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Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
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The week I left the Democratic Party


Timothy P. O'Malley - published on 07/29/16

Many of my best friends in the world would object to my protest against Democrats. They would note that it is the Democrats who are best positioned to decrease the number of abortions nation-wide through health care and increasing other social services. But remember, stories matter. And that’s not the story being told on a convention floor in Philadelphia. The story being told is that some lives matters more than others. The story being told is that there are expendable creatures in our society whom mothers and fathers may dispose of “if it’s not the right time.”

Some of my dearest Democratic friends will note that to care only about abortion is to reduce the sanctity of human life to the moment of birth itself. In some ways, I get this claim. I don’t understand how one can be pro-life and refuse to support additional funding for the health of pregnant women and for federally mandated paid maternity leave. I don’t understand how one can be pro-life and yet also demand the execution of criminals on death row; to refuse to express solidarity with the suffering of the African American community; or to call for the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. I was equally nauseated by the tactics of fear-mongering that were employed at last week’s Republican convention, of the second amendment receiving a louder cheer than a pro-life platform.

But at this point, it is impossible to convince this adopting parent to vote for a political party in which the death of a child like my son is vigorously cheered upon the floor of a national convention. I don’t like Donald Trump. But, I’m not sure that the Democratic Party itself is too far removed from the rather thin vision of human dignity that Trump has been accused of throughout this miserable election season. A political party with a sense of human dignity, that doesn’t cheer for abortion or mass deportation of women and children into dangerous situations – that doesn’t throw people away so easily. Is that too much to ask?

I have left the Democratic Party this week. And the last gift this Party has bestowed upon me is a sense that the present political system is so broken, so obsessed with death that the rebuilding of the structures will not occur within the present structures of American political life.

Politics are about stories. And it’s time to tell a new one.

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