Calvert County Democratic Women's Club

Shannon Ganley

Huntingtown High School

Shannon plans to study Chemistry at the University of Maryland.

What the Democratic Party Means to Me

            To me, the Democratic Party is the party of compassion.  We see the struggles of those whose lives are incredibly different from ours, whose troubles are infinitely more arduous, and are moved to kindness, though we may not personally face those same struggles.  Rather than immediately discard ideas that do not reconcile with our own, we have the ability to see things from the perspective of others. We have the ability to respect ideas that we do not fully understand, a trait that is necessary for inter-cultural relations.  This is why the Democratic Party is able to encompass such a diverse demographic base. 

            The core beliefs of the Democratic Party, aid for those in poverty, support for minorities, support for gay marriage, the pro-choice movement, and others, all serve to help. I am not gay, nor am I of a minority background, but that does not mean that I cannot feel compassion for the struggles that people of color and the LGBTQ community face.  Understanding the adversity that these groups experience necessitates support for programs that can lessen the systematic roadblocks to their success, regardless of whether or not these programs would benefit me personally. It would be selfish to only support initiatives that would benefit myself.

It is difficult to look beyond your own problems and to exert energy and time to help others, but it is the right thing to do.  Serving your community can be done in many ways, but the end goal, to help others, remains a constant.  The Democratic Party understands this ideal and understands that “help” comes in many forms for many different people.  Compassion gives people the ability to feel the struggles of others, and it drives them to action, to solve or relieve these struggles.  To me, the Democratic Party encompasses compassion and kindness, and strives to help others in all the ways that it can. 

Printable copy of Shannon's essay (PDF)

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