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"All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats." Groucho Marx, the famous American comedian ideally summed up this Democrat versus Republican debate. What he once said humorously actually helps us expand upon the underlying variances in the political value systems and ideologies of the respective parties. Historically, the Democrats (i.e. the supporters of American Democratic Political Party) are considered to be liberals in their philosophy whereas the Republicans (i.e. the supporters of American Republican Political Party) are dubbed as conservatives in their outlook. Both these groups of people i.e. the liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans, have a contrasting stance on almost all the major policy issues but more particularly on issues such as the economic, public and social policies of the government ("Issue Position Comparison"1/1).
The economic policies adopted by the Democrats are pro poor, calling for regulations and redistribution of wealth. These liberals believe in the regulation of the free enterprise system opposing unregulated businesses while calling for institutionally set wages ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1). They believe in the implementation of a progressive tax rate system wherein the focus lies on the redistribution of wealth, from the rich to the poor so as to make the society more equitable ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1). Democrats tend to give more importance to the issue of unemployment over inflation and advocate social equality and a balanced budget considering it their responsibility ("We stand for: Economy " 1/1). This equal distribution of wealth policy has led to the Democrats receiving popular support from the labor unions and religious and ethnic minorities, amongst others (Felkins 1/1).
On the other hand, the economic policies adopted by the Republicans are pro business, ideally reflecting the wide gap that exists between the ideologies of these two political parties ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1). They believe in the workings of the free market system wherein they assume that the invisible hand i.e. the forces of consumer demand and supply, allocate resources efficiently and wage rates should thus also be left to market forces ("Economy" 1/1). They also believe that taxes should not be increased for the people and instead support lower taxes ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1). The conservatives weigh inflation as the more significant problem, voice in favor of the right to hold private property and also do not consider the job of wealth distribution to fall under the purview of the government ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1).
The Democrats have a public policy which aims at upholding right of individual liberty, regulating, cutting down unwanted costs and dealing with issues of national security. The Democrats, being the liberals, tend to be more indifferent towards issues such as abortion, same sex marriage etc ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1). They, with their firm belief in regulation, are in favor of unions in order to maintain checks and balances on markets. The Democrats support cuts in military spending and also have a stance against death penalty (Felkins 1/1). Democrats do not excessively regulate recreational drugs as well as smoking and drinking, however, they are for control over medical drugs (Felkins 1/1). On the issues of National Security the Democrats form the basis of their policy on fighting threats internally through advocating a stance against war making ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1).
Their Republican counterparts, on the other hand, hold a less regulatory view on such policies and issues. Their conservative belief guides them to take a stricter stance on issues such as abortion, sex change and same sex marriages (Felkins 1/1). The Republicans believe in a pro business environment and also believe in a stronger military ("National Defense" 1/1). The conservatives voice support for capital punishment. They also hold an opposing view regarding the regulation of recreational drugs and favour much less control over medical drugs, smoking and drinking (Felkins 1/1). Moreover, they believe in tackling issues of National Security externally and thus are great supporters of war making ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1).
The Democrats tend to take a more communal view while formulating social policies. They believe it is the responsibility of the government to provide basic education ("We stand for: Education" 1/1). They consider it as an act of social responsibility and, therefore, do not mind using taxation to fund education. They believe provision of universal education leads to a more equitable populace ("We stand for: Education" 1/1). Policies regarding provision of health care facilities also appear more community friendly. The Democrats consider it to be the sole responsibility of the government to provide basic health care facilities to the people ("We stand for: Health" 1/1). Social security welfare schemes also form a major part of their liberal ideology. They believe in helping the most disadvantaged and taking care of the environment ("We stand for: Environment" 1/1).
The Republican stance on social policy is individualistic in nature. They believe that taxation should not be used to fund education as it ends up further burdening the people ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1). They rather believe that the private sector has a more elaborate role to play in the provision of education ("Education" 1/1). The Republicans also deem it to be the responsibility of the private sector to provide health care services instead of the government ("Health Care" 1/1). They also hold an opposing view on environmental issues implying that it is rather the responsibility of the individual to care for the environment ("Democrats vs. Republicans " 1/1).
Despite sharing not much in common, the Democrats and the Republicans do tend to converge on certain issues or share a similar stance regarding certain policies. Both these parties tend to follow a similar organizational structure that has significantly analogous functionalities ("Issue Position Comparison"1/1). Both also have a tendency to agree on issues that are considered to be of strategic importance to the state i.e. issues concerning terrorism or those which pose a threat to national security. Their foreign policies are more or less the same .They also tend to agree upon the process of elections and carry out campaigns that are largely of a similar construct.
Irrespective of whether the policy is regarding the economic, public or social dominion, the ideologies put forward by these two parties as discussed above are, more often than not, divergent in form and content but with very few exceptions. Although the Democrats and the Republicans might end up having unanimity of thoughts on policies regarding certain issues of strategic importance, they have traditionally differed on policy options regarding major policy confronting the government; be it in the realm of economic, public or social affairs.