The Significance of Two Major Parties in the US
In a two-party system, a state or country has two parties dominating the political arena. However, this system does not eliminate the chances of other political parties. The dominating characteristic in the system is great influence by these two dominant players in the United States of America politics, governance and overall social issues affecting Americans. Another country that exhibit similar characteristics is the UK. Principally, two political parties subsist the United States’ political arena having dominated since the American civil war. However, other minor parties do exists with little influence on America’s political leadership.
The Democratic and republican are these two prime parties. The most distinctive difference between the two is that democrats position themselves as agents of American liberalism while on the other hand; the democrats pose as supporters of conservatism. Historically, the United States is one of the rare industrialized democracies in the world but has not formally addressed the issue of political parties in their constitution due to fear among the founders of partisan politics encrypting the country. However, much significance has been drawn as an outcome of the two major parties existence. This study discusses some of the significances attributed to the two parties.
Over a long period of time since the 18th century, there have been key ideological differences between these two parties. Republicans have been known to follow conservative policies while democrats have been known to follow liberal policies. An individual who follows a liberal policy would be of the opinion that the government’s proper role is overseeing and regulating the economy. For liberals, the proper role of the government would be to monitor companies and organizations to ensure do the right things, such as upholding employee rights, as well as ensuring that citizens are responsible in managing their finances, that is, ensuring that they adhere to contributions to retirement savings among others. Contrary to the democrats, republicans have a strong belief in a robust version of federalism, which would give greater roles for the states while placing greater limitations on federal power.
Libertarians adhere strictly to constitutionally defined roles for the government, like maintaining a proper court system which would ensure justice and a sophisticated defense force to guard against invasions. A conservative, on the other hand, would be of the opinion that a government should regulate and oversee morality. This would involve people getting punishment commensurate to their atrocities and people act appropriately in their marriages, such as restricting gay marriages.
Republicans have always been opposed to the doctrine of abortion. They have constantly referred to abortion as murder of the fetus. The republicans have assumed the pro-life stance. Democrats, on the other hand, are fondly in support of abortion, arguing that women should be left alone to manage their bodies. The democrats assume the pro-choice stance. Republicans oppose gay marriages while democrats advocate for its legalization. Democrats have been vivid supporters of the stem cell research, while republicans are strongly opposed to it.
Democrats voice their opposition to the unilateralism doctrine, which asserts that the United States should use their military and defense forces without seeking assistance from other countries whenever intelligence reports indicate threats to its welfare or security. They are of the belief that America should act in concert with broad international support. Republicans, on the other hand, are of the belief that America should unilaterally intervene if at all its security, welfare and national interests are at stake, the world opinion notwithstanding. Republicans advocate for an increased minimum wage while republicans strongly oppose it. The republicans argue that an increase in minimum wages would prove detrimental to businesses as this would drive them to cut jobs and other services, alongside price increments aimed at compensating for the decreases in profits. This would impact negatively on the poor, who have the most to lose when there are price increases and job cuts.
Democrats are opposed to tax cuts while republicans favor them. The democrats argue that the tax revenues are only used to help the neediest in the society. Democrats support increases on taxes on the wealthy to use in supporting public programs. On the other hand, Republicans support cutting taxes regardless of their wealth status. As such, Democrats advocate for social freedom in America. On the other hand, their Republican counterparts support economic freedom. It is evident that, in their ideological differences, they all advocate one concept, which is freedom. This has been a focal point of American politics. When each party has a chance to be in power, they advance their respective ideologies by implementing policies geared towards achieving them. Whether the freedom is either social or economic, the parties contribute to the welfare of the citizens. Once the welfare of the citizens is improved, the political arena matures and becomes more issue based. The democrats are of the opinion that the government should pay for universal health care while the republicans believe that individuals or their employers should pay. Republicans suggest that more state money should be spent on national defense, a sentiment not shared by the democrats. They also advocate for stricter border controls and stricter immigration rules, a doctrine not supported by the democrats.
The democrats support stricter environmental regulations, as they believe that the health of citizens, as well as the strength of the economy, is highly dependent on the proper management of the environment. The republicans, on the other hand, are of the belief that tight environmental standards are detrimental to businesses and hence advocate for reductions in environmental regulations. Democrats are committed to ensure that laws that ensure that people have clean water to drink, fresh air to breath and do not live in noisy environments are enforced. They believe that a healthy environment and a healthy economy can coexist, since a cleaner e4nvironment would translate to a stronger economy.
