Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Why Am I A Democrat?

A few years ago, my friends talked me into going on a date with a guy that they claimed would be a “great fit.” The brutal semester was over, winter break had arrived, the romantic Chicago holiday lights were everywhere, and I had to admit he was charming. So why not?

Upon entering the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, I wasted no time adamantly bringing up the topic of political views.

“Do you identify more as a liberal or conservative?”

My date, a little puzzled by my question, responded, “Well I would definitely consider myself a conservative but I am socially liberal. You?”

I told him in the simplest terms, I am a Democrat, a proud one at that.

“Isn’t it a little far fetched to identify with one party?”

You can imagine, the date didn’t last very long after that.



Why am I Democrat?

Here’s the obvious answer. I am a minority and I am a woman. I suppose it would be immensely counter-productive to NOT be a Democrat.

Yet the common issue I find, politically active or not, is that there are far TOO many people who vote against their own social and economic interests, without even realizing it.

Let’s take Obamacare for example, and ignore the fact that many of the same people who are against Obamacare believe that the Affordable Health Care Act is a great alternative. By those people, I am referring to low-income residents in red states who actually benefit the most from the ACA but are too concerned with the idea of “big government” using their tax dollars on “welfare queens.”

Let’s talk about this idea of big government. America was founded on the principles of separation of church and state. Yet these outdated religious pro-life views have now become one of the defining characteristics of their party. If republicans are so concerned with government interference in their lives, why are they okay with the government deciding on a woman’s right to choose? Does the right to privacy not extend to abortion?


Perhaps, I have steered away from the question.

Why am I a Democrat?

The best answer I can give is that I believe in social change and to put it softly, I am not content with the progress that we have made thus far. I believe in a progressive tax that will benefit all Americans. Government tax breaks for the wealthy do not stimulate the economy. I understand the need for globalization and that economic nationalism will be detrimental. American producers setting prices at the domestic level will bankrupt us all because of corporate greed. I am not against capitalism but I am against privatization.

I believe that the current federal minimum wage is insufficient and is not enough to care for a family. The idea of “burger-flippers” making the same wage as a college-educated Americans in the workforce does not bother me. Why would I be mad at the fast food worker making $15 an hour, when my CEO makes 500 times as me?


I look around wide-eyed at the poverty-stricken and crime-filled communities around me. My stomach drops whenever I hear about an unarmed African-American teenager massacred on the streets by men sworn to serve and protect us. I don’t question the actions of the previous criminal history of the individual but the flawed system that brought him there.

There is an issue when books like To Kill a Mockingbird, are still prevalent today.

I find it hypocritical to support such policies that would alienate groups of people residing in the United States. I remember that America is a land of immigrants and foreigners built over the bones of Native Americans. I am a Democrat because I see the long lasting effects racism and misogyny that remain embedded in our country today and I refuse to be a bystander in this time.

There have been a plethora of debates on whether a two-party governing system works, and where the moderates will get their voices heard. Occasionally, I have heard strong points being made, and of course, they are entitled to their own opinion.

As I am entitled to mine, my stance remains strong that as a Democrat, I just can’t be on a date with anyone who identifies as a socially liberal conservative. A moderate who is neutral in times of injustice and inequality is, in fact, supporting a system that discriminates against my gender, my race, my sexual orientation, and my class. They are supporting a system that does not believe in climate change, a system that blames the poor for their poverty and praises the wealthy for their “ earned” success, a system that does not believe in publicly funded programs for the average citizen, and the sad thing is, they don’t even realize it.


Tenzin Moenkyi was born in the small village of Dharamsala, India where many Tibetan refugees reside. At a young age she immigrated to Rogers Park, a diverse Chicago neighborhood located on the north side. The issues regarding Tibet's political turmoil with China along with those in her community in the city made her passionate about political affairs and social justice. Currently, she is a Junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago double-majoring in Economics and Politcal Science. She is her chapter's treasurer of the national sorority Phi Sigma Sigma, a writer for HerCampus Magazine, and model for Stewart Talent Agency. Catch her modeling in this year's Chicago Fashion Week on October 15th!