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United States
Democratic Party

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party (GOP). Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest political party.


Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Aubrey Herbert, Faith and Freedom, Jan 1956
Contrasts the attitudes of U.S. participants in the 1955 Geneva Summit with those of their Soviet counterparts; becomes encouraged by the rejection of multiple ballot measures asking for funds for various government programs
The Democrats hope to make foreign policy a key issue in the coming campaign ... Unfortunately, the Democrats do not attack the global interventionism of the Administration ... Thus, the Democrats prepare to justify the historic label which unmerciful critics have tried to fasten on them: "the party of socialism and war." These critics say that war spending and war inflation give socialism and the bureaucracy a shot in the arm. What's more, they point out, the mass base of the Democratic Party—the labor unions—stand to prosper in the glow of inflation and armament contracts.
Related Topics: Russia, Taxation
Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Murray N. Rothbard, Faith and Freedom, Apr 1956
Draws a scoreboard on the issues between the "Tweedledum-Tweedledee parties" in the 1956 elections, most of the rounds going to the Republicans, then wonders why Ike had only worshippers, but ends by leaving the door open for a Democrat win
Yet the Democrats can present no real issues, because they cannot offer the voters any alternative to present Republican policy. The Democrat promise of 100% parity to farmers is matched by the equally socialistic Republican Soil Bank. All the Democrats can do is complain that the Republicans don't New Deal enough: "not enough" highways, foreign aid, schools, social security, ... minimum wages, etc. ... The left-wing Democrats ... have seen their views and policies become coin of the realm. But three issues stir them: "civil rights" for Negroes; civil liberties for Communists; and immigration barriers.
Americans Have Lost Their Country, by Paul Craig Roberts, 1 Mar 2007
Discusses (and lists) the neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration and the rationale for their actions furthering wars in the Middle East
When the American people caught on that the "war on terror" was a cloak for wars of aggression, they put Democrats in control of Congress in order to apply a brake to the regime's warmongering. However, the Democrats have proven to be impotent to stop the neoconservative drive to wider war and, perhaps, world conflagration.
Bad Medicine, by Sheldon Richman, 21 Mar 2003
Discusses the differences between Democrat and Republican policies for government schooling and proposals to add prescription-drug coverage to Medicare
[The] Democrats' program has government providing things to people directly ... The Democrats want government to dispense schooling to the nation's children. They might like the federal government to do it, but they'll settle for the state and local governments, as long as from their Washington perches they can dictate what goes on in the classroom. If parents don't like it, they can lump it ... Another example is prescription-drug coverage for the elderly ... The Democrats are honest. They say they want a monster government bureaucracy controlling drug prices and giving orders to the pharmaceutical industry.
Blueprint for Dictatorship, by Justin Raimondo, 30 Apr 2007
Describes how the Defense Authorization Act, the Military Commissions Act and changes to the Insurrection Act could be used to impose martial law in the United States
The Bushian doctrine of the "unitary executive," which gives the occupant of the White House monarchical power in wartime, has now been approved by the Democrats, who can't wait to wield it themselves. Of course, they would exercise such unholy power only in a good way – say, if a state refused to cooperate in enforcing or implementing federal legislation instituting a draft, or, more likely, federalizing a state National Guard unit to be shipped to the Middle East ... Just wait until the Democrats get their hands on all that power: then you'll see the real collapse of the movement to preserve civil liberties in America.
Bush's Wartime Dictatorship, by Justin Raimondo, 21 Dec 2005
Examines Bush's claims regarding secret surveillance, the militarism and fascism underlying his regime and the lack of an effecive opposition
Just how much success is evidenced by the complete inability and unwillingness of the Democrats to stand up against this systematic assault on our liberties at the most crucial point: that is, at the time it was initiated ... Sen. Jay Rockefeller is coming out in public against the NSA eavesdropping only now that it is politically popular to do so. When it really counted, however, those few congressional Democrats who were let in on the secret unauthorized wiretaps, such as Rockefeller and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said nothing ... Could a wimpier "opposition" even be imagined?
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Fascism, Militarism
The Case For a Libertarian Political Party, by David Nolan, The Individualist, Aug 1971
A few months before founding the Libertarian Party, Nolan presents his rationale for establishing a new political party, after discussing four other libertarian activist strategies and admitting that "political approaches are inherently coercive"
Both the Democrats and Republicans are so concerned with "winning" that they are almost rabidly hostile to the idea of candidates who would "rather be right than President" ... Richard M. Nixon ... is now virtually indistinguishable from his 1968 opponent Hubert Humphrey. The Democrats, by virtue of assiduous efforts, have managed to make themselves even less appetizing ... Such third-party efforts as may materialize on the "left" are also unlikely to offer much. At best they will be hyped-up versions of the Democratic Party (e.g., a Lindsay-Gardner ticket) ...
