Here is a contradiction. Democrats say they care for the underprivileged. In reality, we see the policies adopted by the Democrat party actually hurting the underprivileged. Sometimes these Democrat policies go so far as to kill the underprivileged. As examples, shouldn’t we see Democrat voters shouting for reforms given the failure of our existing welfare programs, our marriage laws, and our system of immigration, yet these programs are championed by Democrat politicians. We should, but that isn’t what we see. Do Democrat voters really care?
How do programs work in practice?
We want people who are injured or ill to have enough to eat. We want them to have a place to live. We inadvertently created a welfare system where some people choose not to work. Being compassionate, we increased our taxes to pay for them. Between the incentives not to work and the higher taxes to pay for welfare, we ended up with more poor people, not fewer as we intended. How can we say that welfare works when it gives us more poor, unemployed people rather than fewer?
Democrats say we simply need even more money for welfare payments. Do Democrat voters care about the poor, or do Democrats care about feeling like they care?
We don’t want a widow or an abandoned mom to live on the street. We want her to have the means to take care of her children. It felt compassionate when we enacted government programs that gave money to single women if they got pregnant. We even gave them more money for each child they had. Did that save the family?
We wanted married couples to love each other. We passed no-fault divorce. Did that bring us more couples in life-long love or did we destroy the family with unilateral divorce?
The answer is clear. A teenager today is less likely to grow up with his biological parents if he lives in the US than if he lives in any other country in the world. Rather than help a family for a few years, we condemned generations of children to never know their fathers and mothers. That has devastating consequences on every aspect of society.
Is more of the same really a solution?
Democrats say we simply need more acceptance of “alternative family forms”. They say we need more aid for single parents. Do Democrats care about families and children or do Democrats only want to feel that they care?
We see a similar situation with immigration. We want hard-working people to come live the American dream. That process requires judgment. Selective immigration requires that we tell some people that they are not qualified to join us. Strict immigration requirements felt too judgemental for Democrats. Now, we have career criminal illegal immigrants who are vastly over-represented in prison. Those data aren’t from some conservative state, but from über-liberal California which is the last place a criminal immigrant is likely to be sentenced. You may remember that illegal immigrant gang members recently killed a police officer who was himself a legal immigrant.
Killing police officers isn’t what we wanted, but that is what we produced with our current open-borders policies. Democrats should be urgently calling for more law-and-order given that underprivileged immigrants are the most likely victims of crime. That isn’t what we see.
Where is the Democrat disconnect?
I looked at three aspects of our social policy, but there are countless others we could examine. In each case, there are several possible explanations for this gap between the words and policies coming from Democrats. It could be that Democrat voters feel one way but their party leadership does what is best for politicians. The actions of the Democrat party might not represent the voters who elected them. That is certainly true to some extent.
Stated simply, why ruin a feel-good theory with facts.
A larger factor is that Democrats voters are attracted to their party because of its reputation for equality and compassion. Their concern for others was largely satisfied by identifying as Democrat. They feel they are compassionate despite the real world evidence that big-government Democrat policies cause great harm. Democrats are reluctant to look at real-world results because they are so emotionally attached to their ideology.
Is compassion a label or an action?
We have a pretty good idea what compassion looks like. People who care about others volunteer at soup kitchens and work with job banks. Compassionate people support detox and sobriety programs. People who care about children and families become foster parents and adopt needy children. They mentor other couples in programs for stronger marriages. That is the opposite of virtue signaling. These individuals take pride in what they accomplished rather than how they labeled themselves. That commitment to compassion extends way beyond the ballot box.
Reform of the Democrat party has to start from within. Self-examination is hard work. Until the Democrat party lives up to its ideals, I respect those who have the strength to walk away.
The Next America by Paul Taylor