THE BLOG

The End of the Democratic Party

11/04/2012 01:47 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

The Democratic Party is at risk of becoming irrelevant.

I have spoken with so many Republicans who, when arguing for Governor Romney, have made the startling point that it does not really matter who is president. Both parties are more or less the same.

I believe now that if the Democratic Party continues to fight for the same old issues, it will be abandoned, and cease to exist.

My great-great grandparents joined the Democratic Party soon after they arrived from Ireland and walked into the Irish tenements in the North End of Boston in the 1800s.

At that time there were very good reasons to become a Democrat. My great grandfather John F. Fitzgerald led the Democratic Party in Boston and made sure the party would look out for the families of all those whom labored in the city. No social safety net existed at that time. There were no workers rights, no tenants rights, women were not allowed to vote and African Americans had virtually no rights at all. Gays lived in a frightening world of violent contempt.

The Democratic Party was created by the families of immigrants who banded together in the industrial cities of the Northeast and forced the country to take note of them, and to share more fairly with those who labored. The Republican Party by and large represented the old guard and so, as opposed to the Democratic Party, they came to oppose many of the changes that have strengthened and improved America.

It is the shame of the Republican Party that they:

--Opposed the rule which gave labor the right to organize.

--Opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

--Opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

--Opposed Social Security.

--Opposed Medicare for elderly Americans.

--Opposed granting women the right to equal pay for equal work.

--Opposed protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination at work.

--Opposed protecting women from sexual harassment at work.

--Opposed unemployment compensation.

--Opposed health and safety regulations in mines and and dangerous work places.

When I was growing up in the 1970s there was no question at all which side was right and which side was wrong. But many of the causes that brought us Democrats together when I was a young man, have been more or less, dealt with. It doesn't really matter any more which party is in power, right?

I will admit that it is not time yet to proclaim victory over discrimination, but the fact is that huge progress has been made.

The Democratic Party is still, of course, the party that will do the most to improve the lives of people who earn less than the top 3 percent.

But a time is coming when that may no longer be the case.

When we have insured fairness in the workplace.

When we have insured protection against discrimination -- for race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and sex;

When we have achieved a health care system that provides for all Americans.

When we have a public education system that provides a good education and access to college for all Americans.

When we have insured that the very rich can no longer create rules for banks, and corporations that favor the themselves over everyone else.

When that work is complete, as I believe it will be, the Democratic Party will be in real trouble.

But until that day, if you seek a country that gives an equal opportunity to everyone, that provides real education for all its citizens, a country that cares for all of its citizens, a country that stands as an example, proving that all humans are born with the same vital rights, then you must vote for a Democrat.

Every single time.

So, on Tuesday, please vote for Barack Obama. And everyone else with a Democrat beside their name.