Fifty-eight years ago, President John F. Kennedy exemplified the Democratic Party in his inaugural speech: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” he implored.

The Democratic Party of now is no longer the party of its past.

It is a party of spending. Under the administration of President Barack Obama, the party created an historic first with a $14 trillion increase in our national debt. Now at $22 trillion, our country’s interest payment on that debt equals our defense spending. Nothing gained.

It is a party of elites and misplaced priorities. The party’s top tier seems immune to prosecution and others subject to scrutiny. While disregarding Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of her personal server for State Department business, the Democrats spent more than two years trying to find collusion between President Donald Trump and the Russians. None was found. The party demanded Trump’s tax returns from the Department of Treasury to investigate tax evasion or other crimes. To date nothing has been found there, either. Democrats are now focused on obstruction charges against Trump, failing to realize you cannot obstruct an investigation if there never was a crime to investigate. Apparently, the party believes time and resources are better spent going after Trump than addressing the immigration issue or the poor treatment of children in overcrowded detention facilities.

The Democratic Party is verbose and ambiguous. Under the Obama administration, the party passed the 2,300-page Affordable Care Act. Our Constitution, with amendments and the signatures of our Founding Fathers, takes only 17 pages. (The original was on four large parchment papers.) The Affordable Care Act, fraught with problems, is currently costing the country $700 billion a year. Some in the party are now looking to expand it to medical care for all. I hope we have enough paper.

This is the party whose rising star is a young representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who exhibits a third-grade understanding of economics, our Constitution, science, climate change, and garbage disposals. Her proposed New Green Deal, with party support, is all-encompassing, from eliminating airline travel in 10 years to government support for those who cannot or who do not want to work. If the proposal had come from a third-grader, we would consider it cute and hand the child a lollipop.

It is the party of the absurd. Ocasio-Cortez also is pushing a congressional pay raise to prevent politicians from becoming corrupt.

It is a special-interest party. After 156 years, some Democrats say the people of this country should pay reparations to descendants of slaves. It doesn’t matter if your family heritage has no past connection to slavery or that most of us are immigrants from after that time. Nor does it seem to matter that you have ancestors “who gave the last full measure of devotion” to end slavery, as President Abraham Lincoln stated. Membership in the KKK and other white-supremacy groups is sure to rise.

It is a party for the irresponsible. To solve the student-debt crisis, the party’s plan is to simply have taxpayers pay it off. Never mind those who were responsible and paid off their own debt.

Many years ago, a man could make a good living selling snake oil, a cure-all for all that ails you. Today we have the Democratic Party.

Dave Crockett of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., owns engineering firms in Arizona and Michigan; is politically active; and is currently on sabbatical, working at Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth.