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What do you believe?Some of you may have seen this before. It seems appropriate that we reflect on what makes us Deomcrats. We will all need to come together before the fall. Let’s craft a message that even wingers will envy. Here is my credo post from last fall:

Some of us have lost our minds lately. We are putting conditions and litmus tests on our candidates. We are getting lost in the trees while failing to see the forest. We have lost the common goals that will help us stick together in the coming year and make us an effective force in setting this country back on the proper course- forward. So, I came up with my credo, my personal belief. This is what makes me a Democrat and is why I’m here. It is what makes me a proud American. Help me make it better. I am a Democrat and I believe in the common good. I believe Americans can accomplish great things when we watch each other’s backs and help each other take risks without fear of the lifetime consequences of failure.

I believe in social justice. That is, we may not all be born with the same advantages but we are born with the right to be treated equally before the law. I believe in quality public education, the right to vote without obstructions, that individuals have the right to be treated equally regardless of sex, age, religion, marital status, national origin, disability or sexuality. I believe it is important that individuals excrcise personal responsibility but I’m not going to ask them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and then deny them the boots. I believe in the right of employees to unionize and negotiate for better working conditions and benefits. I believe that immigrants should be offered a path to citizenship and not treated as a permanent underclass. I believe that no child in America should go to bed hungry, should forgo college because they can’t afford it or suffer from illnesss their parents can’t afford to treat.

I believe in fiscal responsibility. I believe in using tax payer’s money responsibly. I believe in paying my taxes for the common good. I believe in a progressive tax structure. I believe that deficit spending is justified to pay for infrastructure but not for unnecessary wars. I believe in Social Security and the entrepreneurship that blossoms when citizens know they have a safety net. I believe in universal healthcare because when we are all insured, the cost of healthcare will go down for all of us.

I believe in preserving a healthy planet. ‘Cos where else are you going to go? I believe in reducing greenhouse gases, in moving away from an oil based economy. I believe in research into alternative fuels. I believe in investment in mass transit. I believe in reducing pesticides and antibiotics in our environment. I believe in being a good global citizen and joining in committments to protect our environment.

I believe in privacy for citizens and the right to be left alone. I believe in a citizens right to worship or not worship without penalty or reward from the state. I believe that government should stay out of our bedrooms and the sex lives of consenting adults. I believe that the government has no state interest in interfering with a woman’s right to choose to have children or not. I believe that citizens have a right to believe that their private conversations are not wiretapped, that their homes are sacrosanct and shouldn’t be searched without a warrant.

I believe in the wise use of our forces. I believe that national security is best when our military is well-prepared, well-equipped and well rested. I believe that the national guard should be used to defend us at home and not abroad except under the direst circumstances. I believe in treating our soldiers with dignity and respect because we are asking them to put their most precious possession on the line for us. I believe we have an obligation to defend the helpless from genocide. I believe we should not pre-emptively invade a country that has not threatened us. I believe we should participate in peaceful negotiations in regions of the world where there is conflict. I believe we should not throw our weight around just because we are a superpower. I believe we should go to war only as a last resort, do the job efficiently and thoroughly and have an exit strategy.

I believe that all of the Democratic candidates match my beliefs but that they have different ways to achieve their goals. I am going to vote for the best prepared, strongest candidate who I feel is the most capable of putting America on the path forward with solid policy and vision.

What do YOU believe?

28 Responses

  1. Riverdaughter, I am so glad I found you. I have to say, after I read your “He is risen indeed”, the reference to Princeton, and your Credo with the first item being Social Justice, it suddenly came to me that you may be a Presbyterian! It is so hard being a political lefty and hearing anger and rage against the Christian church, when all my life I have been overtly urged by my church(es) to actively seek social justice, to feed the poor, and all the other radical social actions which you have noted.
    I love the voice of reason, the voice of compassion, the voice of true freedom. And not coincidentally, the voice of Jesus, the noted rabble-rouser.
    Thank you so much…this is my first comment anywhere after lurking for several years, and I felt moved especially on this day of new hope and resurrection to write to encourage you and keep up the very good work.

