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A Democrat's Creed
by John McCreery

Q: What is the Democratic Party?

A: Good News for the World We Share

"Good news" because we offer a positive vision of what America can and should be.

"The world" because, besides death and taxes, the one inescapable fact of life is that we live on planet earth--and the globalization of trade, business, media, the Net, tourism and terrorism mean that interdependence is now inescapable.

"The world" because no nation stands alone, and the planet we share is one planet, one life, in which we all share. Pollution and environmental destruction are crimes against humanity.

"We," not "me," "share," not "greed," because, when we recognize that interdependence, we know that there is more to life than "what's in it for me?"

That doesn't mean that we are pollyannas.

We accept the fact that greed is a great driving force in human affairs. We know that the market economy is the world's best way to harness greed and generate wealth. But we also know that, when greed is left to its own devices, greed destroys community. It divides that "we" we treasure into haves and have-nots, the economic elect and the economic damned. We look at history, and we know that whenever a few claim the right to destroy others' lives for the sake of profit, the result is misery--regardless of whether the few are the mandarins, the Party, or the CEOs.

To keep the playing field level and give everyone a chance to succeed, we demand:

  1. That equality of opportunity should be a promise kept, not a mask for growing inequity.
  2. That "leave no child behind" should be more than a cynical campaign promise.
  3. That all of us who have worked hard should be treated with respect and be able to look forward to a decent and cared-for retirement.
  4. That catastrophic disease and catastrophic economic events should be treated like earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes or floods--situations in which the nation�????�???�??�?�­s help is a necessary and natural response.

We recognize that in a world too often divided by blind hatred, security may depend on force. We support a strong military and strong and effective police.

We do insist, however, that cooperation with other nations and global institutions should be our nation's strategy. We say it loud and clear, "Don't tread on me" is American. Strike first at what we fear is not."

We have the courage to say, "Sacrifices may be necessary and from those most richly blessed, more may be demanded." In a just and fair society, society's burdens are borne by the strong. For the strong to impose them on the weak is the very definition of tyranny.

As Americans we are strong. We must also be cooperative, caring, and responsible. To all those who embrace these values, I proudly say, "My fellow Democrat."

John L. McCreery is Chair of Democrats Abroad Japan. He can be reached at mccreery@gol.com .