“The Democratic Party at its worst is better for the country than the Republican Party at its best. ” This was a statement made by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1955. Lyndon B. Johnson of course was a Democrat. Is this quote true today? That is a question that can only be answered after a careful analysis of the philosophy of the Republican and Democratic leaders that help to run this nation. “Neither of the two major parties is made up of people who are all of one mind. Each party is a coalition of many people with diverse interests who come together to get their candidates elected to public office.
If this is the case, it makes the decision of choosing who is better even harder. An individual would need to examine the traditional values of each party to see if those values match with each person’s values. After examining those values, a person should consider the performance of past presidents, members of Congress, and the Senate to see if those values and philosophies were upheld and if the voting record of these individuals shows that. How good or bad a political party is depends on who is speaking and who is writing and how an individual interprets that information.
The Republican Party was born out of a campaign to abolish slavery. The initial organizer of the Republican Party, and the man who named it, was a staunch Democrat named Alvin E. Bovay. Unable to convince his fellow Democrats to denounce slavery, in 1854 he helped establish a third party. The Democratic Party, when describing itself, does not mention the word slavery when describing its history. I believe there are good people in both parties. The people I respect are those who stand up for what is right, regardless of what their party decrees.
Tom Barrett, www. conservativetruth. org) This is a noble statement that almost anyone could agree with and reminds people of the old saying “if everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you go to? ” Democrats are against the testing of teachers (not surprising, since 10% of the delegates to the democratic convention were members of the National Education Association). Republicans believe only qualified teachers should teach, and that they should prove by testing that they are able to read and write coherently.
The fundamental difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is as follows. Democrats seem to favor many government programs to help the disadvantaged. Republicans want to limit the number of social programs and encourage the individual states to be more active in their own social welfare. Democrats feel that more government is better, where the Republicans feel that the individual states should have more power. Democrats favor gun control legislation most of the time.
Republicans do not seem as interested in that issue, and many Republicans can be viewed as pro gun advocates. Democrats favor affirmative action for minorities and women. Republicans favor helping the entrepreneur and tend to give tax breaks to big business. Democrats champion the cause of labor unions, while Republicans realizing that union votes are important, at the same time feel that labor unions have too much power and cost big business too much money. The next set of political differences about the issues of capital punishment and abortion rights are quite paradoxical.
Democrats favor a woman’s right to choose, at the same time they are against the death penalty and want to rehabilitate prisoners. Republicans, many of them are pro-life as well as in favor of capital punishment and being tough on crime. Democrats want the government to be more involved in public education, and want more money dispersed for student loans. Republicans want the states to take the responsibility for educating their children and also want to provide vouchers as an alternative to public school.
This issue is also tied to how Republicans are favorable to religion in public schools and want to limit sex education in the schools. Democrats want more separation of church and state, and feel that vouchers will ruin the public education system. In this country, Democrats believe by allowing public money to leave public school and be given to private schools it will ruin the education of the poorest students who’s families cannot afford to pay the remainder of prorated private school tuition.
When comparing the traits of the population of registered Democrats versus registered Republicans, surveys have found that Democrats tend to be people of color, women, labor union members, middle or lower income individuals with a high school education and people considered to be blue-collar working class individuals. Republicans appear to come from suburban areas, are of high middle or high income. There is higher percentage of men, many of who have strong Christian beliefs. They may be considered upper class white-collar workers.
When comparing the voting records of Congress, Democrats seem to favor big government and raising taxes. Republicans want the federal government to administer to foreign affairs and run the military. The Republicans want to stay out of the business of the individual. When examining current events, the difference in the Republicans versus Democrat way of thinking is fairly clear. “The major difference between the Republican and Democratic versions of a patients bill of rights are found in the recourse patients have if they are denied coverage by their Health Maintenance Organizations and are harmed by delays.
