October 14, 2014
Dr. Rowena Vega-Castro
The Difference between Republicans and Democrats
Every American citizen has the right to vote. In the United States, you get to choose the next president and its congressional party. On Guam, you vote for the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the senators. Most young adults do not really know the difference of political parties or care to know the difference between who is who. Many people still do not really truly understand the difference of being a republican or democrat. It is much more than the difference between the Democrat donkey logo and the Republican elephant logo. The biggest distinction of the two parties is that Republicans are known as conservatives and the Democrats are known as the liberals (Democrat vs. Republican). All though they have some views and policies Democrats and Republicans both agree on, there are many differences that distinguish the two political parties such as taxes, government spending, social programs and issues.
Anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers founded the Republican Party in 1854 (Diamond & Gunther, 5). 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 (Diamond & Gunther, 5). 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 ("Our Party").
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 (Han & Han, 32). 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 (Han & Han, 30). Roosevelt's New Deal coalition usually controlled the national government until 1964 (Han & Han, 30).
Republicans believe that each person is responsible for his or her own place in society ("Republican National Committee| GOP"). Government should enable each person the ability to secure the benefits of society for themselves, their families and for those who are unable to care for themselves. The Republican philosophy is based on limiting the intervention of government as a catalyst of individual prosperity ("Democrats vs. Republicans"). Government should only intervene in specific cases where society cannot effectively act at the individual level. With the core belief that individual destiny should be in the individual's hands, governmental power and resources should be kept close to the people, through their state and community leaders, and not centralized in distant federal government agencies (Diamond & Gunther, 7).
Democrats believe it is the responsibility of government to care for all individuals, even if it means giving up some individual rights and/or subordinating enterprise and initiative ("Democrats & Republicans"). Democrat Party administrations have pushed for the centralization of power in Washington D.C., with only secondary consideration for the rights of both individuals and communities. Democrats have favored federal-level interventions that replace community-based solutions to community problems. These tactics have created several federal regulations and controls that are often in the hands of unelected bureaucrats, causing a severe erosion of local authority.
The first issue where both parties disagree is about taxes. The Democrats have three key points when it comes to taxes. They want to cut taxes for every working family, but not millionaires, cut taxes for middle class, not the wealthy and cut taxes for working families, not the richest 1% (Barton)....
Cited: Barton, Stephanie. "Parties For Taxes: Republicans Vs. Democrats." _Investopedia_. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.
Blake, Aaron. "Democrats Are Winning on Social Issues - Politically, at Least." _Washington Post_. The Washington Post. Web. 20 Oct. 2014.
Diamond, Larry Jay., and Richard Gunther. _Political Parties and Democracy_. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2001. Print.
Han, Lori Cox., and Tomislav Han. _Handbook to American Democracy_. New York: Facts On File, 2012. Print.
McLaughlin, Seth. "Political Parties Struggle with Gay Marriage Issue." _Washington Times_. The Washington Times Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
"Mitt Romney on Tax Reform." _Mitt Romney on Tax Reform_. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.
"Our Party." _Democrats.org_. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.
"Republican National Committee | GOP." _GOP_. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.
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