Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hang Together

As we celebrate the 4th of July and charge headlong into campaign season, this is a good time to remember the famous words of one of our founding fathers. It was Benjamin Franklin who said at the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, “we must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Old Ben was right, and so it is with Democrats. We will hang separately if we do not hang together. Majority matters. The majority sets the agenda. The majority gets its legislation heard. The majority gets its bills passed and written into law. Republican politicians do not care about your issues. Democrats care.

If you do not agree with the ideas of a Democratic candidate – don’t support them. Don’t give them money. Don’t vote for them. Get behind their opponent or put your name on the ballot and do the hard work it takes to campaign yourself. But, don’t forget: anyone who shows the courage to make the commitment to run for office and put a “D” behind their name deserves our respect. I’ve long believed that civility, tolerance and compassion are Democratic virtues. Even if you disagree with them, our Democratic elected officials and candidates deserve as much. My guess is that, in return, they will at least listen to your concerns.

That cannot be said for the GOP. They do not care about you. Republican politicians do not care about your issues. Under a Republican majority your ideas will not be heard. Your policies will not become law. Your state will be red, not blue.

Our mission at the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to ELECT DEMOCRATS. The Republican strategy is to divide and conquer. It’s easy to criticize – hard to do the heavy lifting that enables us to pull together and achieve our common goal. If you attack and defeat Democrats and get Republicans elected you hurt our party, our state and our people. You will be helping to move our state backward, not forward. You will help ensure that we all hang separately.

We must do better. Obviously, we are in the middle of the primary election season where Democrats have to take sides. But, let’s respect the other Democrats in the race. And, after the primary and the runoff, if you have the desire to defeat candidates for office, I challenge each of you to channel your time, money and energy toward defeating Republican politicians. That’s what real Democrats do. On this 4th of July I invite Oklahoma Democrats to plan now to work together to form a Democratic majority by electing Democrats from the courthouse to the Congress. Our ideas are better, but we must have the majority for it to matter. Majority matters. So, let’s hang together.

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