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Debate: Democrats vs. Republicans

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*[http://townhall.com/columnists/MonaCharen/2006/10/27/13_reasons_to_vote_republican_on_nov_7 Mona Charen. "14 reasons to vote Republican on November 7th." Townhall.com. 2008] *[http://townhall.com/columnists/MonaCharen/2006/10/27/13_reasons_to_vote_republican_on_nov_7 Mona Charen. "14 reasons to vote Republican on November 7th." Townhall.com. 2008]
*[http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052970204731804574386952311239532.html Steve Kornacki. "Why your coach voter Republican." Wall Street Journal. September 2, 2009] *[http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052970204731804574386952311239532.html Steve Kornacki. "Why your coach voter Republican." Wall Street Journal. September 2, 2009]
 +*[http://www.lewrockwell.com/wilson/wilson14.html Clyde Wilson. "Save America! Vote Republican!" Lew Rockwell. September 30th, 2003]
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Revision as of 21:14, 27 July 2010

Which party should you belong to: Democratic or Republican?

Background and context

Despite still being a relatively young country, the United States of America has a long and colorful political history. Each of the surviving major political parties continues to brag about numerous larger-than-life political figures that have defined and shaped today’s Democratic and Republican parties.
Vastly differing Americans, with vastly differing backgrounds, living in vastly differing regions of the nation collectively appear to be divided almost equally – at least judging by the results of recent major elections during which the electorate split near evenly between liberal Democratic principles and more conservative Republican ideology. A review of the major issues of the day clearly demonstrates this divide; a nation split almost evenly and debating the key issues of the day in a fashion that likely would please our Founding Fathers. The debate below will explore the positions of Democrats and Republicans on various key issues, from abortion and the economy to welfare and terrorism.

Principles

Democrat

  • Democrats are optimistic about making progress as society. Oliver Willis. "Oh. That's why I'm a democrat." Huffington Post. September 8th, 2008: "The Democratic party, for better or worse, believes in a Frank Capra/Jimmy Stewart view of the world. It says time and time again that through our collective might we can improve the nation, and as a byproduct the world. It is optimistic to the point of being almost corny. The party looks as the world as it is, and says 'Gosh darn it everyone, let's roll up our sleeves and clean up this mess.' It is no coincidence that the current leader of the party, Barack Obama, is the sort of guy you can imagine saying 'by golly' and not in an ironic way. [...] By contrast to the Democratic sunshine, the Republican party is night. Their view of the world is one in which everything is just a shade of negative, and that is the cold heart underlying the cynicism of speakers like Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney. They see a world of despair and depression and they wallow in it. The Republican party and the conservative movement that supports it is all about being the snarky guy in the corner playing the angles and making a buck off the foibles and failures of others. For a few it promises the spoils of war - both ideological and real war - but for the rest it just offers a way of wallowing in darkness without any optimistic movement towards a better day."
  • Democrats like to help the most disadvantaged among us. Valerie Smith. "I'm a Democrat because..." On Being Democrat Blog. June 13th, 2005: "I'm a Democrat because I believe that we have to help the least among us. If that's healthcare for children, the elderly or the poor, if that's education for people who's family can't afford to send their children to private schools, if that's women who need abortions, when it's gays or African Americans being discriminated against, if it's working folks trying to get a fair shake. I'm a Democrat because the Democrats stand with them."
  • Democrats have accomplished more while in office. "Why I'm a Democrat." Time. June 12th, 2007: "I'm a Democrat because we're the party that won 2 world wars, ended segregation in America, contained Communism, founded the UN, set up Social Security, saved the Kosavars from genocide, produced the longest economic expansion in American history, and avoided nuclear confrontation in Cuba."
  • Democrats have a better record of balancing budgets. "Why I'm a Democrat." Time. June 12th, 2007: "I'm a Democrat because we understand how to balance budgets. At the Federal level, Democrats were responsible for the largest surplus in American history. At the state level, we understand that roads, hospitals, and transit come with a cost, and we're still willing to pay that cost."
  • Democrats tend to be more humble. "Why I'm a Democrat." Time. June 12th, 2007: "I'm a Democrat because we have humility. Can you imagine a Republican apologizing to the country the way Clinton did after the sex scandal? Let alone the way JFK did after the Bay of Pigs? Taking any personal responsibility for anything? Shit George W. Bush couldn't even figure out anything he's done wrong in 4 years."
  • Democrats focus more on improving and developing cities. "Why I'm a Democrat." Time. June 12th, 2007: "I'm a Democrat because we're the party of cities. We fight for transit. We fight to get people to live near each other. We fight to get affordable housing. We fight to make cities livable. We fight to make cities a great place to work. We fight to make cities engaging."

