Each country has a different and unique political system. In the same way, political parties can be equally varied, in such a way thatsometimes only if you live in the country in question can you understand the operation and characteristics of each one.
In this article, we are going to discover the differences and similarities between the two great parties in the United States: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. We will also see the characteristics of the emerging Libertarian Party.
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Political elections in the United States
First of all, we must bear in mind that the United States is a presidential republic (there is a president) and federal (the powers are regulated with a certain degree of independence by different organizations and/or states, that is, the power is somewhat decentralized). The form of government is presidential democratic and the election of the president is indirect.
The votes are distributed among a total of 50 states (plus the District of Columbia). These 535 votes are distributed among the states depending on the characteristics of each one . In this way, for one of the electors to establish himself as the winner, he must gather half plus one of the votes.
What happens if there is a tie?
In the event that both candidates receive a similar number of votes, the House of Representatives must decide who will occupy the position of president.
Characteristics of the Democratic Party
The Democratic Party (abbreviated DP) is the first major US party on our short list. Broadly speaking, it is considered a liberal party, created in the year 1828 , preceded by the party previously known as the Democratic-Republican Party of the United States.
This party, which is generally identified as the country’s first left-wing option , actually has a fairly mixed audience that moves between the center right and the left.
Be that as it may, these ideas collide head-on, as we will see, with the ideas of the Republican Party:
1. Liberal ideology.
2. Left party.
3. Taxes adapted to purchasing power (the more power, the more taxes).
4. Minimum wages imposed by the state (instead of regulated by the free market).
5. The rights of the community above the individual.
6. Civil responsibility above justice.
7. Decrease in spending on military affairs.
8. In favor of same- sex marriage .
9. In favor of abortion.
10. There are votes for and against the death penalty.
11. The government must intervene in wages, markets and jobs.
12. They support a universal health system like ObamaCare.
13. They are against creating barriers (physical or bureaucratic) to potential immigrants.
Characteristics of the Republican Party
The Republican Party, also known as GOP, is the other party that makes up the “two great” parties in the United States. This, together with the Republican Party, are the only parties that have reached the White House since the mid-nineteenth century .
To understand in a simple way the operation and the ideology of the party, it is usually associated with the conservative party . To give a (perhaps extreme) example of this ideology, current President Donald Trump belongs to the Republican Party.
Bearing this in mind, let us now see some of the points that support or not this party:
1 . conservative ideology.
2. Right-wing party.
3. Equal taxes for everyone (whether rich or not).
4. Wages established by the free market (instead of regulated by the state).
5. Individual rights above social rights.
6. Thejustice above responsibility.
7. Increased spending on military affairs .
8. Against gay marriage .
9. Against abortion .
10. In favor of the death penalty (at least a large majority of Republicans).
11. The government should not intervene in wages, markets or jobs.
12. They support a private health system .
13. They are in favor of creating barriers (physical or bureaucratic) to potential immigrants.
Differences between Democrats and Republicans
As we can see,Both parties make up a totally dichotomous reality . Although there are some points where there are discrepancies within each party (such as the issue of the death penalty), as a general rule it could be said that both parties make up an “ideological package”.
Undoubtedly, this is quite striking when compared to the political situation in other countries, where supposedly right-wing parties adopt leftist traits over time, and vice versa ; left-wing parties adopting right-wing traits.
This is clearly seen in European countries, where many parties are increasingly taking a central position, perhaps as a result of a desperate attempt to please the majority.
The New Libertarian Party
This American political party was created in 1971. For a long time it has been gaining supporters until it became the most powerful party, behind the two main ones mentioned above (with just over 3% of the votes in the 2016 elections) .
The Libertarian Party is part of the so-called third parties in the United States. The Green Party and the Constitution Party also appear in this group.
- It may interest you: Neoliberalism: the ideology that dominates you without you knowing it.
Ideas a favor
- In favor of a capitalist economic system .
- They defend the free market .
- They defend individual rights .
- They are in favor of free association .
- They defend the rights of homosexual people .
- In favor of private property .
- Low restrictions on the free movement of people between countries.
- They are in favor of abortion (at least part of their representatives).
- In favor of the possession of firearms .
- They are against the laws that punish prostitution .
- Against criminalizing drug use in a personal way.
- Against compulsory military service .
- They disagree with military intervention in foreign countries.