Confessions of a Former Democrat

by | Mar 11, 2019 |

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I grew up in a family of Democrats. I learned young that the Democrats were “the party for the people”. It was the Republicans who stood for big business, and against the interests of “the little guy”.  That’s what my father told me. My grandfather was a Republican, so I heard more than a few snide remarks about the foolishness of his political affiliation. I always thought we were the good guys.

As a young adult, I remained a Democrat, although at some point, I realized it was okay to vote for the person and not just for the party. I was already starting to think for myself.

Then I moved overseas, and returned sixteen years later. When I came back home to America, a lot of things had changed. The Democrats, who I once believed were the party that lent a hand to the little guys and helped them to help themselves, was now the party of big giveaways. The so-called ‘great society’ of Lyndon Johnson had created a new class of government program that, rather than give the little guys a hand up, gave them a hand out. And rather than providing programs that encouraged them to break away from the government’s support system, it encouraged people to stay on the dole. That was not the Democrat party that I remembered and I was appalled.

The handouts kept people tied to large government programs instead of encouraging them to go out on their own to make a better life. Young, unmarried black women in the ghetto were encouraged to stay home and have babies, and they got paid to do that. Food stamps helped young recipients, even those who were able to work, to stay on welfare and feed at the public trough.

The Great Society turned out to be not so great for those who might otherwise have sought work to support themselves and their families, but were encouraged to live their lives under the watchful eye and the open purse of the government.

So when I came back to the U.S., I had to reconsider all my preconceived notions about political allegiances. I remembered the old saying: If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain. I was indeed a liberal when I was 25. And long after I was 35, I was still a liberal. But by the time I returned from overseas, I was all grown up. (Living in the Middle East will do that to a person.)  After seeing how much the Democrat party had changed while I was away, I realized that I had to rethink a lot of what I had always taken for granted.

I spent a short period with the Libertarians, but in the end, I was drawn to the Republican model, and became known in my small circle as a Conservative.

Over the last ten years, I have watched the Democrat party deteriorate badly. And since the inauguration of President Trump, divisiveness has turned into hatred and an ugly and deep-seated need for revenge and retribution.

Trump’s plan, the one the Democrats love to hate, was simple: Assist industry with tax reductions, which will lead to corporate growth, which will lead to more jobs and higher pay, which will lead to a the rebuilding of a vibrant economy. It’s not rocket science! It’s common sense. And the theory has been proven on the ground.

Under the Trump administration, America’s unemployment rate is lower than it has been in many years, and today, there are more than seven million unfilled jobs throughout the country than there are people to fill them. Industries that were once thought to be dead in America – the coal and steel industries, for example, as well as all kinds of manufacturing – have rebounded with colossal energy. And this was after we had been told by previous administrations that these industries were never coming back.

Companies that once kept billions of dollars in assets overseas are now returning to the United States in response to attractive tax reductions. America’s tax penalties for repatriation of assets from overseas used to be one of the highest in the world. Now it is among the lowest. And returning companies are pouring billions into the American economy.

This is not Socialism, it’s Capitalism. The Democrats won’t admit it, because it proves them wrong, but the fact is, it’s a good model and it’s working.

When my family saw my political shift from Liberal to Conservative, they wanted to know where I went wrong. I, on the other hand, cannot understand how they could possibly still hold on to outdated liberal thinking in the face of such a departure by the Democrats from the principles on which our nation was founded! They achieved comfortable wealth because they grew up in this capitalist, democratic system!

How could they support the soul-killing handout programs for the poor that limit their choices?

How could they support sanctuary cities that put the rights of illegal immigrants over those of American citizens?

How could they not distinguish between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants?

How could they not see that the liberal policies of cities like San Francisco and Seattle turn once beautiful cities into cesspools of human suffering?

How could they not see that the masses of people crossing our border every day pose a monumental threat to Americans by swamping our cities, and absorbing huge amounts of social service resources that were intended to meet the needs of Americans?

And how could they not see that because these illegal immigrants do not go through the formal vetting of the official immigration process, are bringing diseases back to America that we thought were eradicated years ago? For example, a huge measles epidemic is now threatening the U.S. from Texas to New York, brought into the country by illegals who never had a health check at the border, and are now infecting our children with this potentially lethal disease. And it’s not only measles. It’s mumps, whooping cough, tuberculosis, typhus, and even leprosy!)

If this is not a national emergency, I can’t imagine what would be!

Today the leaders of the Democrat party, stressed by the possibility of losing personal and political power, are making bad bargains with each other and supporting bad policy in order to retain power. The Party is now being ripped apart, torn between traditional democratic policies and strident Socialism that is being promoted by young, new members of Congress. This Socialist movement, spearheaded by young upstart Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is grabbing the attention of older members, who seem to think they need to get on board or get lost in the revolution. They would rather give up our democratic ideals than give up their personal and political power. And they are driven to do whatever is necessary to bring about the destruction of the President.

What’s Next for America?

If the Democrats succumb to the dangerous ideology that embraces the agenda of hate and revenge against a duly elected President, and sees Socialism as the solution for America, then America is in for a great deal of hurt. A large portion of Americans, at least 50% and probably more, support the President’s vision of an America that is driven by the dreams and ideals of our founding fathers. That this dream should be threatened by an ideology that has been proven time and again to destroy vibrant societies and impoverish populations is unacceptable to the majority of Americans.

Those of us who support the dreams of our forefathers will not give up those dreams of a democratic republic that respects the individual and is willing to fight for our hard won freedom.

The growing violence that we have seen on our streets and on our college campuses over the last two years is only a taste of what may be in store for us if we do not stand up to the new tyranny of the left.

If we do not take this threat of Socialism from the radical left seriously, and confront it with fierce determination, everything that Americans have accomplished over the last 243 years may be defeated on the streets and in the homes of America. All the lives that have been lost in the wars we have fought to preserve our freedoms and build this nation, protect it and keep it safe and strong, will be challenged on those same streets and campuses, and may, like the freedom we cherish, be forever lost.

Our job, now, today and tomorrow, is to stand up for the America we know and love.
If we don’t succeed, we will have lost everything.
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers

Ilana Freedman

Ilana Freedman is a veteran intelligence analyst with more than thirty years in the field. She was trained in Israel, where she lived and worked for sixteen years. After returning to the U.S., she served as CEO of Gerard Group International in Massachusetts, providing major corporations and government agencies with intelligence-led support for their homeland security programs. Her global network of specialists and field assets has provided her with an ongoing resource of critical, real-time intelligence and domain expertise. Today, Ilana is an independent consultant and author of hundreds of articles on terrorism and the geopolitical landscape. She has written four books on Islamic terrorism, and is currently working on a comprehensive book on China - past, present, and future.

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