Wednesday, March 2, 2016


During the U.S. political campaigns, I thought about how divisive both the Democratic and Republican parties are.   In the past, this division created gridlock during the legislative sessions.  In the beginning, political parties were created to ensure that government of the people, by the people, for the people would exist.  Americans choose their representatives who reflect the varied opinions that make America the democracy that it is.  So what are the two main political parties, and is there any hope that they can be united in purpose?

            The Democratic Party is the oldest, continual party in the United States.  On the political spectrum, it is center-left.  Its ideological position is social liberalism.  This is defined as favoring higher taxation and economic regulation.  It also seeks governmental business enterprises and governmental assistance of basic needs, education, and health care.  Social liberalists believe in the individual rights of people, in that they have the right to believe what they want, say what they want, and live how they want. 

            The Republican Party is also titled the Grand Old Party.  On the political spectrum, it is center-right.  Its ideological position is social conservatism.  This is described as favoring lower taxes and limited governmental assistance.  It also pursues free market and trade, and deregulation of the economy.  Social conservatives believe that there are traditional cultural values that people should adhere to for a civil society, and that the public needs to balance individual rights with the community’s interests. 

            In order for there to be unity among the representatives in government, two things must be remembered: the purpose of the branches of government, and the original intentions the founding fathers expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  The executive branch’s purpose is to lead the country and military, pass or veto bills, and make treaties with other nations.  The legislative branch’s tasks are to collect federal taxes to provide for governmental services, develop bills, and regulate the economy.  The judicial system’s duty is to interpret the Constitution in matters of law and set precedents. 

            The Declaration of Independence is a statement of seceding from the British Empire.   This document states that all men are created equal, and each has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  Its main purpose was to create the branches of government.  The Bill of Rights is a list of amendments to the Constitution.  The most eminent are the five freedoms: religion, speech, petition, assembly, and press.   Other notable rights are right to bear arms, right to privacy, and criminal rights.  More amendments have been passed since, mainly to ensure that all American citizens, above 18 years, have the right to vote.  

            After briefly detailing the governmental branches and documents, what can we deduce from this collection of definitions?  The powers that be must protect our nation from any foe and establish diplomacy with any allies.  They are also responsible for making decisions that protect our rights as listed in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.   Our representatives’ duty is to provide for governmental services through the levy of taxes, and to keep the economy balanced.  The Supreme Court’s obligation is to make decisions based on the Constitution as a whole.  Both political parties agree with these ideals.  The only conflict they have is how to implement these ideals.  If the party members can keep in mind their main purpose, to serve the people, they can work out their differences in a nonpartisan manner.  

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