I am leaving the Democratic Party. Here’s why.

I am done.

I stayed when the Democrats refused to push for a single-payer health care system because they didn’t want to anger Republicans, who they knew would never go for it.

So they didn’t even try.

Instead, we got a system that was designed by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation, and the Republicans weren’t even happy with that because they don’t care if people die.

I stayed when the Democrats refused to even look at the war crimes of the Bush Administration because they wanted to look forward, not back.

So the hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths in a war for control of oil will go unpunished. The lies, the torture, the illegal prison in Guantanamo Bay will go unanswered.

I stayed when the Democrats manipulated the primary election system to nominate Hillary Clinton, a competent but terribly flawed candidate, simply because it was her turn. That manipulation allowed a malignant, sociopathic, narcissistic, sexual predator to take the White House, assisted by a foreign power.

I stayed when the Democrats didn’t fight harder for my right to control my own body because they didn’t want to offend the fascist “Christians” who want women to be forced to breed cannon fodder for their wars.

I stayed when Democrats refused to fight like hell for a living wage. When I wrote a resolution for an immediate hike to a $15-per-hour minimum wage, others in the party changed it to a desire for that to be phased in over five years.

If you’re making $7.25 an hour — about one-third of what it takes to live comfortably in this country — you need that money NOW, not in five years, when it won’t go nearly as far.

I stayed even though Democrats haven’t even talked about poverty or race in any campaign since — well, hell, I can’t even remember, although I wrote about my disgust in a column after the 1992 election.

I stayed through battle after battle for the soul of this nation where the Democrats refused to even show up.

And now they wonder why voters aren’t enthusiastic enough to vote. Wake up! It’s because no one is fighting for them.

I stayed because I hoped we as a party would demonstrate some sort of moral fortitude and was disappointed again and again.

I stayed as Republicans played their game of making us demonstrate our “morality” while they played dirty tricks and tolerated — even defended — inexcusable lapses in morality by members of their own party.

I stayed even though the Democrats didn’t even call out the breathtaking hypocrisy of the Republicans.

The push for Al Franken to resign was my last straw.

I say this as a woman who has survived countless episodes of sexual violence starting when I was 3 years old.

This was not about sexual improprieties, damn it, it was about manipulating us into getting rid of one of the most effective fighters we have in the Senate. This was a witch hunt designed to co-opt and pervert the #MeToo Movement.

They got what they wanted, and they will seat Roy Moore, who has more than a dozen women testifying he made inappropriate advances toward them while they were still children and he was in his 30s. And they will not investigate the charges against him because they have no conscience and no shame.

And Democrats played right into their hands.

Why couldn’t we have said Franken would be pressured to leave when and if Moore went away?

Why couldn’t we have waited for the investigation Franken himself called for?

The Democratic Party has not fought for anyone but Wall Street since the 1990s. The party has not tried to fix a horribly broken justice system. It has not done anything to stop the slaughter of young men and women of color by a militarized police. It has, in fact, promoted the militarization of police.

The party did not stand up against Bush’s illegal war in Iraq. Its members actually voted to send our people into harm’s way based on lies. And then, when the lies were revealed, it did nothing to rectify the situation.

The party is in the lap of Wall Street. Its policies further the economic inequalities that plague our nation and the world, since it leads the effort to spread the policies of Wall Street around the world.

It has not stood up for me or what I believe in for decades.

Yes, there are differences between the two parties, but not enough to keep me engaged with the Democratic Party. I have resigned my position as an assistant precinct chair.

Last summer my son left the Republican Party for its lack of morality.

Today I do the same as I depart from the Democratic party.

I will fight for the soul of this nation as an unaffiliated voter because the party I supported, both with my vote and with my checkbook, has become as corrupt as the people it claims to oppose.

 

2 comments

  1. Dan Kowal says:

    From John Kibler:
    Dear Leslie,
    I know you are a passionate person who feels things very deeply. For full disclosure I am an Officer in the Democratic Party and a lifelong member of the Party.

    I understand passion and disappointment very well. And in 1965 I learned that boys can also be victims of sexual abuse. So I understand how devastating that can be.

    My disappointment in the 2016 presidential election was not that Trump won because so many Americans supported him, but he won because so many good Americans stayed home and refused to participate.

    We may not have to worry about the Democratic Party much longer because Trump and his minions are trying to hand us over to our enemies for money. That has become abundantly clear. Either that, or we will soon be in a thermonuclear war with N. Korea and China.
    Either way the fact that remains is this…notice I said “Fact”. This is not about feelings. The FACT is that the Democratic Party is the ONLY viable option to stopping the Republicans from destroying our nation and taking the world down with us.
    They are making this more difficult every day by the voter suppression and gerrymandering that is making the Democratic process more and more difficult.
    My plea to you is that you not give up on us. Because until a third party option becomes viable we are the only thing that stands in the way of the Republican juggernaut.
    They are actively trying to destroy the local, state, and federal government for money. They don’t consider the harm to anyone in their delusional lust for power and money.
    So please come back Leslie. There are too many people out there that don’t give a damn anymore. That’s why the insane are in charge of the asylum.
    We need your passion and energy in this fight for survival.
    Thank you for all you have done.
    Love,
    John

    • leslieboyd says:

      I, too, was a lifelong Democrat and an officer in the party. I will return when the party returns to its core values and stops pandering to the right.

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