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Category: Government & Politics / Topics: Government History Politics Voting & Elections

Democrats, Republicans and Voters

by Dan Seagren

Posted: February 23, 2020

Continuing the long tradition of our two party system…

The modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson making it the world's oldest active political party. In its early years, the Party supported limited government and opposed banks and the abolition of slavery.

Well into the 20th century, the party had conservative, pro-business and Southern conservative-populist wings. Following the New Deal, however, the conservative wing of the party largely withered outside the South. In the 1960s the core bases of the two parties shifted and have drifted further apart since. The Democratic Party's philosophy of modern liberalism advocates economic equality and seeks to provide government regulation of the economy.

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP (Grand Old Party), from 1854 is not to be confused with earlier parties with the term Republican in them. Under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln and a Republican Congress, slavery was banned in the United States in 1865.

After 1912, the party underwent an ideological shift to the right. The 21st century Republican Party ideology is American conservatism which incorporates both economic policies and social values. The GOP supports lower taxes, free market capitalism, restrictions on immigration, increased military spending, gun rights, restrictions on abortion, deregulation and restrictions on labor unions.

There have been 19 Republican and 14 Democratic presidents

These brief summaries (from Wikipeida) reveal similarities initially, then sometimes gradual, sometimes swift dissimilarities between the parties. Party loyalty exists though adherents to either party are capable of remaining, switching parties or dropping out of the electroate. The current Republican president may not have been a Republican much before his election although he preferred the direction that party wanted to go. Three or more parties have been in existence and continue to exist but for how long nobody knows. .Ideally, our two-party system can continue as a check-and- balance, though it is also a cause of the deep division and discord we see today.

That we do vote is vital, especially when the focus is on what is most favorable to our country and its people, rather than seeing the other party as the enemy as our primary motivation for voting the way we do.. Elected officials, lawyers, celebrities and ordinary citizens are human but may not always be humane, gentle, considerate, brilliant or praiseworthy to be sure. Some of those we elect will tire of their task or perform it badly, others develop wonderfully and serve the public well. Please be careful where you get your information before casting your ballot. Let's aim to be informed, thoughtful and responsible voters. OK?

Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: February 23, 2020

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