Republican

  • Republican are best at stimulating economic growth. Mona Charen. "14 reasons to vote Republican on November 7th." Townhall.com. 2008: "1) The economy. More than 6.6 million new jobs have been created since August 2003. Our 4.1 annual growth rate is superior to all other major industrialized nations. The Dow has set record highs multiple times in the past several weeks. Productivity is up, and the deficit is down. Real, after-tax income has grown by 15 percent since 2001. Inflation has remained low. As Vice President Cheney summed it up at a recent meeting with journalists, "What more do you want?" The tax cuts proposed by President Bush and passed by a Republican Congress can take a bow."
  • Football coaches more often identify with Republican characteristics. Steve Kornacki. "Why your coach voter Republican." Wall Street Journal. September 2, 2009: "There's no evidence that coaches with a conservative bent are better coaches or more likely to get jobs. Football coaches aren't the most diverse group, which may help explain their political similarities. [...] Still, could it be that football coaches, just by the nature of the job, are more comfortable on the right end of the political spectrum? [...] 'I'd say that sounds likely—very likely,' said Bobby Bowden, the longtime Florida State coach and an outspoken Republican. Mr. Bowden, a 79-year-old native Alabaman, describes himself as a lifelong conservative who—like many white Southerners of his generation—migrated from the Democratic Party to the GOP a few decades ago. There is, he says, a natural connection between his political and coaching philosophies. 'In coaching, you've got to have more discipline and you've got to be more strict and just conservative, I think. It fits with the Republicans,' he said. Mr. Holtz, who coached Notre Dame to its last national championship in 1988, draws a parallel between the standards and rules that most coaches set for their players and the Republican vision of how American society ought to operate. 'You aren't entitled to anything. You don't inherit anything. You get what you earn—your position on the team,' Mr. Holtz said. 'You're treated like everybody else. You're held accountable for your actions. You understand that your decisions affect other people on that team…There's winners, there's losers, and there's competitiveness.' Tom Osborne, who coached the Nebraska Cornhuskers for 25 seasons before serving three terms in Congress as a Republican, suggested that football coaches probably look at their own lives and careers as testaments to the conservative principle of self-reliance. 'There's an awful lot of people who want to be in coaching for the number of jobs,' he said. 'It's highly competitive. And many of them have had to spend a fair amount of time as graduate assistants, interns—as much as four, five, six, seven, eight years—making very, very little money to get into the profession. And they will work 70, 80, 90 hours a week during the season. 'I think that background—adherence to discipline, sometimes sacrifice, loyalty to core values—those things tend to have people move in that direction.' [...] Some cite geography—the fact that so many coaches have roots in the South, a staunchly Republican region. Others point out that Republicans tend to revere strong, singular executive leaders—a pretty good description of a coach."


Abortion

Democrat

  • Women have right to choose. [...] President Barack Obama: "A woman's ability to decide how many children to have and when, without interference from the government, is one of the most fundamental rights we possess. It is not just an issue of choice, but equality and opportunity for all women."

