Difference Between Democrat and Republican

Mount Rushmore

Democrats and Republicans are two of the most common political factions in the United States. Here, we will be discussing the significant differences between the two.

Origins and Definitions of Democrats and Republicans

The origins of the Democratic Party can be traced back to anti-federalist factions who were organized into a party by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other influential partners in 1792. The Democratic Party has always shared opposing economic and social views with the Republican Party, which was founded in 1854 by the anti- slavery activists and modernizers.  The Republican Party rose to prominence following the election of the first Republican president Abraham Lincoln who presided during the American civil war. A Democrat is usually known to be a supporter of a wider range of social services in America while a Republican typically believes in a limited influence of the government and a dominant foreign policy.

Beliefs of Democrats and Republicans

Republicans are typically considered to be more conservative while democrats are more liberal. Individual freedoms and rights are key parts of the republican philosophy, as opposed to equality and social responsibility embraced by democrats. To this end, a majority of Republican Party members believe that the budget for the military should be increased and a more hard line stance should be taken against countries like Iran, Syria, etc. Democrats on the other hand, think that military spending should be decreased and advocate for more spending on social services.

Supported Stances of Democrats and Republicans

Gun control, taxes, death penalty, abortion and LGBT rights are some of the main areas of controversy between the two parties. Democrats support the gun control laws whilst Republicans oppose the gun control laws (which is often seen as a restriction of individual rights). Abortion rights and keeping elective abortions legal is supported by Democrats whilst Republicans oppose it. As expected, Republicans support the death penalty while Democrats oppose it. Republicans also oppose to increasing the minimum wage as well as progressive taxes which is strongly supported by the Democrats.

Additionally, Democrats believe in equal rights for all the LGBTQ community (e.g the right to get married, adopt children, etc.), while the Republicans believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman so therefore the LGBTQ community should not have the right to get married, etc.


Comparison Board

Philosophy Liberal Conservative
Economic Ideas Progressive taxation and minimum wages. Flat rate taxation and free market-set wages.
Social and human ideas Social responsibility. Justice and individual rights.
Stance on Military issues Decreased spending Increased spending
Stance on Gay Marriage Majority Support Majority Oppose
Stance on Abortion Ought to remain legal Ought to be illegal
Stance on Death Penalty Majority support with substantial opposition Majority support
Stance on Government Regulation Support Oppose
Healthcare Policy Support universal and public healthcare Oppose public healthcare in favour of private companies.
Stance on Immigration Majority support a moratorium on deporting undocumented, law abiding immigrants. Majority oppose a moratorium on deporting undocumented immigrants.
Traditionally strong in states New York, California, Massachusetts Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas
Symbol Donkey Elephant
Color Blue Red
Founded in 1824 1854
Website www.democrats.org www.gop.com
Senate Leader Harry Reid Mitch McConnell
Chairperson Tom Perez Ronna Romney McDaniel
Famous Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon
Seats in the Senate 44/100 54/100
Seats in the House of Representatives 188/435 245/435
Governorships 18/50 31/50
Membership 43.1 million (2012) 30.7 million (2012)
2016 Presidential Candidates Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, etc.


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