  2. […] long string of posts) and mostly thinking hard about the way forward at this point. Riverdaughter has asked us what we believe (we being Democrats, but this will explain my support for Hillary as […]

  3. Unless I have simply been overtaken by exhaustion, it seems my comment has been removed (I do believe it was posted for a while.), leaving not so much as a footprint. Everything I say is sincere and transparent. I am on your side and find great comments (and impressive good people) at this site. I certainly have no intention of being disruptive. I am disappointed greatly. To me, the removal of my comment seems inconsistent with your “Credo” (“What do you believe?)

    I invite you (comment removers) to contact me by e-mail. I don’t want to argue or upset you. I’m sincerely disappointed and would like to hear your thoughts.

    I can’t find an e-mail address to write this, so am posting it here. My apologies for that. I just don’t know how else to contact you.

    Gary McGowan

  4. (The comment was removed from the “Peace Symbol” thread, where I had intended this stuff to be. Long day.)


  5. The credo is exactly where I am and comment #1 I think can apply to most churches. Given all that, is that where the Democratic Party is today? I think not– we’re in the throes of the tyranny of the proletariat with a wannabe Stalin surrounded by a committee of elders at the DNC and balky superdelegates. I’ve been through a couple of cycles of “taking the Party” back and I’m not sure it’s worth the effort since we still end up being jerked around by the Media and the Money.

  6. Dear churl,

    I think I understand what you are saying and I sympathize.

    What we have to rise up to is not “taking the Party back,” but taking the country back. To use your words, from “the media and the money.”

    We take the country back and the other stuff will take care of itself. Neither Lincoln nor FDR focused on “taking the Party back,” though each well could have in their times.

    [To anyone other than churl reading this comment, I have to mention–for fear of it being deleted–that Senator Clinton is my candidate. Senator Obama is most emphatically not. But I am certainly willing to discuss matters with supporters of any candidate. As someone who functions outside of the constrangle hold of popular opinion, (I just accidentally made that word up and I like it!), I feel sometimes it’s necessary to try to head off attacks before they are made.] Excuse me, churl.

  7. As I am studying and working here, it occurs to me that the following is perfectly relevant to both the topic of my credo AND the topic (which, admittedly, was introduced by me in this thread) of taking our country back.


  8. Where do I sign up?! What can I do to help! 25 years and I’m done with the disorganized, good ‘ole boys of the democratic party!

  9. Riverdaughter:

    I am writing this only to you. I looked for your email address but didn’t see one.

    I have known before good smart leaders such as yourself, who once in a position of power take to themselves lieutenants, who do not have the wisdom of their chief, being themselves arrogant and willful. But the leader who puts such a lieutenant in place is no longer a good leader, and loses respect and followers.

  10. Thanks for letting us know about your Website yesterday in DC in front of the Mariott at the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting. Interesting credo – believe I ascribe to the same.

    Q. What do you know about the reported video of Michele Obama in the pulpit at Trinity United Church of Christ? Any chance it will actually come out tomorrow? Is it the Obama bomb we’ve been waiting for? “The truth shall set ye free.” I want to know the truth about what the presumptive next first lady really believes. If it’s damaging to Obama’s campaign, do you suppose he will try to distance himself by quitting the marriage like he quit the church?

  11. Liberty Belle: The main action thread is in the middle section of the page. There are a lot of people there right now. Not so many here. You might want to pose your question regarding the video to them. My feeling is that if there is one, it is in our best interest to make sure it is authentic. Then, it should only be shown to the superdelegates with the caution that we don’t know how many copies of it are out there.
    But authentication comes first.
    BTW, character assassination is verboten here. We don’t like Obama but there are certain things we do not discuss. One of them is unfounded rumors. Speculation and curiosity are fine but accusations of any kind have to be fact and evidence based.
    I’m sure you will fit in fine! Go to the PUMA page. 😉


    good public schools for children in cities and depressed areas
    extensive public transportation
    public parks, skating rinks, pools, and beaches
    sidewalks and benches and town squares
    strong community colleges for kids who need transition to trad universities

