In a world growing more diverse by the day it is no wonder that the dilemmas we face become more challenging. Issues of government powers, the free market, gun control, abortion, welfare, education, taxes, separation of church and state along with a multitude of other factors that not only invade our personal lives but our society as a whole makes defining America as a free country and determining personal rights quite a challenge. With political parties changing where they stand on an issue from one moment to the next before, during, and after elections, as well as avoiding issues to remain politically correct, choosing a party to belong to has become almost an impossible task and has led to the rising of several other political parties such as, Libertarians, The Green Party, Constitution Party, Reform Party, and Natural Law Party being the most active.1 More Americans are voting based on their own personal beliefs regarding each issue rather than those represented by a specific political party and over the last decade the candidates have increasingly been catering to the individualist rather than sticking to one ideology.
Democrats, represented by the donkey, are the oldest political party in the United States. Created in the 1790s in response to slavery and land control and consistently representing the common people, members lean towards a more liberal approach to government focusing on the whole and not the individual. Throughout the history of the Democratic Party there is a general pattern that emerges to give us a basis of the party. Democrats historically represent that it is the governments’ job to take care of the people, prefer an organized controlled market with as few outsourced commitments as necessary. Members promote stronger gun control, the death penalty, personal choice regarding abortion, sharing of economic deficiencies while supporting the less fortunate with welfare programs and government aid, and have a strong standing on the separation of church and state including prayer in schools. Some major accomplishments of the Democratic Party have included Women’s Rights, the Social Security Act, Civil Rights Act, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Equal Pay Act, School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, Overtime, Endangered Species Act along with many other accomplishments that have benefitted Americans in many ways.2 Presidents Andrew Jackson, Wilson Woodrow, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, James Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama are all associated with the Democratic Party.
Republicans, represented by the elephant, are the second oldest political party in the United States and take a more conservative approach towards government. Created in 1854 also in response to slavery and land ownership, republicans believe that each person should hold in their own hands their own destiny and government intervention should be a last resort in extreme circumstances. Resources and power should not be distant from the people but kept close by for more immediate access. Taking a more individual perspective, some principles highlighting republicanism are, citizen responsibility as necessary to operate the government, members of this party tend to embrace a free market with definite international contracts enthusiastically. They strongly support the right to bear arms, and the death penalty, and oppose abortion, and welfare programs to support the less fortunate. Republicans also agree with the separation of church and state with some exceptions approving of prayer in schools. Some major accomplishments of the Republican Party include Emancipation, and the National Park System, since the party believes in minimal government as a basis it appears to adopt minimal forms of governmental control in its achievements which makes sense based on their philosophy however, I find it interesting that they are associated with the Draft Riots, The Salary Grab Act, Prohibition and Enron which did have...
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