I am frustrated with hearing people say that the Democratic Party has a “messaging problem” and hearing that people don’t know what we stand for. This rant is my response.

A Republic is a government where the people have chosen a few individuals to represent the greater good of the rest of the people. A Democracy is a government where each individual has equal authority and decision making power. While our United States of America are represented by a republic, it is my belief that the Democratic Party’s goal is to provide as much opportunity to each individual as possible.

Our common goal is to ensure that every individual has the ability to have authority over their own life, and every individual should have equal access to their own goals and dreams. The Republicans continue to put the elite first, the chosen few above the majority. Their policies encourage the growth of businesses over the growth of individuals. While the republicans say that they fight for the blue collar workers in Middle America, they have little to show for it beyond the words said at rallies. This is where the Democratic Party comes in.

We are not a group of anti-Republicans, and we are not the Resistance. We are a group of people who believe that everyone deserves the best life possible. There is not one person that is better or more elite than any other. We believe that everyone should be able to receive an education that will be sufficient for them to establish a career. We believe that one’s available income should not be a factor in whether or not someone is able to visit a doctor or receive required prescriptions. We believe that drawing on diversity of culture, background, history, and experience will make our society, government, and companies better. We believe that investing in social services and infrastructure gives everyone the opportunity to thrive and creates a more productive and successful society.

While we continue to stand up for these ideals, we should also be encouraging the leaders of the Party to help define actions and public policies that will support our ideals. We need to identify a way to provide education to those who have not entered the workforce yet, to those that have been gone from the workforce, and to those whose industry has changed. Everyone should have healthcare. We need to find a way to reduce the power corporations have on public policy and encourage competition to get the best level of service and value for our money. We need to find a way to encourage entrepreneurship and small business growth. We need to reinforce the importance and value of every variation of gender identity, sexual orientation, racial and ethnic background — not simply because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes our world a better place. We need to continue to encourage advancements in science and technology while protecting our environment to create the best possible future for our children. There should be no denying that we stand for every person, and are not simply the enemies of Trump.

The Democrats know what we stand for, and it has been proven in the past 200+ days. I don’t know how to solve all the problems, but I do know that we need to be proactive in our outreach to our communities and we need to lead through our actions — not just our counter-actions. Our campaigns need to focus on our ideals as we put pressure on our elected leaders and their teams of experts to identify and implement policies that support these ideals.

I firmly believe that when our elected officials and candidates start communicating the ideals of the Democratic Party, instead of just responding to the problems created by the Republican leadership, more people will see that we are trying to make their lives and their children’s lives better. The Democrats are strong; we have defeated major republican initiatives while we were the minority. We know what we stand for and people have stood to the death to defend the ideals we believe in. It is time our members start focusing on our ideals and not simply responding to the Republicans.