  13. Hey my Republican brother who is the risk manager for the city I live in also believes in a single payer system. He says (after being in the group health insurance and risk management business for over a decade)”…there is no evidence that market based health care has controlled costs nor improved healthcare delivery to the consumer…” further he goes on to say “….a single payer universal mandatory health care system is the most cost efficent way to provide healthcare to everyone in this Country…once the profit motive has been removed from health insurance, the provider can concentrate on economies of scale, and provide universal coverage for exactly what americans and businesses are paying now with the advantage that no one will be without access to good medical care…”

    River daughter my brother did not feel this way until recently we are winning converts even on the Republican side. He also believes that there should be no litmus(sic) test for appointment of judges ect.
    Of course he is still a republican but hes my brother he is comming around, Rome was not built in a day. thank you for providing a place for us feminist supporting guys also. I love your sight. I hope Hillary runs again in the future 2012 four years is not so long to wait. Hillary will always be my girl.

  14. The Democratic Party is not the party that my father believed in. You have said it best. I believe that it is time for a third party. I believe tht it will represent the majority of Americans. Let’s do it!!!!!!!!!

  15. I also believe in the freedoms that America has promised us. I also believe that it is time for reality to strike out and be appreciated. If there is going to be a third party I want a t-shirt!
    Needless to say, I am in 100%. I would not stand for this treatment in business or friendship; I certainly will not endorse it politically. Since they did not count the votes; they can never count on mine again. Take care all.

  16. The word “credo” has the same root word as the word “cardio” – Credo means ‘this is where I put my heart’. Thanks for putting this Credo in such a central location on your blog. It should serve as a reminder that we should all at least consider looking beyond ourselves once in awhile. Though she might not have started out with a values-based candidacy, Hillary Clinton ended there, and in so doing set the stage to be a true leader and a great American in her own right.

  17. I have been following this blog for some time, yet I have stayed on the sideline and not contributed to the debate. I hope I can be of some support. I am a 54 year old gay man who is fighting mad at the Obama Campaign and DNC. I cannot believe my gay friends’ hatred for Hillary and am always shouted down. The anger is so strong that they are mad at me for even voicing my feelings. I have joined PUMA and have donated what I could afford to the PAC. I will not follow the Democratic Party and MSM’s propaganda campaign and will write reviews about their attempt to spread disinformation in our community. If I can be of any other help let me know.

  18. I am a Republican who I must say was impressed with Hillary’s run for the DNC nomination. Did not care for her before, but after listening and following more closely her policy stances and what she wanted to do, I would absolutely have no problem with her as president. I also have the same reservations about BO as I see posted here, you all see through the empty suit as well. I do believe McCain has the experience necessary and the ability to work with both parties, as he has proven throughout his Senate career. Saw PUMA on Cavuto today and was intrigued by this new movement. I will follow PUMA in the coming months.

  19. Hillary’s speech may have temporarily convinced me to not vote against Obama, but it is up to him and his supporters to give me the reasons to vote for him. The often used, empty campaign slogan of “Hope” and “Change” isn’t enough. For the Obama camp to say he has no intentions of “wooing” the Hillary Supporters has caused me to once again look elsewhere. I find it egotistical and self-defeating for him to feel he doesn’t need to “unite” with those voters. His recent speeches have not convinced me either. He seems to being running the GE the same as the Primary. In other words, “Vote for me because I’m not my Opponent” and then proceeds to criticize without giving detailed plans of his own. Talk about devisiveness!