The Democratic bill allows patients to sue their Health Maintenance Organization in either state or federal court, and to seek unlimited damages for pain and suffering, and up to five million dollars in punitive damages. The Republican bill would also allow suits against Health Maintenance Organizations but would restrict the venue to federal court, limit damages from pain and suffering to half a million dollars, and disallow punitive damages. In general, the Republicans want more limits on a patient’s ability to sue than Democrats.
Also typically, the Democratic Party is viewed more favorably than Republican Party on health issues. Thus, it is not surprising that about half of Americans (49%) say they have more confidence in the Democratic leaders in the Senate than in President Bush on the issue of a patient’s bill of rights, while (34%) of Americans express greater confidence in Bush. ” (www. seniorjournal. com) That article illustrated how Democrats want government to fix everything and how Republicans want to be more conservative with their money and favor big business (i. e. surance companies) by not allowing large damage awards.
“The rift grew deeper Thursday between Democrats and Republicans over government spending versus tax cuts, as the Senate Finance Committee approved a sixty six point four billion dollar Democratic economic recovery plan over strong Grand Old Party opposition calling it a “collage of political giveaways. ” The measure approved by an eleven to ten party -line vote, is vastly different from the tax relief proposals made by President Bush and the one hundred billion dollar package past last month by the Grand Old Party-led House.
Democrats said the measure was the right medicine for the economy because it would spur consumer spending and would do more for laid-off workers than Republican alternatives. Grand Old Party Senators called it a partisan exercise filled with unnecessary spending that has little chance of becoming law. Treasure secretary Paul O’Neill said the Democratic bill, authored by finance committee chairman Max Baucus, was “heavy on new spending that will have little, if any, stimulative effect on the economy.
The President has four priorities: a repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax; a new round of rebate checks aimed at lower income workers; acceleration of income tax cuts now scheduled to take effect in 2004 and 2006, and enhanced expensing write- offs for business investment. The House bill reflects those priorities, but Grand Old Party leaders added many other Republican tax-cut priorities, such as capital gains tax relief, and were barely able to pass their measure.
The Senate Democratic bill includes the rebate checks and some business tax relief but contains much more spending. “Battle Lines Drawn on Economy” CBS News, Eye on Politics, Washington. 8 November 2001. ) The previous newscast was a good example of the differences between the Democratic and Republican thinking about money and how it should be appropriated. The Democrats want to spend the money by giving it out to laid off workers and social programs. The Republicans feel the economy would be better stimulated by giving tax rebates to lower income people and by giving tax breaks to big business and investors. The proposed bill makes the Democrats seem friendlier to the poor.
The Republican proposed bill seems friendlier to the rich. It would be difficult to make a determination as to which bill would stimulate the economy more efficiently. “Talks over trade negotiating authority for the President broke down in the House yesterday, jeopardizing one of President Bush’s top legislative priorities for the year. Despite overtures from the White House and Grand Old Party leaders this week, Democrats have balked at supporting legislation that would give the President broad power to make trade deals with foreign nations, saying it does not go far enough to protect workers and the environment.
The legislation would allow the President to negotiate pacts with foreign nations that would be subject only to an up or down vote in Congress, with out amendments. The Senate is traditional supportive of free trade, so the real battle over these issues takes place in the House. There is some concern shown about the commitment of the Bush administration to advance these kinds of blue-collar worker issues. The Democratic alternative would require trading partners in an up coming western hemisphere pact to adopt five core labor standards, including collective bargaining rights and bands on child labor, compulsory labor and discrimination.
It would also ensure that countries could enforce multilateral environmental agreements with out violating trade rules. ” (Eilperin, Juliet. “Slow Going for Fast-Track’ Trade Bill. ” Washington Post 9 November 2001) Again the Democrats show their reluctance to trust a Republican President with negotiating trade deals and are concerned that these deals may only serve to support the needs of big business to increase profit and would disregard the treatment of the foreign workers.
The Democrats want the rights and treatment of these workers considered where as the Republicans feel that other countries do not want to have to abide by our rules governing the treatment of their workers. The Republicans claim that their major concern is economic stimulus. The events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 have made national security an issue that most Americans are concerned about. Democrats have usually down played the importance of a strong military and do not support increases in military spending.