Republican

  • Sanctity of human life. [...] NJ Governor Chris Christie: "I am pro-life. Hearing the strong heartbeat of my unborn daughter 14 years ago at 13 weeks gestation had a profound effect on me and my beliefs. The life of every human being is precious. We must work to reduce abortions in New Jersey through laws such as parental notification, a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on partial-birth abortion."

Constitution

Democrat

Republican

Crime

Democrat

Republican

Drugs

Democrat

Republican

  • Regulation of drugs should be at state level. [...] Texas Congressman Ron Paul: "Alcohol is a deadly drug, kills more people than anything else. And today the absurdity on this war on drugs has just been horrible. Now the federal government takes over and overrules states where state laws permit medicinal marijuana for people dying of cancer. The federal government goes in and arrests these people, put them in prison with mandatory sentences. This war on drugs is totally out of control. If you want to regulate cigarettes and alcohol and drugs, it should be at the state level. That’s where I stand on it. The federal government has no prerogatives on this.

Education

Democrat

Republican

Energy

Democrat

Republican

Environment

Democrat

  • Government responsibility to environment. [...] 2008 Democratic Party Platform: "The Democratic Party believes that it is our responsibility to protect America's extraordinary natural resources. The health of our families and the strength of our economy depend on our stewardship of the environment. We reject the false choice between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. Democrats will fight to strengthen the laws that ensure we have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink."

Republican

  • Individual responsibility to environment. [...] 2004 Republican Party Platform: "Economic prosperity is essential to environmental progress. We link the security of private property to our environmental agenda because environmental stewardship has been best advanced where property is privately held. People who own the land also protect it."

Foreign Policy

Democrat

Republican

Gun Control

Democrat

  • Goverment should limit use of firearms. [...] President Barack Obama: "As a general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can’t constrain the exercise of that right, in the same way that we have a right to private property but local governments can establish zoning ordinances that determine how you can use it. We can have reasonable, thoughtful gun control measures that I think respect the Second Amendment and people’s traditions."

Republican

  • Individual's have right to bear arms. [...] Texas Congressman Ron Paul: "When the 2nd Amendment speaks of a 'well-regulated militia,' it means local groups of individuals operating to protect their own families, homes, and communities. They regulated themselves because it was necessary and in their own interest to do so. The Founders themselves wrote in the Federalist papers about the need for individuals to be armed. Gun control makes people demonstrably less safe - as any honest examination of criminal statistics reveals. It is no coincidence that violent crime flourishes in the nation’s capital, where the individual’s right to self-defense has been most severely curtailed."

Health Care

Democrat

Republican

Immigration

Demorat

Republican

Jobs and the Economy

Democrat

Republican

National Security

Democrat

Republican

  • Increased military spending.

Role of Government

Democrat

Republican

Social Structure

Democrat

  • Society based on communal responsibility.

Con

Social Security

Democrat

Republican

Welfare & Poverty

Democrat

Republican

Terrorism

Pro

Con

Taxes

Democrat

Click "edit" and write arguments here



Republican

  • Government spending is problem; not taxes. [...] President Ronald Reagan: "We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much"
  • Higher taxes discourage hard work. [...] "America’s producers can compete successfully in the international arena – as long as they have a level playing field. Today’s tax code is tilted against them, with one of the highest corporate tax rates of all developed countries. That not only hurts American investors, managers, and the U.S. balance of trade; it also sends American jobs overseas. We support a major reduction in the corporate tax rate so that American companies stay competitive with their foreign counterparts and American jobs can remain in this country."

Death penalty:

Pro

  • Democrats oppose death penalty because it is socially unjust. "Why I'm a Democrat." Time. June 12th, 2007: "I've got a problem with the Death penalty. It's not a faith-based view but one that comes under social justice and economic fairness. I don't believe there is equality in our judicial system. A wealthy guy and a poor guy go to the same courtroom for the same offense. Who are you betting on to walk? I am obviously Pro-Civil Rights. That definitely comes under social justice."


Con

Pro/con sources

Pro


Con

See also:

External links and resources:

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