The Idealist Democrat is an oxymoron. Isn't it the stated goal of the Democratic Party to give an equal voice to all in the nation? That would include the Republicans, wouldn't it? The problem with Idealists, in general, and Idealist Democrats specifically, is that they are aiming to achieve their ideals. They see their ideals as a point to aim FOR as opposed to seeing their ideals as a point to aim TOWARDS. Those who are aiming for their ideals, are not willing to compromise them and see that as a positive trait. They see the unwavering commitment to a "cause" or ideal as a reflection of integrity. Unwavering commitment to a cause or ideal, however, works contrary to compromise. Republicans, at least, are honest about their intentions. They think they know what's best for you and are willing to ram it down your throats if they have to. That unfettered arrogance, in in fact, is part and parcel to the whole Republican ideal. Elect people to run your government and society, because they know better than you do. Both the Right and Left hate centerists. They accuse them of being wishy-washy and pandering to the electorate. They yell about them bending over trying to please everyone. Isn't that the goal of a politician? To represent all the people and work towards their common goals to the best of his or her ability? The point of Democracy is to have a government that most accurately reflects the ideals and goals of the social system and people at large. The only way to do that faithfully is to be in the center. If you are NOT in the center, you are NOT a real Democrat, because rather than wanting to represent the people and fight for what THEY want, you are trying to represent the people who agree with your ideals and either convince or roll over those that do not. That is more like a Republican than a Democrat. Supposedly the Democrats in this country outnumber the Republicans. I have to disagree. I think there are quite a few people who refer to themselves and think of themselves as Democrats, but act and appear to think like Republicans. According to Democratic Party doctrine, a Republic is welcomed with open arms, to people who are comfortable. They are satisfied with their lot in life, and are perfectly happy to turn the daily goings-on of the business of running the affairs of the Government to the bureaucrats and pencil pushers. They don't want to be bothered with the details of the daily ins and outs of what their elected leaders are doing. They elected trained professionals that are supposed to know more about it than they do to do that job for them. If your car breaks down, you take it to a mechanic, not a dentist. If they did not have faith in the candidates (or more accurately, the party) to run things, they would not have voted for them. The Republican Party is the party of the fat, the lazy, the complacent, the rich and the selfish. It is the party of the people who are ignorant of government affairs and prefer to remain that way. If you feel that the party in power is serving your needs, why do you need to meddle in their business? Keep them out of your living room and boardroom, and you will stay out of their House. If you do not have struggle and discontent, you have no reason to "stir things up". This is the reason that the Democratic Party has found support in the dissidents and the radicals. They can generally count on the support of the young idealists who have not yet become disenchanted with the world and the system. They offer hope to the disenfranchised and the minorities by promising them a voice. The Democrats appeal to the discontented. Those who are discontented because they feel their voices aren't being heard. Those who are discontented because they feel their needs aren't being met. Those who are discontented because they feel empathetic towards those who suffer these injustices. Those who recognize the many problems this world and country face, and can not sit idly by in a state of complacence. Why am I not a Democrat? The Democratic Party has become party of the fat, the lazy, the complacent, the rich and the selfish wanting their Government to take care of them. For too long they have lived off the spoils of the trailblazers that have come before them. The Democrats are no longer the Bohemians, they have become the Bourgeois. Certainly not all of them, but the few shining lights in the party are expected to do the work for the people. The people want all the rights without the responsibilities. Empathy has been replaced by sympathy in the mind of the average Democrat, so they sit in their warm comfortable homes and feel bad for the suffering rather than being willing suffer with and for them. How many "Democrats" have you heard refer to the elected officials in this country as our "leaders"? At the most basic root of the differences between the two ideologies lies the opposition of the roles of elected officials. In a Democracy, the people rule, the government follows. In a Republic the government rules, the people follow. Granted, the people have some say in who will be their leaders, but the simple fact that they are electing "leaders" rather than "representatives" is the point. I see so many "Democrats" waiting and searching for their savior. They follow musicians, artists and other celebrity "activists". They gather in small groups and spout out platitudes about equality, justice and free speech over wine and cheese. They ***** about how the party is disorganized and what needs to change within the party leadership. They complain about the corruption of big business and corporate America over coffee at Starbucks. They rally behind this Senator and that Congressman and lift people up onto their shoulders hoping for another JFK to lead them. JFK was perhaps the greatest president this country has ever known. Those that refer to him as "a great leader", though, desecrate his memory, degrade his legacy and debase the party ideals. JFK did not lead people; he inspired people to lead themselves. He inspired people to care. He inspired people to act. He understood what the phrase, "a government of the people, for the people and by the people" really means. It doesn't mean that the people in the Government should simply represent those that voted for them and act as public servants. It means that the Government and the people are inexorable. The Government is the people and the people are the government. As a Democrat you can not see the Government as an entity in itself at all. YOU are the Government. Without that simple mindset, Democracy will fail. If you do not vote you simply can not consider yourself a Democrat. Again, the Democratic Government is a co-op, not an authority. If you want the right to have a say in your Government you have to take the responsibility to play a role in your Government. If the people are not willing to get directly involved with every level of Government... If the people are not willing to take on the responsibility of informing and educating themselves... If it is more important to sit at home and watch reality TV than walk out the front door and get involved in your local Government... If the people are willing to spend billions of dollars every year on the Entertainment Industry, while turning their backs on those that can't afford a home to place a TV into... Then the Republicans are right. The people need to be led and told what to do, because they are too damned ignorant, lazy and preoccupied to lead themselves. If the people are not directly involved on the inside of their Government at every level, then the Government simply must be small and manageable. So, what does it really boil down to? To be a Democrat you have to have faith in the people to run their Government. Republicans do not have that faith. As sad as it makes me to admit it, neither do I.