Sunday, October 21, 2007

Senator Harry Reid, being Mormon and a Democrat

The highest-ranking Mormon elected official in the history of the country is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Previous to Sen Reid's assent to Majority Leader, the record was held by Orrin Hatch when he headed the Judiciary Committee.) Sen Reid spoke down at BYU a couple of week ago. The Officially Unofficial blog of the BYU Democrats has the complete transcript.

The story he tells of his life growing up and eventually moving to Lagan and joining the LDS Church is amazing and well worth a read. But, that's not the focus of this post.

et’s talk politics.

It is not uncommon for members of the Church to ask how I can be a Mormon and a Democrat.

Some say my party affiliation puts me in the minority of our Church members.

But my answer is that if you look at the Church membership over the years, Democrats have not always been the minority, and I believe we won’t be for long.

I also say that my faith and political beliefs are deeply intertwined. I am a Democrat because I am a Mormon, not in spite of it.

Growing up in Searchlight, my mother always had on our wall a small pillow case – royal blue with gold fringe, with the words, we can, we will, we must.

And the name on the bottom in large gold letters – Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

President Roosevelt was the closest we had to a worshipful figure as I grew up.

For my economically challenged parents, even though a man of great wealth and privilege, Roosevelt represented them.

He fought for the workers of America. President Roosevelt is the basis of my political direction.

Social security is the most successful social program in the history of the world.

A government program that helps the old, the handicapped, widows and orphans.

The Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps programs that put hundreds of thousands of unemployed people to work.

Not handouts, but jobs.

Roosevelt tackled our greatest economic crisis with the 3 R’s: relief, recovery and reform.

And let’s not forget — he was commander-in-chief of the greatest military ever assembled at a time of great crisis in the world.

As we learned in the man-made tragedy of September 11th, 2001.

During a crisis people have only 3 places to look for help… family, government and God.

I say government can be our friend. Some say it is never our friend.

I say working people are the cornerstone of our economy. Some say that if you help the wealthy, they will create jobs and it will trickle down and help all.

I say unions are responsible for the forty hour work week, decent wages and safe working conditions. Some say unions are unnecessary, that employers in an open market will take good care of their employees.

I say global warming is here and is an environmental emergency. Some say it is only nature’s cycle and our free enterprise system will deal with it.

I say our country using 21 million barrels’ of oil each day and millions of tons of coal must stop. Some say it is too costly to switch to solar, wind and geothermal energy.

I say the invasion of Iraq was the worst foreign policy blunder in our country’s history. Some say this war of choice was our only reasonable alternative.

I say our diplomatic army should be stronger than our military army. Some say the war on terror must be won militarily.

On the topic of abortion, let me say I am pro-life and for the 25 years I have been in Congress have always been pro-life.

Some say Democrats can’t be pro-life, but I am proof that we can. During my first year in the Senate, there was an abortion issue that came up for a vote.

It was a very close vote. My vote mattered; it could well have been the difference.

In the well of the Senate, Senators were explaining the importance of my vote and how important it was.

Senator Barbara Mikulski, at that time the only woman in the Senate and one of the nation’s feminist leaders, told everyone to leave me alone, my vote was a matter of character.

I have been left alone for more than two decades, but there are other Democratic Senators who share my pro-life position.

I’m not getting involved in the Democratic primary for President, because there are four Democratic Senators running and many other friends.

But regarding the Republican primary, let me say in passing, I hope that Mitt Romney’s presidential bid is determined by his political stands, and not his religion.

1 comment:

Cliff said...

Bob, I like the second half of your excuse for being a liberal democrat. The family church shit doesn't matter.

The only thing that matters is that an educated thinking man should run far away from the Republicans or be rubes living in a media fantasy.

Only a dick would think that the government is going to legislate anyone's morality.

Read Franklin my LDS friends. Democratic gov't is a necessary evil, "the worse system except for the rest," not a church in waiting.

Two more things. Check proof read your shit and move this blog to Wordpress.

Blogger sucks and thats why you are comment challenged.

Your friend in honor,

Cliff