If not the Democrats, who?

Robert Woods is a career teacher, one-time candidate for state Assembly, naturalist and interpreter at Lake Almanor, lifelong Democrat

Responding to your editorial Get it together, donkeys” [Oct. 27] in which you criticized Democrats for inaction on the great issues facing our nation:

Democrats today are fighting battles on many fronts; we’re out every Saturday tabling and registering voters. Our Democratic Action Club of Chico presents outstanding speakers each month; campus Democrats do the same on a weekly basis. A soft-spoken ex-boxer from Nevada, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, is leading the fight against Bush nominees and Bush policies that are inconsistent with American values. Democratic legislators in California are working hard for universal health care and higher minimum wage.

One has only to study the past to know that almost all great accomplishments of the 20th century have been the work of the Democratic Party. We enacted the GI Bill of Rights for veterans coming home from World War II. We moved Europe out of desolation with the Marshall Plan. We built bridges and dams for flood control and hydroelectric power. Under Carter and Clinton we set aside millions of acres for wilderness and wildlife. We put an extra 100,000 police on the nation’s streets to reduce crime. We enacted Social Security and Medicare for the elderly and disabled. John Kennedy’s vow to put a man on the moon rescued Eisenhower’s languishing space program, and we did put men on the moon in that decade. Clinton-Gore provided jobs and prosperity, delivering a record budget surplus after inheriting a $4 trillion debt from Reagan-Bush. In California, Democratic Governor Pat Brown instituted the state water plan, and built the Oroville Dam. We led the fight against Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japanese Empire when they sought to dominate the world, and then establish U.S. participation in the United Nations to further our search for world peace.

Self-serving politicians like Nader, and George Wallace before him, minimized the difference between the Democrats and Republicans. Yet we know the difference. Democrats will always be fighting for, and Republicans against, health care for all, cleaner environment, women’s rights, fair taxation, racial justice, better wages and benefits, better use of our natural resources, and world peace. These are basic American values, and worth working for. Historically, only the Democratic Party will accomplish these great objectives. We have the track record. When we again get the chance to govern, we will restore America to its proper place of moral leadership. The world deserves no less.