Republican, Democrat, Independent: Take a stance on why the political party that you affiliate with is the best suited party for America.
Defining the political party that is best suiting for the United States, it is necessary to consider the particular features of the existing parties. One should remember that the United States was born as a country striving for independence in political, financial, and religious spheres. The ideals of democratic society and individual freedom united immigrants who came from different countries and nations. Nowadays, both, the Republican and the Democratic Party sincerely believe in the independence of the USA and are the true patriots of their nation. Many Americans are ready to sacrifice their lives for their country. Political leaders are willing to improve the life of the country and its citizens. Only when it comes to methods of achievement of these common goals, the distinctive differences become obvious between firstly ideology, and secondly the methods (Ware 87-95). Regardless of the ideology and goals, each party tries to show its ability to solve the problems faster, better and more adequately and honestly than the other and take the lead in caring about people and the country. But we are very well aware that words and deeds are different things. In our opinion, The Democratic Party of the USA is the party that is most compliable with the goals the state sets and the ideals it shares.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major U.S. parties. It is one of the oldest political parties in the world which was founded in 1792. The founders of the party were Martin Van Buren (the 8th President of the United States) and other politicians including Thomas Jefferson (third President of the USA) and Andrew Jackson (seventh U.S. president and the first U.S. president, who was elected as the candidate from the party in 1828) (Selfa 23-38). What is important for us in the Democratic Party is its basic principle which runs: the wealth and position in society should not give the right to rule. According to the Democrats, wisdom and compassion may be part of state government (Witcover, 104-113).
Although the differences between the Democratic Party and Republican Party have leveled throughout history, traditionally Democrats are considered the advocates of liberal values, supporters of a strong social policy and state regulation of economy in contrast to conservative Republicans (Medvic 587-609).
The ideal of liberalism is a society with the freedom of action for everyone, free exchange of politically relevant information, limited power of church and state, the rule of law, private property and the freedom of private enterprise. Liberalism rejected many provisions that were the basis of previous theories of state, such as the divine right of kings to rule and the role of religion as the sole source of knowledge (Medvic 587-609). The fundamental principles of democratic liberalism include the recognition of:
- The rights given by nature (including rights to life, liberty and property), as well as other civil rights;
- Equity and equality before the law;
- Market economy;
- Governmental responsibility and transparency of government (Medvic 587-609).
The function of government is reduced to the minimum necessary to ensure these principles. Modern liberalism also prefers an open society based on pluralism and democratic government with obligatory protection of rights of minority and individual citizens (Carey 255-274).
Some modern trends of liberalism are more tolerant of government regulation of free markets for the sake of equality of opportunities for success, universal education and reduction of differences in incomes of population. Proponents of such views believe that the political system must contain the elements of the welfare state, including state unemployment benefits, homeless shelters and free health care (McGovern 159-163).
According to the views of liberals, government exists for the benefit of the people subservient to it, and the political rule of the country should be based on consent of the majority (Medvic 587-609).
The Democratic Party believes that the federal and central government is the only capable institution which can find and give answers to the needs of its people (Baer 67-69). The Republican Party believes that the local government, that is, the government in the states and the people can take care of themselves and their society, and only the basic issues, such as defense of the country, foreign policy and trade should be in the hands of the federal government (Brewer, Mariani, and Stonecash 423-444).
It is this fundamental difference that forms the policy and the direction of the parties. Here are some specific positions of the two main parties.
Democrats believe that to make the unemployment rate fall, it is necessary to create more governmental programs that help people find work or retain the work that they have (McGovern 85-91). Of course, for the creation of new and development of old existing programs one needs money, and one can either borrow the money or raise the taxes. That is why one of the main ideas is to make the federal government the arbiter of the national economy (it should be noted here that the role of government in the economy is not the ruling one but helping and guiding) (McGovern 143-160). It is based on the tactics of Roosevelt, where the national society which works with the help of the government can achieve prosperity.
Unlike Democrats, the Republicans hold to the following positions (Carey and Reynolds 255-274; Ware 347-356):
- Reduction of taxes for big and rich corporations;
- Limiting illegal migration (up to minimizing the migration flow), removal of illegal aliens;
- Free trade;
- Unhindered possession of firearms;
- Struggle with the principle of separation of church and state, the struggle for “morality” and “family values”, the fight against gay and lesbian equality in family, retirement, tax, etc. laws, the fight against abortion (especially late in pregnancy) and contraception;
- Countering the attempts to increase the minimum wage;
- Countering the measures of environmental protection if such measures are contrary to the interests of corporations and firms;
- Opposition to creating trade unions in private enterprises; support for economic protectionism.
- Support of death penalty as a punishment;
- Strengthening national security and military spending, the denial of pacifism;
- Support of creationism as an alternative theory of the origin of life on Earth;
- Opposition to euthanasia and research on cloning;
- Fight against international terrorism.
Some of these policies are opposite to peace and safety for each citizen of the US, and are opposite to granting equality guaranteed by the US Constitution. Currently, Democrats are the supporters of the U.S. economic reforms, increase of social spending and taxes. They support the largest transnational corporations (Intel, Microsoft, Apple), any high-tech industries, they have called to give up economic protectionism and fight the pollution of environment (Carville and Buckwalter-Poza 172-175). The Democratic Party of the United States supports the rights of sexual and racial minorities, is engaged in adaptation of migrants, and supports the strategy of family planning and birth control. Most Democrats oppose the death penalty and support the allowing of abortion. In addition, the Democrats call for restriction of the free sale of firearms in the United States (Brewer, Mariani and Stonecash 423-444). Thus, we believe that the Democratic Party is more progressive and complies the essence of the US as a democratic state better.
Baer, Kenneth S. Reinventing Democrats, University Press Of Kansas, 2000. Print.
Bowler, Shaun and Todd Donovan. “Direct Democracy and Political Parties in America”, Party Politics 12.5 (2006): 649-669. Print.
Brewer, Mark D., Mariani, Mack D. and Jeffrey M. Stonecash. “Northern Democrats and Party Polarization in the U.S. House”, Legislative Studies Quarterly 27.3 (2002): 423-444. Print.
Carey, John and Andrew Reynolds. “Parties and Accountable Government in New Democracies”, Party Politics 13.2 (2007): 255-274. Print.
Carville, James and Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza. 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation, Simon & Schuster, 2009. Print.
McGovern, George. What It Means to Be a Democrat, Blue Rider Press, 2011. Print.
Medvic, Stephen K. “Old Democrats in New Clothing?: An Ideological Analysis of a Democratic Party Faction”, Party Politics 13.5 (2007): 587-609. Print.
Selfa, Lance. The Democrats: A Critical History, Haymarket Books, 2008. Print.
Ware, Alan. Political Parties and Party Systems, Oxford University Press, 1995. Print.
Witcover, Jules. Party of the People: A History of the Democrats, Random House, 2003. Print.