LDS Dems believe individuals and families become self-reliant through improved education, health, and opportunity.
--Utah LDS Democrats Mission statement
Growing up I was taught that Democrats get elected by promising voters that they will not have to work. Once elected these politician promise to take money from those who will work and distribute it to those who do not want to work. After becoming a registered voter I began seeking out and questioning candidates for office. Out of all the Democrats I have talked to in the years since, not one has promised that if I vote for him/her I will not have to work. It turns out my parents LIED. It is common among both parties to intentionally exaggerate the other sides views in order to sway voters. I encourage you no matter your politics to avoid this type of tactic and to also avoid being persuaded by them.
I believe strongly in self reliance, that each individual should provide for himself/herself to the best of his/her own abilities. That we do no one any favors by promoting idleness.
I support and understand the concept of charitable giving requires that the giving be done voluntarily and not through compulsion. I think the church welfare system is wonderful example and I donate to it every month.
I choose to identify with the Democratic Party because of two key personal beliefs:
- Individuals can best help themselves when they are healthy.
- Individuals can best help themselves when they are educated.
The LDS church has recently* stated:
We [..] recognize that the lack of access to health care can impair a person's ability to provide for self and family
While most Utah Democrats have been willing to support Medicaid expansion compromises drafted by Republicans, other Republicans have been responsible for the failures of those compromises.
Public education has long been embraced by members of the church and I see no indication from the brethren that we should stop supporting public education. Our Utah Republican Legislatures have actively and intentionally cut funding to public education again and again over the last two decades. There have been Republicans who have worked with Democrats to increase funding for education, but they have always been defeated by the majority of their own caucus.
Many will point out that I am basing my voting on Utah Democrats, and that other Democrats are different. This is a personal policy of mine. I only vote based on the people who are actually listed on my ballot, maybe their advisers. The parties are different in different states. There is no reason to base your vote for the Utah House of Representatives, on what some Democratic State Representative in Oregon said.
The churches welfare system is a great system, and the church should continue to manage it. I will continue to make charitable donations to the church's system.
Health and education remain vital to self-reliance and I will continue to support those systems being public. This is not charity, it is just common sense. I vote Democrat not because I hope to get money with out work, but because Democrats will work to make sure everyone can be educated and healthy, like me.
*Notice I am quoting from an official church press release from 2014. I would love for a critic to post something more recent than 1980 for a change. Anyone up to the challenge?