Why I Will Vote for the Democrats

I believe in the separation of church and state.

I believe that a person should be able to marry whomever s/he wants to marry.

I believe in a woman's right to choose.

I believe that tax cuts for the rich do not promote economic growth, employment or fairness.

I believe that the current economic crisis -- soaring inequality, home foreclosures, lower incomes and unemployment for millions in the U.S. and across the globe -- is the result of 35 years of economic deregulation.

I believe that scientific questions should be settled by the methods of science, not politics or religion.

I think that global warming is real.

I believe that everyone is entitled to decent health care and a decent education.

I believe that vilifying and scapegoating Muslims, immigrants and people of color is appalling, immoral and socially destructive.

I believe in consumer protection and safe work places.

I believe that we have a right to know what's in the food we eat, and what it might do to us.

I believe that cops should respect and protect us -- and our constitutional rights.

I believe that the incarceration rate in the U.S. (one of the highest in the world!) and the attitudes, agenda and policies that underlie it, are morally appalling, racist and socially destructive.

I believe that an unregulated economy leads to excessive inequality, a toxic environment, unsafe work places and a greater likelihood of financial and economic crisis.

I don't believe that oil, coal and gas companies should make energy policy, and I don't think that banks should regulate themselves.

I believe that wise investments in infrastructure can promote growth, employment and environmental sustainability.

I believe that racism, sexism and homophobia are widespread, and bad for all of us. And I believe that many Americans are in denial about this.

I believe that domestic violence and sexual violence are rampant in the U.S., and that many Americans are in denial about this.

I believe that the influence of money in politics should be minimized.

I believe that we should make it easier for eligible voters to register and to vote.

I believe in collective bargaining, and I am grateful that the labor movement has struggled to advance and defend the interests of working and middle class people.

I believe in peaceful solutions, and I distrust the Pentagon.

I believe that unregulated hydraulic-fracturing (fracking) is toxic.

I believe that cutting, privatizing and/or voucherizing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is foolish, immoral and wrong.

I believe that private citizens should not be allowed to own semi-automatic weapons.

I think that the Supreme Court's conservative majority are "activist" reactionaries.

I believe that Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Sean Hannity are mean-spirited opportunists.

And I can't believe that anyone over the age of 14 takes Ayn Rand seriously.

I desperately wish that the Democrats -- including President Obama -- were better on all of these issues. And, of course, electoral politics is not everything. We need to continue to work and struggle to make things better on many fronts. But this is not a difficult choice. On most of these issues, Republicans and their Tea Party/Randian fringe are aggressively and enthusiastically pushing in the wrong direction.

That's why I will vote for Democrats on November 4.