The differences between the two main political parties in the United States have led to political polarization. The average positions of republican and democratic and republican legislators in the senate and the House of Representatives notably have diverged. Due to the polarization of the House of Representatives as well as the senate, the effects of redistricting and “one man, one vote” can be ruled out.
There have also been incidences of polarized campaign contributions, whereby the generous givers are rewarded politically by getting appointed into boards or being given top positions, which they don’t deserve. The lack of political diversity in the United States makes the nation more right wing than most countries in the globe. Americans get no idea of what else goes on around the world, and refuse to appreciate that some countries are actually better that America in some things. Some political systems in some nations are actually better than the one in America.
In spite of the earlier wishes among the political Founders, the year 1800 marked the birth of nascent parties that were intended to enhance conveyance of executive power from one faction to another through a democratic election. The growth and development of these political parties came along with some significance. For instance, the voting rights were rapidly broadened. This expansion is evident of widening the voting rights by allowing non-male property owners to vote. In this regard, during the initial days of the Republic rule, barely a few male property holders were allowed to exercise the voting right. However, the onset of political parties in the 19th century slowly resulted into these restrictions eroding. This was further attributed to immigration, expansion of principal cities as well as the expansion of the country towards the west. Furthermore, the forces affiliated to democratization picked up and are still sustained to date as a result of the two major parties. Decades come and pass, yet, the voting right has ever been extending to superior statistics of the grown-up population and at the same time impediments on basis of race, sex, as well as property ownership are eradicated. Furthermore, the steady expansion of the electorate has meant that these political parties evolve in way that they rally more people as supporters for them to gain political control. Significantly, the parties have had to be institutionalized formally as a way of accomplishing this critical task. In this connection, it is evident that a major role and significance of the two parties has focused on expanding political egalitarianism and can indeed be considered one of their significance even today.
In addition, at present, the Republican and Democratic parties dictate the United States’ opinionated processes. Though with some exceptions, the duo run the presidency in addition to the Congress body. As well, the governorships, plus the state legislatures have for a long time been under either one of these two. Factually, since 1852, all the presidents in this country have been a Republican or a Democrat For instance, every president since 1852 has been either a Republican or a Democrat. In this connection, it is clear that the significance of the duo can also be looked at in terms of the government policies. For instance, they are tasked with governmental budgeting, security obligations as well as developing economic planning strategies. A clear example can be drawn from the timely execution of Al the Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. This was a policy initiated by the Bush’s rule under Republican. The Democratic Party has implemented the initiative implying that it had manifestos of protecting the American citizens as a party.
Additionally, the two prime parties are so significant since they, they are broad based in terms of their electorate. In this regard, they to draw the electorate from all economic and demographic classes. Though with varied manifestos, they are flexible on their policies which allow for mutual consensus before being implemented. Due to this massive support, they can both endure great assortment with regard to their ranks. In this connection, aptitude to take up third parties and in turn dissent movements associated with them can as well be acquired. Furthermore, based on their extensive socioeconomic base of the voters, as well as the urge to function within a society that is principally midway in terms of ideologies, the two parties have ended up into adopting centrist policies as well as flexibility on the same. This cultivates a breeding ground for accountable leadership since the two principal parties will act as a watchdog on each others’ plans and policies. For instance, the Republicans have been associated with conservatism focusing much emphasis towards personal wealth accumulation as well as property rights. On the other hand, Democrats render their focus towards fiscal politics in addition to laissez-faire social policies. However, no matter the differences, both appear pragmatic in solving sociopolitical as well as economic challenges for the mutual development of the entire country.
In addition, the democracy and flexibility exposes the two major parties as significant decentralized bodies. The opinions projected by the Republican greatly differ from those advocated for by the counter Democrats. In this essence, apart from the legislative assertions on the procedures required during selection of delegates, the state party organizations will seldom butt in on the state party dealings. This evidently brings out the significance that lack of meddling another party’s affairs gives an ample platform for the government to implement its policies. This is quite significant for democratic leadership. Although the Republican and Democratic parties are the most dominant in the political scene, there are other political parties in America. Such parties include the Libertarian party and the influential and rising Tea Party and others.
The founding fathers of America were reported to have had reservations about political parties’ formation. The main line of thought was that citizens should vote in their representatives without the shenanigans that were political parties. However, by the 1790s differences had already emerged in the course which the nation should take. The divergent opinions led to a people congregating depending on the common views and trying to win support for their course.