The Coming War With Iran, by Justin Raimondo, 26 Mar 2007
Discusses the 23 March 2007 incident when 15 Royal Navy sailors were detained by Iranian boats claiming the British were in Iran's territorial waters and speculates on further developments on a potential conflict with Iran
After all, Democrats have been more belligerent than the Bush administration when it comes to Iran ... Democratic Party national chairman Howard Dean opined to Chris Matthews that ... Iraq ... diverted attention away from the "real threat" – Iran. Asked by Matthews if we ought to go to war with Iran, Dean – like the big-time Democratic presidential wannabes – refused to take it off the table ... the political atmosphere would certainly change – to the Democrats' advantage – if the price of oil were to truly skyrocket, say, to $200 a barrel. This would virtually ensure a Democratic victory in '08.
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Iran
Confronting the Empire, by Justin Raimondo, 5 Jan 2007
Comments on the 2007 Iraq War troop surge, prior to its official announcement on 10 Jan, and suggests the antiwar movement camp out and protest in Washington, DC, to make the city unlivable and thus get the politicians to notice the "will of the people"
In spite of using the war issue to take control of the House and the Senate, Democrats for the most part oppose any kind of timetable for withdrawing our troops from Iraq ... Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party's leading presidential candidate, flat out opposes withdrawal ... Now she's talking about "phased redeployment," in tune with the Democratic caucus majority ... The Democrats, having run – and won – on the failure of the Bush administration's foreign policy ... have clearly stabbed us in the back. The much-vaunted "100 hours" of the Pelosi-ites doesn't so much as touch on any foreign policy issue, let alone Iraq.
Could Katrina vanden Heuvel Please Just Shut Up?, by Kevin Carson, 22 May 2013
Commentary on The Nation's publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel tweet on "government for common good"
Whatever benefit accrued to the working class from the New Deal was purely a side effect of promoting the economic interests of the segment of organized capital represented by the Democratic Party. The Democrats, admittedly, generally oversee a lower overall rate of exploitation by capital under their watch. Part of the reason is that the wing of organized capital behind the Democrats is just a little bit smarter than its Republican counterparts ... The Democrats ... tend to limit exploitation to the maximum sustainable level, like a farmer who feeds his livestock well and works them only in moderation.
The Democrats Are Doomed, by Lew Rockwell, 9 Feb 2007
Comments on the early slate of Democratic Party presidential hopefuls for the 2008 election and the general ideology and outlook of the Democrats
[L]ook at the crew the Dems have assembled for this year! What a mess of hucksters, victim-group politicos, and anti-capitalistic wackos ... [T]he problem is ... the ideology that underlies the raison d'ętre of the modern Democratic Party ... Human relationships are characterized most often as cooperative ... Such propositions are entirely rejected by most of the Democratic hopefuls ... [P]arty elites among the Democrats regard regular Americans as the problem and not the solution, so it is no surprise that they continue to have problems finding candidates for whom people are willing to vote.
Economic Nationalism, Enemy of the People, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 17 Nov 2006
Considers the outcome of the 2006 U.S. congressional elections and explains the benefits of free trade and the perils of protectionism and economic nationalism
Many of the congressional races were won by Democrats who pushed a protectionist, anti-globalist agenda. As the Wall Street Journal reported on the eve of the election, "[I]n more than a dozen districts up for grabs, trade issues are giving them [Democrats] an edge over Republicans. ... Protectionist sentiments and economic nationalism appear to be emerging as symbols of a broader but less well-defined sense of economic unease, which is particularly apparent in the Midwest this year." The day after the election, Jacob Weisberg of, wrote ... His article was titled "Lou Dobbs Democrats."
Election 2006: A War Referendum, by Justin Raimondo, 16 Oct 2006
Discusses the then forthcoming 2006 U.S. congressional elections as a referendum on the Iraq War and commentary from Markos Moulitsas and Nick Gillespie in a Cato Unbound debate titled "Should Libertarians Vote Democrat?"
The rise of the "libertarian Democrats" comes in the nick of time. At this moment of crisis, why not reclaim the party of Thomas Jefferson for his beleaguered heirs? ... The great advantage of the Jeffersonian Democrat project, however, more than outweighs the negatives. The Democratic Party is out of ideas: ideologically, their leaders and "theoreticians" are remarkably barren ... These people need to be educated, and, what's more, many of them are educating themselves: Moulitsas' essay proves that ... All hail the Jeffersonian Democrats–and let the Democratic reformation begin!
Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel joins Libertarian Party ranks: Believes Democrats are out of touch with American citizens, 25 Mar 2008
Libertarian Party press release, including comments from Gravel, Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory
Mike Gravel ... has joined the Libertarian Party ... "My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign with the National Initiative for Democracy." ... Gravel was a Democratic presidential candidate, though forced out of national debates by Democratic Party leadership and the media.
The Fraudulent Meaning of Elections, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Apr 2006
Examines the arguments raised in the debate between Democrats and Republicans in Congress over the certification of the 2005 Ohio Electoral College voters
After the 2004 presidential election, many Democrats went on the warpath over alleged voter fraud and manipulation in Ohio and elsewhere ... A handful of Democratic members of Congress formally challenged the seating of the Ohio electors when Congress reconvened in early January 2005 ... Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) explained the purpose of the Democratic challenge ... Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal.) complained that many states used "more sophisticated technology" for lottery tickets than for elections ... Democrats who questioned the election results automatically became terrorist supporters or at least sympathizers.
The Future of an Illusion: Kerry's Tax Policy, by Charles Adams, 21 Sep 2004
Discusses presidential candidate John Kerry's proposal to tax "the rich" and provides several historical examples of how the wealthy avoid being affected by higher tax rates
Kerry, in keeping with the Democratic Platform in Boston, said they would tax the rich, those making more than $200,000 a year, and thus it would not be necessary to increase taxes on the middle classes ... This has been a longstanding Democratic strategy for getting votes, but that is all it is good for. It won't raise revenue even though ... it should, but in the real world, it is just a political ploy ... If Kerry is elected and is able to get Congress to go along with this latest Democratic plan ..., we can expect a flood of deferred compensation plans covering earnings above that figure ...
Related Topics: Ronald Reagan, Taxation
Give Me Liberty [PDF], by Rose Wilder Lane, 1936
Originally published as an article titled "Credo" in the Saturday Evening Post; describes her experiences in and history of Soviet Russia and Europe, contrasting them with the history of the United States, emphasizing the individualist themes
In 1933 a group of sincere and ardent collectivists seized control of the Democratic Party, used it as a means of grasping Federal power, and enthusiastically, from motives which many of them regard as the highest idealism, began to make America over. The Democratic Party is now a political mechanism having a genuine political principle: national socialism ... A vote for the New Deal approves national socialism ... Defeating the New Deal at the polls might possibly check our country's back-sliding, but it is not enough to set America on its forward way again.
Gore Is Right, by Paul Craig Roberts, 18 Jan 2006
Ponders the lack of coverage of news coverage given to Al Gore's speech at Constitution Hall in which he challenged the Bush administration's lack of respect for the Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers
Gore's address is the first sign of leadership from the Democratic party in six years. This alone makes it a major news event. But not even his own party took notice. According to reports, only one Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein (CA) was in the audience. One would have thought the entire Democratic congressional delegation would have turned out in support of Gore's challenge to Bush’s extraordinary claims of power ... With the US media now highly concentrated in a few corporate hands, has the Democratic Party reached the conclusion that opposition is no longer possible?
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Conservatism
Impeach the American People!, by Butler Shaffer, 17 Nov 2006
Comments on proposals to impeach (or otherwise bring to justice) George W. Bush and others in his administration, countering that most Americans didn't do their part under the alleged "social contract"
Most Americans have failed to live up to their responsibilities ... This includes most Democrats who, throughout these past five years, have done little more than opportunistically await the day that they might recover the White House in order to continue the same statist agenda "under new management." You will not find the Democrats proposing repeal of the Patriot Act—or any of the other recently enacted additions to police-state powers—or the dismantling of the Homeland Security system. Neither will they do what any morally decent person would do in the conduct of a war against wholly innocent people: stop the killing.
Martin Van Buren: The American Gladstone, by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, Reassessing the Presidency, 2001
Revised version of the 1999 essay "Martin Van Buren: The Greatest American President", now a chapter in Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom (2001)
A new Democratic Party resuscitated the old Jeffersonian alliance between planters of the South and plain Republicans of the North, united behind the charismatic hero ... General Andrew Jackson ... [The] Jackson presidency had slowly and painfully brought ideological definition to the Democratic Party ... [T]he Democracy would stray in significant and reprehensible ways from the principled course [Van Buren] had charted ... The Democratic Party remained the political alliance with the strongest affinity for laissez-faire, personal liberty, and free trade until almost the turn of the century.
