Once upon a time, there was an ocean liner on choppy seas. She was a fine craft and everyone felt mostly confident she was up to the crossing, depending on who the Captain was.
Shortly after leaving port, the passengers in First Class decided it would be thrilling if they could get the ship to its destination in record time. To this end, they proposed burning all the lifeboats in the furnaces, to build up more steam. The people in steerage all thought this was a terrible idea. They all liked the lifeboats just fine. Even the ones who liked the sound of beating the record all wanted the lifeboats around in case they should need them.
The First Class passengers suggested a vote. Simple majority rule. But they only made up one percent of the population. How, some asked, could they possibly win an election that requires 50% plus one vote? Maybe some of the people in Second Class would vote for them, but ultimately, they needed a lot of the people from steerage as well. And those people loved the lifeboats, every one of them. Even the ones who said it would be exciting to beat the record.
But those people also hated a bunch of the other people in steerage, strangely enough. Some of them looked different, or talked different, or prayed different. Some of the “other folks” seemed like they were doing better than them and it made them jealous. So the people in First Class promised them “we’d never burn YOUR lifeboats, we only want to burn THEIR lifeboats. They don’t deserve lifeboats anyway.” And before you could imagine, they had all the votes they needed and started burning ALL of the lifeboats, while belowdecks, the people in steerage who’d voted with them seethed and gloated at the people they hated.
How does the story end? It hasn’t yet. The ship is still out there. But over a long enough timeline, you can bet your ass they’re going to need those lifeboats sooner or later.
I’m a firm believer in having lifeboats.
That’s why I’m a Democrat.