Why I'm still proud to be a Democrat

Some have asked me why I would wish to remain within it, after writing my expose on the failings of the local Democratic Party and its reliance on undemocratic appointments instead of direct popular elections. 

The question belies a false dichotomy that I believe is endemic in this country and is personified by our President. The world is not full of zero-sum games. More often than not life is a matter of degrees. I perceive Republicans and Democrats as each sitting on an ideological spectrum based upon their equally legitimate views on the proper role of government and their interpretation of federalism (i.e. the extent to which legislation should be made as local as possible, conservatism, or as standardized and universal as possible through federal legislation, liberalism). 

I believe that government is the solution, not the problem. I see greater economies of scale being achievable through the provision of public education and public health insurance. 

Many of my friends are not only active in the local Democratic Party but are the officers and members of the MCDCC Precinct Organization that I criticized in my op-eds. I do not demonize them. I appreciate the time that they donate to the cause that they and I both believe in. No individual member of the Democratic Party, to the best of my knowledge, is corrupt nor are any of them intentionally attempting to undermine our democracy. The point is that our processes are corrupt and are in desperate need of reform. The people, rightly, have lost faith in our democracy perceiving that their vote doesn't really matter all that much because there are systems in place that undermine the power of their vote. 

I hope that civility reigns supreme, that ad-hominem attacks are avoided, and that we can return to a society in which we can fairly level criticism against institutions without denouncing and defenestrating the institution in its entirety. 

Democracy is about iterative reform and perpetual cultivation. There is never meant to be an end to dialogue. We shouldn't have to resort to name calling but rather we should embrace a rational discussion of ideas and policies. We should revere the First Amendment and the rights it bestows upon us all to have our say without fear of government censure, protecting each of us especially if we disagree. 

And so, having spent 15 years (which I know is hard to believe since my youthful face looks scarcely older than those 15 years in total) in service to the Democratic Party in Maryland, I remain steadfast in my support of the ideals that I believe the Democratic Party embraces. 

But I urge us never to forget that our fealty must not be primarily to the Party but instead to the people and the public good to which the Party is but a means to that end. 

I am a Democrat. I respect those who are and those who are not. I welcome discussion with all. And I extend my heartfelt gratitude to those who use their precious time on this Earth to serve the public good, however they choose to construe that notion.

Yours in service, 
Jordan Cooper