In light of the September eleventh events, Republican Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell makes an interesting point. “Our security has been threatened by terrorists who do not share our nation’s embrace of freedom and liberty. They have mistaken our nation’s kindness and sense of fair play as weakness. They understand how dependent we are on oil and they benefit from our reliance on foreign oil to meet our energy demands. As we work to meet the defensive needs of our nation at war, the development of American sources of oil for both domestic and military needs, must be part of our response.
In addition to antiterrorism legislation, we need to focus on a national energy plan to decrease our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. Now is not the time for the United States to be at the mercy of unpredictable governments in distant lands. The facts are solid. The Problem is clear. Without energy, we have little national security. ” (www. cologop. org) Many Democratic leaders in the House and Senate want to tie up Republican efforts to explore for oil and natural gas reserves closer to home.
The Democrats major concern is their perception that this exploration will cause irreversible damage to our environment. The environment is an important issue. National Security is also a very important issue. There is a need for a compromise with use of fossil fuel exploration that is environmentally friendly. Unfortunately with all of the partisan bickering on this subject it will be years before any significant progress is made. National security, since the events of September eleventh 2001, is a concern of the Democratic leaders as well, just not in the same sense as the Republicans.
Republicans want to increase military spending and escalate retaliation. Democrats are asking for an increase in government spending for a national security issue within our country. Issues like airport security and the presence of air marshals on domestic flights is one example. “Study after study has urged the federalization of airport security. Congressional Republican leaders have declared themselves against any proposal. The story here is bigger than airport security. What is now clear, in case you had any doubts, is that America’s hard right is simply fanatical.
There is literally nothing that will persuade these people to accept the need for increased federal spending. We are not talking about some isolated fringe. We are talking about the men who control the Congressional Republican Party, and seem, once again to be in control of the White House. For the Bush administration, after flirting with moderation in the weeks following the terrorist attacks, seems in the last few days to have returned to the conviction that the hard right– which is relentless, and bears grudges – must always be deferred to, even in times of national crisis. Krugman, Paul “The Public Interest” New York Times 10 October, 2001 pA19. )
After careful analysis of current events and research into the political differences between Republicans and Democrats it is still difficult to say which one is better for the country today. Both parties have long held traditions and convictions and both feel that their way is the best. “Without Democrats there would be no social safety net, no social security, or no Medicare. In short, without Democrats, many American’s would live in poverty without basic human dignity. ” (www. Democrats. m)
“Republicans have a long and rich history with basic principals. Individuals not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home. Abolishing slavery. Free speech. Women’s right to vote. In today’s stereotypes, none of these sound like a typical republican issue, yet they are stances the Republican Party, in opposition to the Democratic Party, adopted early on. Republicans believe in individual responsibility.
They believe that government should be the servant of the people, not their master or their mother. Barrett, www. conservativetruth. org) Both of the above quotes summarize well the philosophies of the Republican and Democratic Parties. Many individuals in government today complain that there is not much difference between the two parties any more, but from the review of current events it is clear differences most definitely exist. To say one is better than the other for the country depends on the personal political philosophy of the individual. When Lyndon B. Johnson stated the quote “The Democratic Party at its worst is better than the Republican Party at its best.
It was 1955. During that same time period, Richard Nixon was saying the same sort of thing about the Democratic Party. The Democrats have a history of wanting to help the common man and to make sure that even the poorest American’s have a voice. They also like to spend large amounts of money on social programs that do not always work to this country’s best benefit (i. e. welfare). Throwing money at a problem is not always the best solution. The Republican Party helps to keep this spending in check.
Republicans have a tendency to spend money on a large military defense. The objections of the Democrats help to keep this spending under the watchful eye of American’s. Both parties serve to counter balance one another. It cannot be said that the Democratic Party was truly the best for the country in 1955 and it cannot be said that the Democratic Party is best or better for the country today. Both parties are necessary to keep the extremes of either side in check, which hopefully will serve the best interests of the American people as a whole.