Saturday, September 6, 2008
I am not into current events and Politics.
republicans and democrats
I am already a Bachelor of Science Graduate but I don't know anything about the government and Politics.
The election in United States of America is nearing and it is all over the news.
I just recently understood that in USA, there can only only 2 candidates for presidency: One for the republicans and the other is for the Democrats.
But what is really the difference between the two.
I know this was already tackled in secondary school and more so in college. For your information I passed Political Science 101, but I don't remember anything from what we have tackled.
Anyway, so I searched the net on the simplest way on what is the difference between the two and here's what I got.
I would just like to post it here so that I have a future reference.
The most simple answer would be that Democrats are socialist and Republicans are capitalist.
Generally speaking, and trying not to use weasel words... some overlap between these.
Republicans favor lower taxes and a smaller government.
Democrats favor higher taxes to pay for social programs to ensure economic equality.
Republicans are pro-business and are economic liberals. They favor free trade and free markets, are against tariffs and believe that employers should be able to freely set wages.
Democrats are pro-labor and conservative with regards to trade. They favor tariffs to protect domestic labor from competition overseas, support workers right to unionize, strike, and collectively bargain for wages.
Foreign and Defense Policy:
Republicans favor foreign and defense policies that is made largely independent from foreign pressures and influences.
Democrats favor give and take with foreign countries when making foreign and defense policy, favor humanitarian intervention, etc.
Moral Issues and Crime:
There is a large morally conservative wing of the Republican party, which is a relatively recent addition after Nixon's Southern strategy of the 1960s and 70s. Anti-abortion, favors punishment over rehabilitation, supports the death penalty, faith-based initiatives, legislate morality with regards to media violence, pornography, etc.
Most Democrats are socially liberal, tend to be less religious, are pro-abortion, favor rehabilitation over punishment in criminal matters, against the death penalty, etc.
One thing to keep in mind is that portions of the Republican and Democratic parties changed vastly in just a few decades.
The Northern Republicans of today were the standard type of Republican until the 1960s and 1970s. In the North, the Democrats are basically the same today as there were pre-1960, being pro-union and in large part representing immigrants and the descendants of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe.
The Southern Democrats of old are the Southern Republicans of today. In addition, the expansion of business, industry and commerce during the Sunbelt economic boom created/imported a class of Republicans that is more akin to the traditional Northern-style Republicans that was largely non-existent before. The Republican party has become almost monolithic within the military which is also a mid-20th century change. Most people who join the US military are Southern so this is another way the Republican Party has grown in the South, through servicemen, veterans, their families, etc.
The Southern Democrats of today as-is were generally non-existent in the South until the 1960s. There are carry-overs who remained Democrat (even old ones who live to this day). They are generally relics. At the state government level in the South, however, there are still Democrats who are old-style Southern conservatives.
There was also a transformation in the West (not including coastal states, but including western Midwestern states) in which there was a political transformation from Democrat to Republican. The agrarian nature of these states, late 19th century depressions that led to the collapse of agricultural prices, the perceived unfairness of the railroad industry in overcharging farmers to carry their goods East, saw the rise of the Populist Party whose themes were incorporated by the Democrats. These "Westerners" eventually became Republican with the boom of agricultural prices during WWI and the Roaring 20s, went Democrat during the Depression and WWII, then swung back to the Republicans during the 50s and have stayed that way ever since.
Hopefully, you can learn from this as much as I have learned from it.