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There are two main parties in the United States, the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party. Each of them has specific beliefs regarding political, economic, social, cultural, and other issues. The philosophies of Democrats and Republicans vary significantly, and they are considered to be left-leaning and right-leaning, respectively. This paper aims to present the differences in the views of these two parties, focusing on social ideas, political stances, healthcare issues, and economic prospects.
Examining Differences between Democratic and Republican Beliefs
The Democrats are one of the oldest US political parties currently represented in Congress, the main principles of which are liberal-socialist views (Peele et al. 95). Established in the 19th century, this party perfectly adapts to any conditions and has been one of the key forces influencing the development of America. In their turn, Republicans make up the second major US political party, the most important principle of which is conservatism. The current president of the United States, Donald Trump, belongs to the Republican party that is oriented to a free market economy (Peele et al. 92). It advocates the strengthening of national defense and the independence of the energy of the United States.
The first critical difference in the beliefs of Democrats and Republicans is simple politics. The former is more liberal as they believe that time is continually moving, causing the country and people to develop and adjust, for example following the changing environment (Peele et al. 95). Arms regulation or international actions may be dynamic according to the attitudes of the Democratic Party. In turn, the ideal of the Republicans is encapsulated by the notion of the America of the Founding Fathers. As such, Republicans could be said to be more supportive of historic values – the majority of them hold a rigid position about foreign policy challenges and prefer to maintain and consolidate American power positions in the world (Peele et al. 93).
Along with foreign affairs, Republicans and Democrats have different views on domestic policy. Democrats rely on the government and claim that it should take care of people, thus contributing to socialism and equality in the United States. In contrast, Republicans rely on people and believe that everyone should take care of himself or herself since the state should give every person the opportunity to independently achieve what he or she wants. Another example to mention is the views on taxes.
Democrats state that taxes need to be increased for the rich and reduced for the poor. Republicans argue that they should be the same for all because all people are equal (Lind et al. 153). Democrats also believe that the government should increase the minimum wage, but Republicans are against it because they are sure that this will hinder the small business. If employers cannot pay employees, it will damage the business, the economy, and the country as a whole.
Focusing on the area of social ideas, one may point out that Democrats believe that it is necessary to increase spending on social programs such as food stamps and budget accommodation. Republicans, on the contrary, state that all this should be reduced since there is a lot of deception in this field (Grossmann and Hopkins). They provide the following arguments to support this stance: many people work unofficially and get coupons disguised as the poor; others do not look for a job at all and receive unemployment benefits, thus living at the expense of taxpayers.
Republicans argue that if it is already decided to cut down on spending on various social programs, it is required to come up with some rules and laws to regulate the distribution of social benefits. In other words, Democrats put social security at the center of attention, while Republicans believe that the main goal is the economic growth of the country (Grossmann and Hopkins). However, all this is purely theoretical reasoning. In practice, none of them can implement their programs to the fullest extent.
In health care, the beliefs of the mentioned parties are also opposite. Democrats believe that health care should be under the control of the state so that it would always remain accessible to any citizen (Kneeland 149). They favor the right of women to have an abortion, allowing them to select the proper option, while Republicans struggle for the rights of unborn children. The strong support of the government and universal care is seen by them as the most appropriate approach to ensure national well-being.
Accordingly, Democrats value Medicare and Medicaid programs (Kneeland 150). On the contrary, Republicans consider that such an approach negatively affects the quality of health care services (Lind et al. 181). Instead, they claim that private organizations are capable of providing more qualified care. Another provision Republicans oppose is the requirement for American citizens to purchase insurance or receive a fine.
The stance of immigration may also be identified as the issue that is viewed differently by Republicans and Democrats. The latter proposes the implementation of a moratorium on deporting, especially for those who have no criminal record or lived in the United States for a long period. Republicans tend to act against any illegal migrants and they provide funding for enforcement initiatives at borders (Kneeland 180).
The fight against drugs, which has become a critical issue in the modern United States, also causes varying attitudes. The ultra-left wing of the Democrats supports the removal of any drug-related restrictions, and the same group of Republicans, who call themselves libertarians, adhere to the mentioned opinion. The Republican majority has a more rigid view of drugs, while the Democratic one takes an ambivalent position.
The issue of same-sex marriage is associated with the controversial attitudes of both the Republican and Democratic parties. Since the campaign for the legalization of such marriages in recent years has noticeably intensified in the United States, it seems significant to examine this topic. The majority of Democrats support gay marriages, while Republicans generally oppose them (Kneeland 129). At the same time, both parties are characterized by some members who disagree with their parties’ leading beliefs related to same-sex marriages.
To conclude, it is important to stress that none of these parties is homogeneous as they include various opposing groups. Nevertheless, some clear differences may be noted between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans regarding various spheres of life. Democrats stand for active government intervention in all spheres of socio-economic life, while also supporting decreased spending on military forces. In the social sphere, Republicans express the interests of the opponents of abortion, advocate for family values, and adhere to a strict policy about illegal migrants, military issues, foreign policy, and free-market wages.
Grossmann, Matt, and David A. Hopkins. “How Different are the Democratic and Republican Parties? Too Different to Compare.” Washington Post. 2016. Web.
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Kneeland, Timothy W. Today’s Social Issues: Democrats and Republicans. ABC-CLIO, 2016.
Lind, Nancy S., et al. Today’s Economic Issues: Democrats and Republicans. ABC-CLIO, 2016.
Peele, Gillian, et al., editors. Developments in American Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.