We are all quite aware of the two predominant parties of American politics: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party define our country's political system. While there can be many justified criticisms of both, there are some myths attached to the Democratic Party.
1. Democrats are all far-leftGiphy
We all know the stereotype. Democrats are socialists! They all support Bernie or AOC. They all desire a radical government takeover of the means of production.
First, define far-left. Originally, it was that the government wanted to be more involved in healthcare (using a Republican's plan). It was that they wanted same-sex marriage to be legalized, too. What's far left now? Not everyone in the party is signed onto "Medicare for all" or the "green new deal," so what gives? Is it that everything that's not center-right is far-left?
It's a stupid statement given how diverse the party ideology is.
2. Democrats only care about identity!Giphy
One name: Sherrod Brown. A man who has forever emphasized that class issues do exist, and continue to exist. Many Democrats, especially Midwestern ones, will place a fair amount of emphasis on the stratification of society — although class is also an identity, in ways.
In fact, there are many people, like myself, who think addressing both issues of identity and class are important, and they are all over the party. Also, I'd say it is really hypocritical since Republicans consistently have focused on defending "Judeo-Christian" values (aka an identity).
3. Democrats are anti-religionGiphy
If you believe this is not a prevalent idea, think again. This is such a prevalent idea, and it is an old and tired one. Look, being critical of how religion can be utilized to deprive ones of their rights and abilities is one thing. It is another thing entirely to seek to ban a religion entirely from speaking at your conventions, stating that Muslims had no right to build a mosque or banning them from entering the country.
Can Democrats go overboard with criticisms? Yes. But that does not make us anti-religion. It is not baked into our resolutions, and many of us practice our religion: there are myriad people that identify as Catholic (like me), Jewish, Muslim, other types of Christian and so on. There is just a lot more diversity in religion in the Democratic Party.
The party may have blind spots, but that doesn't make Democrats anti-religion.
4. Democrats are not ideologically diverse!Giphy
Spare me the burden of having to listen to this one. Can you tell me the differences between Henry Cuellar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? What are the differences between Sherrod Brown and Cory Booker? What about other Blue Dog Democrats, like Dan Lipinski, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, versus someone who is part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, like Mark Pocan?
If you cannot look at some of the voting records and tell me they are vastly different, then something is up.
5. Democrats don't represent working-class AmericansGiphy
For some nuanced reasons, I can agree that Democrats have struggled to talk to working-class voters (primarily white ones) for a long time. Part of that struggle has come from the fact that labor unions, once a reason alone for voting Democratic, have declined.
Here's the issue: the working class is not solely comprised of white voters. It comprises many African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic workers as well. And those demographics crushed Trump in 2016.
Now, do the Democrats need to work on how they convey their points? Yes, in my opinion. However, the Democrats have historically supported workers' rights to organize and bargain, supported higher wages, and advocated for worker-friendly policies like good overtime pay and the 40 hour work week.
Those all sound pretty pro-worker to me.
Myths that define both Democrats and Republicans are bad. There are genuine criticisms of ideology and history I can agree with. These, however, are talking points about the Democratic Party that are vapid, banal and should be retired.