A Deep Dive into Republicans vs Democrats.

Citizens of the United States are empowered to participate in the selection of a political party through the system of democracy. The choices are either Republican or Democratic. The millions of people voting in the US may vote for a number of reasons but today I would like to educate our readers on the key differences between both parties and trace the roots on who are Democrats and who are Republicans.

In 1787 the delegates of the United States Constitutional Convention debated the exact meaning of the terms Republican and Democratic. At the time, there was no term for a representative form of government created “by the people” rather than by a king. Abidingly, American colonists used the terms democracy and republic are used interchangeably, very common today. Founding Father James Madison may have best described the difference between a democracy and a republic:

“It [the difference] is that in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person: in a republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, must be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region.”

What is a Democracy? Through a constitution, democracies act to limit the powers of top leaders, like the President of the United States by setting up a system of separation of powers and responsibilities between branches of the government, and protect the natural rights and civil liberties of the people. 

 

What is a Republic? When we have a republic, the people elect representatives to make the laws and an executive to enforce those laws.  Though the majority still rules in the selection of representatives, an official charter lists and protects certain inalienable rights, to protect the minority from the whims the majority. In the U.S., senators and representatives are the elected lawmakers, the president is the elected executive, and the Constitution is the official charter.

2020 ELECTIONS – REASONS FOR CHOICES:

Democrats: People who voted for the Democrats in the 2020 elections did so because the Democrats are more reluctant to use military force against other countries and advocate slow increases of military budgets. Recently, they favor gun control legislation arguing based on the increase in the number of shootings and irresponsibility by civilian gun holders. On social issues, Democrats openly support abortion as well as LGBTQ rights as people have freedom of choice, but when it comes to the death penalty, a majority seem to oppose. Democrats favor higher taxes for high-income earners and the increase of the minimum wage. A big push factor was the mishandling of the Pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Campaigns that surged because America was becoming more polarized under a Republican government.

The Democratic Party was founded in 1928 by supporters of Andrew Jackson making it the oldest political party in the world. Like all political parties, the Democratic party has a symbol and a color – which is a donkey or jackass. Depending on what side of the fence you’re sitting on the symbol can be interpreted either negatively or positively. The Democrats see the donkey as humble, brave and smart. Whereas their opponents see the donkey as lacking intelligence and weak yet stubborn. Sometime in 1870, Thomas Nast a political cartoonist featured a cartoon of a live jackass kicking a dead lion in Harper’s Weekly, and by 1874 he published a second cartoon called “Third Term Panic” showing a donkey with a lion’s coat chasing the “Elephant”, symbol of the Republican party.

Republicans: Republicans mostly favor rapidly increasing the military budget and take hard lines against other countries like Iran. They are pro-second amendment (right to bear arms) and support carrying concealed weapons in public. Party supporters have tough stands on abortion, contraceptive and LGBTQ rights with the belief that legalizing them ruins the social fabric of the society. On tax, Republicans seem to favor tax cut for all, be it rich or poor, and for the market to control the minimum wage. Republican policies favor strong border controls and limited immigration as opposed to more open Democrats. The Republicans use the “Elephant” as their symbol that is associated with ideologies and beliefs. This animal is one of great strength and is a rather dignified animal and have associated RED as their color. The symbol was used for the first time in 1864 during Lincoln’s campaign. Back in 1874 Thomas Nest did a satirical cartoon showing the elephant being chased by the donkey which was a pun on the frustration with the Republican party at that time – he was unhappy that the Republican party was avoiding “social liberalism”.

Politics is unforgiving and is dirty business everywhere in the world. The Republican party was founded on the anti-slavery platform in 1854 to combat the growth of slavery throughout American states and US territories. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President that led the war against the Sothern Confederacy, a war that was not solely about slavery, but slavery was a key aspect. In 1865, the Republicans passed an act banning slavery and awarding citizenship to former slaves and guaranteed them equal protection under the law. In 1872, there were 7 black Republican members in the US Senate and House of Representatives, however in 1873 the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and formed the “Redeemer” coalitions to gradually gain control in the South. In 1877, the Democratic controlled southern governments formed the “Jim Crow Laws” and disenfranchised blacks through segregating society. Former president Obama once said “… the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives — you know, that casts a long shadow. And that’s still part of our DNA that is passed on. We’re not cured of it.” Hilary Clinton said “When I talk about breaking down all the barriers that stand in the way of people’s ambitions and dreams, racism, along with economic issues, educational issues, and all the rest, have to be addressed,” she said. “Otherwise, we are never going to be the nation we should be. We’re never going to overcome our legacy — dating back to slavery, segregation, Jim Crow.”

Perhaps some reasonable people can agree that no one needs to feel guilty for past sins of any institution to which we belong, whether that’s the Democratic Party or the United States of America. It is sufficient to favor race-neutral policies in the present.

Here are some of the Key Highlights when we compare both parties:

            
Democratic Republican
Philosophy Liberal – Left Conservative – Right Leaning
Economic Ideas Minimum wages and progressive taxation i.e., higher tax rates for higher income brackets. Born out of anti-federalist ideals but evolved over time to favor more government regulation. Believe taxes should not be increased for anyone (including the wealthy) and that wages should be set by the free market.
Stance on Gay Marriages Support Oppose
Stance on Death Penalty While support for the death penalty is strong among Democrats, opponents of the death penalty are a substantial fraction of the Democratic base. A large majority of Republicans support the death penalty.
Stance on Taxes Progressive (high income earners should be taxed at a higher rate). Generally not opposed to raising taxes to fund government. Tend to favor a "flat tax" (same tax rate regardless of income). Generally opposed to raising taxes.
Healthcare Policy Support universal healthcare; strong support of government involvement in healthcare, including Medicare and Medicaid. Generally support Obamacare. Private companies can provide healthcare services more efficiently than government-run programs. Oppose Obamacare provisions like (1) requirement for individuals to buy health insurance or pay a fine, (2) required coverage of contraceptives.

Last modified on Wednesday, 03/24/2021

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