I'm a Democrat because…
Wealth is created when people have the opportunity, to the extent of their abilities, to contribute to society.
I grew up on a hobby farm in Ohio with sheep, chickens, and a pony. We were free-range kids, playing and exploring outdoors. My parents were middle-of-the-road Republicans. They had grown up in poverty in West Virginia. They were frugal, but they were also generous people.
In college, I lived at home and worked part-time as a volunteer fireman for 5 years where my father volunteered for 30 years. I have a PhD in Engineering, and during my education I was fortunate to spend time with students and faculty from around the world, expanding my perspectives on life. My wife, young son and I lived in a small town in Spain for three years with limited language skills and no friends. I know what it is like to be ‘the foreigner.’
Exposure to many cultures has affirmed my belief that a healthy society is an open one that respects human rights and gives everyone an equal opportunity to succeed. Too many people are frightened that when others have equal standing, it means that something is being taken away from them. It’s a fallacy that there is a finite-sized ‘pie’ of wealth. Wealth is created when people have the opportunity, to the extent of their abilities, to contribute to society.
I wish we could all live in peace, respecting our diversity, and working together to improve the overall quality of life for the average person. Everyone should have the opportunity to be their personal best. We must work toward an environmentally benign impact on the earth, so it can be sustained for those who come after us.
I am retired from corporate America, but my days are full with many volunteer activities including non-profit board work. I do some consulting and investing in small start-up companies in the technology and life-science areas. I play tennis and enjoy life with my wife and two sons.