For over 200 years, Democrats have stood for the idea that wealth and status should not be an entitlement to rule. Democrats recognize that our country and our economy are strongest when they provide opportunity for all Americans—when we grow our country from the bottom up.
Democrats stand for an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream. We remember that our country was sculpted by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren. Even today, it is our diversity above all else that provides us with our enduring strength.
Democrats believe that each of us has an obligation to each other, to our neighbors and our communities. Each of us has a role to play in creating our future—and while we have made great progress as a nation, we know that our work is never done.
Democrats have a long and proud history of defending Civil Rights and expanding opportunity for all Americans. From the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, Democrats have fought to end discrimination in all forms—including discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability. We believe in the essential American ideal that no one should be constrained by the circumstances of their birth, and that each of us should have the opportunity to make of our lives what we will.
Economy and Job Creation
Democrats are fighting to repair a decade of damage and grow an economy based on hard work and responsibility, not greed and reckless speculation—an economy that strengthens our country and middle-class families for the long run. The current recession has touched nearly all of us in some way, but the heart of America’s promise is our resilience to overcome hardship. Democrats are committed to helping all Americans confront these challenges—spurring job creation, rebuilding our infrastructure, investing in clean-energy technologies, and restoring fairness and opportunity to our economy.
Democrats share with all parents the commitment to prepare our children to lead lives of happiness and success. That’s why we’re dedicated to ensuring the next generation has access to a first-rate education and the tools to drive our economy forward. Our country is strongest when our workers are trained with the knowledge and ingenuity to perform at the highest levels. Every child should have the opportunity to reach that horizon and to fulfill the American Dream.
For decades, America has been addicted to unsustainable energy sources and bound to the status quo by special interests. Our country’s transition into the 21st century requires that we recognize the relationship among energy, the environment, and our economy. Democrats have made historic investments in clean-energy technologies that are helping pave the way to a more sustainable future, creating new jobs and entire industries here in America. We believe that now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny.
Democrats are committed to protecting America’s natural resources and ensuring the quality of our air, water, and land for future generations. From efforts to restore the Great Lakes to neutralizing the damage to the Gulf Coast caused by the BP oil spill, environmental protection is crucial not only to combat climate change but also to sustain the health of our ecosystems. In recent years Democrats have made crucial strides toward protecting our environment and investing in clean-energy technologies—all of which are paving the way to a more sustainable America.
For too long, the voices of ordinary Americans were drowned out by the clamor of special interests and the influence of a privileged few in Washington. Democrats are committed to reining in the power of special interests and ensuring free and fair elections in which every American has a voice. Now, at a time when millions of Americans are struggling to get by, corporations are poised to unleash millions of dollars in secret, special-interest advertising intended to tip the balance in elections.
In March of 2010, President Obama fulfilled a promise that Democrats have pursued for nearly a century: making health care available to all Americans. In all, seven Democratic presidents pushed for health reform over the years, each one moving the ball forward—from Medicare to children’s health insurance—until today, when we finally are able to make real the principle that every American should have access to affordable health care, and no one should go bankrupt just because they get sick.
America has a long and rich heritage of immigration. Democrats have always embraced our country’s diversity, but we also recognize that our current immigration system is broken. In recent years, debate about immigration has often been portrayed as a false choice between amnesty and mass deportation. The real debate over immigration is whether we keep a broken system that undermines our economy and national security or whether we work together to fix it.
As the threats facing our country have evolved over the years, so too has our ability to respond to them. Our national security personnel are the most dynamic and well-trained in the world, and we must never forget the solemn duty that they fulfill for our nation. Democrats are committed to ensuring that our troops have the training, equipment, and support that they need when they are deployed and the care that they and their families need and deserve when they return home.
For Democrats, changing politics in Washington means ensuring that government is open, transparent, and responsive to the needs of the people. President Obama has implemented the most sweeping ethics and transparency requirements in history, building on steps taken by Democrats to limit the influence of special interests and ensure that government is accountable to the people.
Democrats believe that a dignified retirement is central to the American Dream, and its foundation is built on two long-standing institutions charged with realizing that dream: Medicare and Social Security. These two institutions represent an unbreakable commitment to American workers, and for decades Democrats have fought to defend them.
Science & Technology
From the airplane and the Internet, to chemotherapy and the Model T, America has a rich history of technological innovation and scientific ingenuity. But after years of declining tests scores in math and science and a Republican administration that often turned its back on science, the United States risks losing its scientific dominance. Democrats are committed to reversing this trend by investing in the technologies and jobs of the future while increasing support for more advanced research, labs, and classrooms.
Democrats have a long and proud history of fighting for voting rights that continues to this day. One of the most important rights of American citizens is the right to vote—the right to have a say in who our leaders are and how our government should work. But the path to full voting rights for all American citizens was long and often challenging, and for far too many people, obstacles to voting remain even today.