The initial ideologies centered on Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. The faction led by Hamilton favored a strong central government sustaining the interests of industries and commerce. On the other hand, the faction by Jefferson had a preference for a decentralized government. The Hamilton faction took up the name “Federalist”, while the other faction by Jefferson was “Democratic-Republicans”. However, by 1828, the Federalists were extinct and were replaced by Whigs. The Democratic-Republican Party later split, tow parties Democratic Party and the Republican Party were formed. This marked the birth of the two-party political system in the country.
The two parties differ in ideology, and the course they would want the nation to take. As such, the two-party system provides the voter with a simple choice to make during elections. In addition, there is a belief that, the structure promotes political moderation. Furthermore, the party that is in power works hard to appeal to the non aligned voters. Nevertheless, the opponents of the system claim that the gains that the incumbent party makes are reversed if it loses an election. Such reversals done in the name of the incumbent government leaving its ‘mark’ on the country are not beneficial in the long and short run.
Key amongst the main differences that have existed between the two main political parties in the United States of America’s political scene is their main ideology. Whereas the democrats form the majority of the liberals in the different states, who want changes to be effected in the existing institutions and laws while the republicans are on the other extreme end constituting the conservative members within the existing states in the country who are known to follow the previously set traditions more often. A number of issues can be looked at to elaborate these differences and how they are significant for the United States of America’s politics. Amongst these issues includes; taxes, abortion, military spending, gun control, gay rights, minimum wage and death penalty.
Democrats usually root for the idea that taxes should be imposed on those individuals that have the most amount of money. This was evident even in the run up to the last presidential election where the democrats led by the then senator for Illinois, argued that there should be a tax waiver from the low income earners in the country and that the taxes should be imposed on the fabulously rich people in the country. This was received well by most of the people within the lower economic bracket from both sides of the divide as it was seen as some sort of relief from the burden of constantly paying taxes to the government in spite of their low incomes. As for the republicans on the other hand, they are of the mind that all people should pay taxes, though at lower rates so as to keep the economy strong and sustained. In the last presidential elections, republicans being led by the then Arizona senator championed for tax cuts to all Americans regardless of their financial status and economic empowerment. This was received well by the elite in society and the high income earners as it was evident that they will pay less to the state from their massive wealth acquired.
One other issue that marks the difference between democrats and republicans is the issue of abortion. As per the democrats, keeping a pregnancy to its full term all depends on the mother’s choice. This, to some women is applauded as according them some of their fundamental rights, including the freedom of choice and the right to expression. As they feel it gives a lady a means to express her opinion and that she can carry her pregnancy to term only when she feels is the perfect moment for her to have a baby. For the republicans, they are of the opinion that the government should protect the unborn child’s life as it is a human life, just like any other right after conception. This opinion has drawn them closer to the religious multitudes since they believe that life is God- given and sacred and therefore, pregnancy termination is more like murder to them. However, these differences between the pro- choice and the pro- life groups both in America and the world over do not seem to get to a conclusion as neither party on both extremes is not about to yield to the other’s demands.
Military spending has been a hot issue on both the lips of the democrats and the republicans. It is here too that another difference between the democrats and the republicans comes up with both sides clearly divided. As for the democrats, spending on the military ought to be cut down and the funds spent on the military per annum should be channeled to another sector of the economy. Instead of spending much on the military to strengthen it, world organizations such as NATO and the United Nations should be strengthened as they are impartial world organizations that would maintain peace and lasting stability for the world over. Republicans on the other hand would rather have a strong military in place and they do not mind spending money towards the strengthening of the country’s own military rather than rely on world organizations when it comes to matters concerning the security of the country. This, as most Americans affiliated to the republicans believe that it is good for the entire country as it can defend its own borders from any kind of impending attacks. Further too, on matters appertaining to national security, most Americans believe that it is of great importance to have one of your own to safeguard your own interests rather than have an outsider do it for you.
Still on matters to deal with safety and security, there is the issue of gun control. A difference between the democrats and the republicans is also evident as the democrats are opposed to the uncontrolled acquisition and utilization of arms within the general public. To many democrats, this is important towards the maintenance of sanity when it comes to arms as it has been known to have a far reaching and fatal outcome if the weapons fall in wrong hands. For this, democrats recommend that there be laws that control the acquisition and use of guns. However, republicans are against new gun laws that are intended to regulate the acquisition and utilization of guns. This they believe is a move towards the enhancement of personal security of an individual.
