What Happened To the Democratic Party?

An Essay By Brian Kelly

Would the hard working parents of the baby boomers not be surprised?

Something happened to the Democratic Party since I first joined. I was just twenty-three years old. I spent my first two years as a voter registered as an Independent and then my father helped me understand that in PA, being Independent meant that I could not vote in the primaries. So, I changed from Independent to Democrat, like my dad. We were very close and talked a lot about how things were in America and in the neighborhoods for years and years.

Before my dad passed away, he and I spent a lot of time talking about the way things had changed in the Democratic Party. We both noticed the big change.  The change was not good. It moved the party into being more and more progressive / socialist and the party no longer stood for individual liberty and freedom. In many ways, the Democratic Party moved so far left that it left even the liberals far behind in the rear view mirror. What had been liberals compared to these new progressive / socialist Democrats were actual conservatives. Under today's norms, JFK would be classified as a conservative. Like most Americans growing up in the 1960s, JFK remains as one of my heroes. 

My father, though never a rich man, loved the American dream.  As part of those who believe in the dream, my dad believed deeply that we should all work hard, get the best wage that we can, and we should be able to keep what we earn.  As a brewery worker, my dad thought much like other hard laborers in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and that included the miners.