The Mugging of Murtha, by Justin Raimondo, 17 Nov 2006
Comments on how the the U.S. congressional Democrats, after having gained control of both houses in the 2006 elections, chose Steny Hoyer instead of John Murtha as House majority leader
Arrayed against Murtha was a united front of the Democratic Party establishment, from a George Soros-backed "liberal" consumer-complainer group to an anonymously run ... To hear some Democrats, adherents of an ideology that revolves around the pork barrel, denounce Murtha as "corrupt" is the ultimate in unintentional humor ... the knifing of Murtha was done quickly, in the dark – a secret ballot of the Democratic caucus, and then that phony photo-op ... Given a mandate for peace, the Democratic Party leadership has effectively rejected it and reversed the election results.
Related Topics: Cold War, Iraq War, Politicians
My Election Prediction, by Steven LaTulippe, 29 Sep 2006
Discusses the possible outcome of the 2006 U.S. mid-term elections, predicting a "crushing defeat" for the Republicans due to the electorate demanding accountability for the wars, the advantages of divided government and the apparent threat of another war
Predicting that the Republicans will lose is not the same thing as believing that the Democrats deserve to win. The Democratic Party has inflicted unconscionable damage ... Their history is replete with militarism, statism, and socialism. They lied us into WW I, WW II, Korea, and Vietnam. They've been indefatigable in their promotion of ever-bigger government. They've overseen the creation of several gargantuan and unsustainable entitlement programs, and they've inflicted the plague of mindless political correctness on our culture. The Democrats are, in short, a pack of shameless, government-worshipping charlatans.
The New Deal and Roosevelt's Seizure of Gold: A Legacy of Theft and Inflation, Part 1, by William L. Anderson, Freedom Daily, Aug 2006
Discusses the economy of the United States in 1933 and the measures taken by the Roosevelt administration in an effort to reduce unemployment and preventing deflation, namely restricting production and destroying crops, as lead-up to inflating the dollar
In a recent discussion on the economy with a faculty colleague, I reminded her of some of the absurdities of New Deal economic policies ... She reminded me that Franklin D. Roosevelt is a "hero" to her and other Democrats, which, translated, means that the New Deal cannot be criticized in any form ... Democrats today may think of themselves as belonging to a "modern" political party, but Roosevelt still is its central figure and any policy "innovations" that come forth from party intellectuals ultimately must be in line with the New Deal.
The New Deal Made Them 'Right', by Damon Root, Cato Policy Report, Sep 2009
Discusses how various "prominent liberals" (Mencken, John T. Flynn, Al Smith, Burton K. Wheeler and Nock) found themselves categorized on the political right as a consequence of their opposition to Roosevelt's New Deal
That collision came on January 25, 1936, when [Al] Smith delivered a fiery anti–New Deal speech before the Liberty League, a mostly conservative group organized in opposition to Roosevelt's policies ... Deriding FDR and his brain trust for their "betrayal" of the Democratic party's principles, Smith declared: "It is all right with me if they want to disguise themselves as Norman Thomas or Karl Marx, or Lenin, or any of the rest of that bunch, but what I won't stand for is to let them march under the banner of Jefferson, Jackson, or Cleveland." Unfortunately for Smith, most Democrats saw things differently.
Original Intent, by Charley Reese, 3 Jun 2006
Considers how disturbed the Founding Fathers would be if they were to visit the United States in the early 21st century, given various substantive and detrimental changes in the government as devised by the Constitution
The Founding Fathers rejected the parliamentary system ... They intended for Congress to act as a check against attempts by the executive branch to usurp power, and they intended for the president ... to act as a check on Congress. The modern two-party system has nullified this safeguard. Both Democrats and Republicans act like slaves to the man in the White House if he shares their party label, thus nullifying the most important of the checks and balances ... built into the Constitution. By acting like lap dogs when their man wins the White House, both Democrats and Republicans have imposed a parliamentary system on us.
The Real 'Existential Threat', by Justin Raimondo, 30 Mar 2007
Comments on media coverage of the Iranian seizure of British Royal Navy personnel in the Persian Gulf and subsequent political maneuvering
[T]he Iraqi phase of the war is over, and one way we know this is the sudden attention being paid to the Iraq issue by the ... leadership of the Democratic party. The moment House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to strip out a provision in her omnibus "antiwar" bill that would have required the President to come to Congress before attacking Iran, the Iranian chapter of this long and bloody saga was semi-officially opened ... Isn't that just like the Democrats: they come out against the Iraq war only when it's too late–and even as they signal the administration to go ahead with the next war.