Gay rights issues have also been a major cause of the existing differences between the republicans and the democrats. Republicans usually hold the view that marriage should be between a man and a woman. They are largely backed by many religious institutions that are of the opinion that God created Adam and Eve for each others’ companionship and thus, gay practices to them are contrary to the religious belief that they try to instill in their followers. Democrats however are in contrary to the republicans as they are usually for gay rights and believe that it is right for someone to make an independent choice on which he or she wants to stay with.
Overtime the main ideological differences and reasons that contributed to the formation of the party have been fading. The Republican Party if referred at times as the Grand Old Party (G.O.P), their symbol is an elephant. On the other hand, the Democrats’ symbol is a donkey. Most people outside the American political arena do not clearly make out the ideological differences. However, loosely translated, the Republicans are known to support lower taxes for businesses and industries. On the other hand, the Democrats are known for their call to supporting government expenditure on social programs.
One feature and ideology in the Democratic Party is its liberal nature. As such, they advocate for a strong and large federal government. In addition, the party once in power often implement tax plans in order to help the less privileged members of the American society. This ideology has seen it continually implement policies aimed at helping the American citizens and more so those that can not meet some needs. Moreover, the Democrats believe that, the government must endeavor to make all the citizens ‘equal’ using all necessary means. The reason the gay movement has gained momentum and strength in the American society is mainly due to the stance of the Democratic Party. Though controversial stances, the Democrats support gay marriages and pro choice options. Such stances contribute to diversity in the society.
In contrast, the Republicans are known to be more conservative. Their main belief is that, answers to the general problems facing the country do not lie with the government, but with the people. In effect, the Republicans advocate for a nation in which, the citizens engage themselves by laboring hard to find solutions to some of the problems. In addition, the advocacy on a morally upright nation helps in preserving some of the ideologies of the founding fathers. On the other hand, most Republicans are religious people and follow Christianity. As such, the embracement of Christianity has helped maintain the tenets that were set by the founding fathers. Thus, the history of America has from the era of the founding fathers has been upheld and maintained. Consequently, with the preservation of the history of the nation, Americans have been able to learn their rich history.
The differences of ideologies in the two parties have led to considerable changes in politics in America. Previously, politics were a preserve of a few individuals. The parties have championed different beliefs. For example, the championing of the civil-rights movement in the 1960s by the Democrats led to the development of an open space and inclusive brand of politics in the country. The Republican Party is also known for its stance on antislavery expansion earlier in 1854 under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln. The civil rights movements have drawn comparisons today with the movement known as the Tea Party movement. The movement is a breakaway faction of the Republican Party. The movement advocates for participatory politics in which the citizens will get their voices heard in debate on issues affecting them. This is an illustration of the democratic spaces enhanced by the parties to the extent that, members of the parties can criticize the parties even from within.
As earlier discussed concerning the ideological differences, Democrats tend to favor an involving role of citizens in government. This is significant in enabling the electorate participate more in decisions making. The participation and creation of equitableness, amongst the citizens, helps them notice the opportunities available for them. On the other hand, the advancement of self-reliance by the Republican has made the Americans adopt their doctrines. Therefore, a society that believes in anti-discrimination laws has been a norm in the country and allows equal participation in affairs.
Another ideological difference between the Republican party and the Democratic party though in most cases not apparent and clear to many of the outsiders plays a major role in making United States politics aggressive in addressing important issues affecting various sectors of the country’s economy and community. Republicans on one side are loosely speaking and they support lower taxes and big and profitable businesses. But on the other side, the Democrats advocate for controlled and adequate government spending and support of social programs. Democratic Party is in full support of the liberalism platform in the United States while Republican Party fully supports conservatism platform in the United States.
The two parties have different views and policies concerning social and economic matters. The differences in the economic policies between these two parties in the United States help in bring economic balance in this region. The Republicans put a lot of emphasis on the importance of free economic markets in the United States and each individual achievement as the main factors which result in economic prosperity. Republican Party on one side favors tax cuts while the Democratic Party opposes it arguing that revenues from taxes are paramount as they aid in helping the needy in the society. Also, the Democratic Party is in support of the fact that the United States government should pay for the entire universal health care while the Republican Party want companies and individual to pay for this health care.
