Democrat vs Republican

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Democrat vs Republican Empty Democrat vs Republican

Post by Rumrunner on Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:21 am

This comparison examines the differences between the policies and political positions of the Democratic and Republican parties on major issues such as taxes, the role of government, entitlements (Social Security, Medicare), gun control, immigration, healthcare, abortion and gay rights. These two parties dominate America's political landscape but differ greatly in their philosophies and ideals.



Origin of the Democratic and Republican parties

The Democratic Party traces its origins to the Anti federalist factions before America’s independence from British rule. These factions were organized into the Democrat – Republican party by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792.

The Republican party is the younger of the two parties. Founded in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, the Republican Party rose to prominence with the election of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president.
History

Since the division of the Republican Party in the election of 1912, the Democratic party has consistently positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party in economic as well as social matters. The economically left-leaning activist philosophy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which has strongly influenced American liberalism, has shaped much of the party's economic agenda since 1932. Roosevelt's New Deal coalition usually controlled the national government until 1964. The civil rights movement of the 1960s, championed by the party despite opposition at the time from its Southern wing, has continued to inspire the party’s liberal principles.

The Republican Party was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, it rose to prominence with the election of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president. The party presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction and was harried by internal factions and scandals towards the end of the 19th century. Today, the Republican Party supports a pro-business platform, with further foundations in economic libertarianism and a brand of social conservatism increasingly based on the viewpoints of the Religious Right.
Differences in Philosophy

While there may be several differences in opinion between individual Democrats and Republicans on certain issues, what follows is a generalization of their stand on several of these issues. A Democrat is typically known as a supporter of a broader range of social services in America than those advocated by Republicans. Republican philosophy is based on a limited influence of government and a dominant foreign policy.

Republicans are considered on the "right" end of the political spectrum while Democrats are on the "left." The far right generally is pro-religion, anti-bureaucracy, pro-military, pro-business and pro-personal responsibility.

Republicans, are usually considered conservative (fiscally as well as socially), maybe a little pious, pro-business and against the bureaucracy often associated with big government. They see big governments as wasteful and an obstacle to getting things done. Their approach is Darwinian in that the strong shall survive, cream rises to the top, etc.

To the far left of the spectrum are the extreme liberal, or the most extreme democrats. Democrats are considered more liberal. Democrats tend to favor an active role for government in society and believe that such involvement – be it environmental regulations against polluting or anti-discrimination laws – can improve the quality of people’s lives and help achieve the larger goals of opportunity and equality. On the other hand, Republicans tend to favor a limited role for government in society and believe that such reliance on the private sector (businesses and individuals) – be it avoiding unnecessary environmental regulations or heavy-handed anti-discrimination laws – can improve economic productivity and help achieve the larger goals of freedom and self-reliance
Individual and Community

While the Republican policy aims more towards Individual responsibility and they believe in individual rights and justice, the Democrats are more for community responsibility and community and social justice.
Democratic vs Republican stand on controversial issues

The Democrats and Republicans have varying ideas on many issues, some of which are listed below. These are broadly generalized opinions; it must be noted that there are many politicians in each party who have different and more nuanced positions on these issues.
Military

Republicans: Prefer increasing military spending and have a more hard line stance against countries like Iran, with a higher tendency to deploy the military option.

Democrats: Prefer lower increases in military spending and are comparatively more reluctant to using military force against countries like Iran, Syria and Libya.
Gun control Laws

Democrats favor more gun control laws e.g. oppose the right to carry concealed weapons in public places. Republicans oppose gun control laws and are strong supporters of the Second Amendment as well as the right to carry concealed weapons.
Abortion

Democrats: It is the woman’s right to decide this and hence it is legal.
Republicans: It shouldn’t be made legal and Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Some Republicans go so far as to oppose the contraception mandate i.e. requiring employer-paid health insurance plans to cover contraception.

A related point of divergence is embryonic stem cell research - Democrats support it while Republicans do not.
Gay rights

Democrats tend to favor equal rights for gay and lesbian couples e.g. the right to get married and adopt children. Republicans believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman so they do not support gay marriage or allowing them to adopt children.
Death Penalty

Opponents of the death penalty form a much higher fraction of the Democratic Party when compared to the GOP.
Taxes

Democrats support progressive taxes i.e. they want high-income individuals to pay taxes at a higher rate. They support an increase taxes on the wealthy to pay for public programs. Republicans support tax cuts for everyone (rich and poor alike). They consider higher tax rates on the rich a form of class warfare.
Minimum Wage

Democrats favor increase in the minimum wage to help workers. Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage because it hurts businesses.
Logos of the Democratic and Republican parties
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Red states and Blue states list

Due to the TV coverage during some of the presidential elections in the past, the color Red has become associated with the Republicans (as in Red states – the states where the Republican presidential nominee wins) and Blue is associated with the Democrats.

The Democratic Party, once dominant in the Southeastern United States, is now strongest in the Northeast (Mid-Atlantic and New England), Great Lakes Region, as well as along the Pacific Coast (especially Coastal California), including Hawaii. The Democrats are also strongest in major cities. Recently, Democratic candidates have been faring better in some southern states, such as Virginia, Arkansas, and Florida, and in the Rocky Mountain states, especially Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and New Mexico.

Since 1980, geographically the Republican "base" ("red states") is strongest in the South and West, and weakest in the Northeast and the Pacific Coast. The Republican Party's strongest focus of political influence lies in the Great Plains states, particularly Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, and in the western states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah.
Famous Presidents

Republicans have controlled the White House for 28 of the last 43 years since Richard Nixon became president. Famous Democrat Presidents have been Franklin Roosevelt, who pioneered the New Deal in America and stood for 4 terms, John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in Office, Bill Clinton, and Nobel Peace Prize winners Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter.

Famous Republican Presidents include Teddy Roosevelt, known for the Panama Canal, Ronald Reagan, credited for ending the Cold War with Gorbachev, and the two Bush family Presidents of recent times. Republican President Richard Nixon was forced to resign over the Watergate scandal.
Control of the White House

This graphic shows which party controlled the White House since 1901. You can find the list of Presidents on Wikipedia.

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