  20. I think one of the major problems in Washington is Ideological gridlock. Because of this I do not like Obama, Dean or Pelosi, they seem to be too devoted to Ideology. They are intolerant to other peoples views and oppinions. They believe that they really know what is needed for us all. I see Clinton and Mc Cain more as people people, motivated more by people. I think one of the important characteristic needed to be POTUS is emotional intelligence, I think Obamas ability to offend his friends shows him lacking in this attribute.
    I support green energy sources, but I believe energy resources has now become a global issue that has to be dealt with realisticly ASAP. People, especially the poor are suffering, it is no longer a luxury we can debate or experiment with. We need to move forward with all means available and all voices heard.
    Health insurance for all is another major source of contention. Many don’t want to loose the quality of care that they feel offers them excellent opportunity to live to a ripe old age, while many die far too young for lack of what can only be described as lack of basic care.
    This issue, cannot be dealt with from the far left, nor the far right, it must be dealt with by a leader who understands the healthcare system and can take into account everyones concerns. Otherwise we will continue to stagnate and will not move forward. We need to barter, you get this , if I get that , but only by a leader whose commitment is to all the people of America.
    We have many issues like infrustructure, terrorism, resources,enviromental, etc we need to deal with effectvely. It is arrogant to believe that all Democrats are good, or that all republicans are good, you judge a leader on many things, on his/her intentions, his achivements, his friendships, his character and his abbility to effectively improve the lives of all Americans.
    That is a little of what I feel is our political situation at this crossroad in election 08.
    Politics affects our day to day lives and we need to take it very seriously.

  21. Okay, I am confused. I have been reading the site, and this credo does not match up to the people who are saying that they are going to vote Republican this year.

    Is this REALLY the Credo of this site?

    Because this is NOT what John McCain nor the Republican Party stands for. They have shown through their behavior time and again that they do not.

    I am really confused.

  22. I have been to this site a few times and I really enjoy the articles on it. I am a Hillary supporter who will vote McCain in the fall unless a miracle happens and she is on the ticket. Regarding the last statement by pmist – I personally believe that a Hillary supporter who votes for McCain this fall is not crazy or confused (of course I am biased because that describes me). McCain, like many democrats, wants to focus on energy independence from Arab nations and wants to budget for research towards environmentally friendly energy. His quote about staying in Iraq 100 years was completely taken out of context, and if you have not seen the exact full quote – please look it up. He is a person who hates war and wants to minimize the time our troops are in danger there. I can go on and on. The question is – (a) who best represents your most important values and (b) who is the best person to get things done. Obama may be the right person for a large percentage of Democrats. But I can also understand how many can see John McCain as being the best choice of the two who remain. For me – my answer is still Hillary. But if I can’t have her, my choice is down to one person who has demonstrated that he can get things done and take a stand on difficult issues … and that is John McCain.

  23. I just heard about PUMA, and checked out the site. I completely agree with the comments regarding backroom deals giving votes where votes weren’t cast. I can not support Obama for 3 primary reasons. We are in a critical point in this nation and I do not know what Obama’s actual policies are, his ability to achieve them nor am I satisfied with his answers to Jeremiah Wright, and Black Liberation Theology, and his denial of his muslim family in Kenya. This man is an empty suit who stimulates more questions than solutions.
    In Hillary, we had a known quantity, who has been thoroughly vetted and experienced to protect America’s interests, and promote America’s democracy. Ironically, she was sidelined by an undemocratic, back room process, that is antithetical to democracy.
    This is no time to engage in an unknown quantity, nor ratify an unfair process, my vote is going to Mccain; despite differences with him on some issues, I want Mccain to answer that 3 A.M. call. Keep up the GREAT work by giving us disenfranchised Democrats a place to talk and a knowledge that we are not alone.

  24. As far as I am concerned, John McCain’s wife can answer the 3am call better than Barrack Obama. Imagine…

    Hello, Yes We Can bomb Iran.
    Hello, Yes We Can act like I did not say that on national TV.

  25. ok, now I’m confused. I don’t support Obama and I thought this site doesn’t support him either. (RD is a member of the justsaynodeal coalition, or?) for the record I totally respect democrats who want to support the nominee but I thought the bloggers here are PUMAs. is this credo still up to date? it doesn’t seem to match with the current posts…

  26. my guess is that the credo is a document written while the primary process was still ongoing. the “i’m going to vote for…” part refers to a primary vote, not a GE vote.

  27. I think this is really cool. and I am a Republican! Where can I get bumperstickers!

  28. Ever since the California Democratic Party lost my donation check I have felt confused. Is it not enough that they threw out the winning candidate (Clinton of course)? But to throw out my check just seems part and parcel of the party’s determination to lose the 08 election.

    I ask you, what can one person do? Write in Hillary for President.

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