The importance of the social policies differences between these two parties to the United States politics is that they make country more affirmative in addressing major issues affecting the whole society.”Republican Party follows and supports conservative policy but the Democratic Party supports and follows liberal policy”. For instance, Republican Party opposes abortion and terms it as fetus murder while the Democratic Party fully supports abortion rights. In addition, the Republican Party is opposing same-sex marriage while the Democratic Party is in full support of legalization of same party marriage. This has resulted in making the United States politics to be seen as of great essence in addressing major issues affecting the society thus aiding in implementing logical policies that will be supported by majority of society members.
Difference in military and governance policies between the two parties also aid in streamlining the United States politics. The Republican Party is supporting more government spending on the national defense than Democratic. In addition, Democratic Party advocates for decrease in military spending while the Republican Party is advocating increase in military spending.
The difference also makes the United States to be transparent and fair as the two major parties clearly and through scrutinizes all political activities in the country. This help in avoiding corrupt practices as the two parties act as watchdogs on all political appointments and public expenditure. The differences existing between these two major political parties have brought completely revolution the politics in the United States bringing more transparency, justice and democracy.
The differences between the two parties also help in implementation of diverse policies in the United States thus making the United States politics an important sector in implementation of different policies .For instance Republican Party are on the believe that very strict environmental laws and standard are hurting business and are thus advocating for reductions in many environmental regulations. But the Democratic Party is on the believe that proper environment governance results in healthier families and strengthens economy. This differences will result in more scrutiny of the conflicting policies thus aiding in coming up with remarkable policies.
The differences on major global issues between the two main parties make United States politics important in assessing the importance of these policies. For instance, the Republican Party is more skeptical about the issue of global warming while the Democratic Party is treating it as a major and serious issue. The Democratic Party is also in full support of the affirmative action which will aid minorities, blacks and women while the Republican Party is opposed to the affirmative action arguing that it will work against the meritocracy and will not be beneficial to the targeted groups. In addition, Democratic advocates for gun control by government while the Republican Party strongly opposes such control. This differences helps in assessing different the government implementation of different law and policies making the United States politics an important factor in the governance of the country and in making and implementation of different laws.
One other issue to consider for the difference between the democrats and the republicans is the issue of death penalties. Amongst the democrats, regardless of the offence committed by an individual, his or her life should not be taken as punishment. Instead, other means of giving a stern punishment to an offender should be considered. This can be considered by many people as a means to protect an individual’s right to life. However, there are a good number of people that see this as a method to counter their previous stand on matters related to abortion legalization. When it comes to the republicans, they are of the opinion that death penalty can be necessary.
Perhaps this, they feel will be appropriate enough to send a stern warning to those who intend to take part in capital offences. Further, Republican Party is on full support of death penalty as the majority of the Republicans argue, “The risks of violent murders killing people arguing clearly outweigh any other type of risks”. On the other hand Democratic Party wants the executions in Unite States to be declared illegal arguing that they want to advocate for the protection of the innocent persons on the death row as they argue that the risks of executing innocent persons clearly outweighs any other form of risk. This makes United States politics to play an important hand in reviewing some of the laws laid down which may be considered primitive and very unjust.
In conclusion, The United States of America has a dual party political system. These two political parties are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Over a long period of time since the 18th century, there have been key ideological differences between these two parties. Republicans have been known to follow conservative policies while democrats have been known to follow liberal policies. An individual who follows a liberal policy would be of the opinion that the government’s proper role is overseeing and regulating the economy.
For liberals, the proper role of the government would be to monitor companies and organizations to ensure do the right things, such as upholding employee rights, as well as ensuring that citizens are responsible in managing their finances, that is, ensuring that they adhere to contributions to retirement savings among others. Contrary to the democrats, republicans have a strong belief in a robust version of federalism, which would give greater roles for the states while placing greater limitations on federal power. It is evident that existence of two prime parties in the US though with some differences comes with notable significances such as broadened democracies, policy implementation essential for modern day development. Since 1860’s, united States has had “only two major and big political parties, which are famously known as the Democratic Party, and the Republicans party”.
A few third parties also exist and operate in United States and they often receive minor representations in the state levels and at national levels. The two major political parties in the United States have always won all the United States national elections and have been in full control of Congress of United States for many years. The general difference between these two main parties in terms of the party’s colors ,symbols and other factors make the United States politics unique and admirable. The republicans are sometimes referred as the Grand Old Party(G.O.P) and the party’s symbol is a beautiful elephant. On the other hand, the Democrat’s part symbol is of a donkey. The color of the Democratic Party is blue while that or f the Republican Party is red.