lean out the window and give some few dollars. I hope that every time I look at these people and think about them. I do think about them. And I remember my father keeping some change in his pocket for them.
My grandparents were of the Mad Men type. Very successful Madison Avenue people. My maternal grandmother was one of the first women executives in an ad firm, J. Walter Thompson. I remember her saying once...you must always vote the party, not the man. This has guided me in always voting a straight Democratic ticket. I have never voted Green or any other party. I also remember that once my grandparents finally went into the assisted living facility they lamented the fact that they were outnumbered by Republicans in their place. By this time of course, I was a fully grown woman and more politically aware.
I've had 2 abortions, both in my 20s. No rape, no incest, no danger to my life or health. I just had 2 unwanted pregnancies and since I didn't want them I handled them. Legally and safely. My business and no regrets ever.
Clinton was the first President that I actually voted for that won. OMG, I remember the party we were having on election night with my friends in SF. This may have been the first time someone we voted for as President actually won! We had southern food for Clinton and Gore, we had juleps, we were drunk, giddy, singing, dancing.
I remember the gas rationing the 1979. I guess it was a big stink (I was 20 so whatevs). But I never cared too much. I was 20.
I am a nurse. I've been a critical care nurse for years. I have seen the difficult decisions that patients and families have to make when people are dying. I have held the hand of maybe a dozen people as they died. I have removed the tubes and washed and wrapped their bodies and delivered them to the hospital morgue. End-of-life counseling is crucial, it's part of the ACA as it should be.
I was in a staff meeting the day after Barack Obama was elected the first time. I spoke up and said how much I knew my Daddy would appreciate the day. I am inspired by the very fact of his election and his reelection.
I'm wiser now, and I pay more attention.
Most lately, wow. These are scary times and I'm more proud now to be a fighting Democrat!
But I've always been a Democrat. These aren't reasons why, this is just me.