Related Topics: Iran, Israel, War
Rebuilding the Democratic Party brand: Back to the future with a return to liberalism's Jeffersonian roots [PDF], by Terry Michael, The Washington Examiner, 9 Feb 2005
As the Democratic Party was set to elect a new chairman, former DNC staffer Michael looks back at its history and recommends a "rebranding" by a return to its Jeffersonian roots
As the oldest political committee in the world elects a new chairman ..., the Democratic Party faces a problem common to venerable institutions: a loss of brand equity ... The Democratic Party label—a two-century-old moniker—is suffering a branding dilemma ... The Democratic Party story was refashioned in the industrial era, particularly with arrival of the New Deal ... People still vote Democratic, of course—they still buy the product—but the old-time Democratic religion has lost its revivalist energy ... We need something radically different from those too tired story-lines.
The Repudiation of Bush, by Sheldon Richman, 10 Nov 2006
Comments on the results of the November 2006 U.S. mid-term elections and on replacement of Donald Rumsfeld by Robert Gates, formerly in the George H. W. Bush administration
It's reasonable to conclude from the election results that most voters felt the Republicans had been in power too long ... In the voters' view, they had only one group to turn to: the Democrats. But even if this was largely a negative vote, it doesn't mean people won't warm to Democrats' activist agenda. Americans, sad to say, are not opposed in principle to activist government ... Most people welcomed ... the Medicare drug program, a massive expansion of the ... government medical retirement plan. Why shouldn't they applaud the Democrats when the new majority begins promising expanded middle-class entitlements?
They Deserved to Lose, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 8 Nov 2006
Comments on the results of the 2006 United States congressional elections and finds the Republican Party losses well-deserved
All this is not to say that the Democrats are any better. Their political cowardice and fear of being called "terrorist-loving cowards who hate America" has dissuaded them from opposing consolidation of federal power by the Republicans. But while Republicans and Democrats share the same big-spending, big-government philosophy, there is one big difference between them: Democrats make no bones about being advocates of big spending and big government, while Republicans continue to wrap themselves in libertarian limited-government rhetoric.
'What Kind of Democracy Is This?', by Justin Raimondo, 23 May 2007
Examines questions about American democracy and militarism posed by professor (and retired Army colonel) Andrew J. Bacevich after the death of his son in combat in Iraq
"What kind of democracy is this when the people do speak and the peoples voice is unambiguous–but nothing happens?" It is a question that needs to be addressed to the leadership of both parties, not only the Republicans ... but also Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. These two Democratic Party bigwigs were propelled into power by rising antiwar sentiment, yet they have just signed on to a war funding bill with no timelines, no preconditions, and no real congressional oversight. It's just another blank check–drawn on an account long since drained dry.
Related Topics: Democracy, Militarism, War
Why I Am Not a 'Conservative', by Vin Suprynowicz, 13 Jun 2006
Examines the words "conservative" and "liberal", pointing out that Democrats are in fact the former while being called the latter, and then looks at Republicans and how far they have strayed from their supposed principles
A conservative is someone who wants to keep things pretty much as they are, dubbing any major shift in direction a "risky scheme." By that definition, who in Washington today are more conservative than the so-called liberal Democrats, yapping like protective bitches, should anyone approach their overgrown brood of social welfare programs? ... [T]he Democrats will have none of it, shrieking that even a modest plan to allow workers to shift some small part of "their" Social Security "contributions" into privately owned accounts would "leave children and cripples and old people starving in the streets!"
Will the Democrats Become Part of the Problem?, by Paul Craig Roberts, 10 Nov 2006
Discusses the outcome of the 2006 U.S. mid-term elections and offers recommendations primarily for congressional Democrats
The question now is: what will the Democrats do? The Democrats clearly have no mandate for their pet issues of gun control, homosexual marriage, and higher taxes ... If [they] are to make a real difference, their first task is to repeal the Orwellian-named "Patriot Acts," the torture legislation, the detention without court evidence legislation, and the right-to-spy and invade privacy without court warrant legislation ... Can Democrats restore American liberties and leadership, or will a lust for power corrupt them, too, and cause Democrats to retain the police state powers Bush has created?

Cartoons and Comic Strips

Democratic Priorities, by Ted Rall, 27 Nov 2006
The Democrats' Plan to Win the War, by Gary Varvel, The Indianapolis Star, 24 Mar 2007
IN THE FUTURE the Republican Party is dead ..., by Ted Rall, 30 Nov 2006
Related Topic: Iraq War

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Democratic Party (United States)" as of 30 May 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.