Democrats and Republicans. The Left and the Right. The Ying and Yang of our political system.
As the media continues to cover the presidential election coming up in 2016, most are enthralled by the simple psychoanalysis of each candidate. However, before we get wrapped up in the nuances of the candidates, let us first look at each party individually.
The past twenty years have seen our political system continually get more conservative. Democrats have been drawn to the center while Republicans have regressively moved more to the right.
Proof of this is health care reform.
House Republicans have loudly denounced Obamacare (ACA) as “government takeover” of health care. With more than fifty-six attempts to undermine or repeal the ACA and claims that it would kill jobs, Republicans have made it clear that Obamacare is detrimental in general and needs to be replaced. The funny thing is Obamacare is Romneycare, which is also the same health care plan the Heritage Foundation proposed back in the early 90’s.
So while Democrats would like to extend and expand the ACA, Republicans would not only eliminate Obamacare, they would make deep cuts to the Medicaid program and ultimately convert Medicare into a voucher system.
Another difference between the two parties is how to reform our country’s current tax code. Most Democrats would maintain the tax increases on high-income Americans that went into effect back in 2013, while most Republicans would attempt to cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans, saying the “job creators” need more money.
Ask Republicans and most would say they are in favor of a flat tax.
Ask Democrats and most would say they are in favor of a progressive tax.
Another startling contrast between the two parties is Wall Street reform. Most Democrats, such as Elizabeth Warren, have been at the forefront of the fight against the banks that played a major part in the Great Recession. With legislation like Dodd-Frank, our economy has returned from the hell-hole it was in back in 2008. How do Republicans, and some Democrats, feel about financial reform though? They have passed legislation to demolish almost all of the important Wall Street reforms.
If you’re fed up by now, the next difference will grind your gears just that much more.
Republicans love to say that the climate is and always will change. I, along with Democrats, can agree with this statement. Weather and climate are two completely different things though. Need less to say, Democrats are looking to move forward with climate policy. A majority of Republicans, whether they be outright climate science denialists or not, are prepared to block legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
With all this being said, I write my thoughts and opinions as an outsider looking in.
Do I identify as a Democrat? No.
Do I identify as a Republican? No.
I consider myself an American who wants what’s best for America.
In my opinion, the political system we have today is ludicrously flawed and most of us acknowledge this. Nevertheless, when you have open access to who runs our government, the difference is quite clear between the two parties.