2022 Election Crib Sheet
The Democrat Progressives and the Republican Regressives
Fair and open - this is a compilation of opinions and data I have gathered from many sources online.
The political philosophies between the parties couldn't be more different, and our November choices are more straightforward.
Democrats: Our nation is a nation of people, all people of every walk of life. We believe a solid but balanced government can improve social structures and support equality and communal responsibility. We believe that one of our tasks is to ensure everyone has access to life-critical services such as education, healthcare, food, and housing. Our mission is to make that life as healthy, happy, and profitable as possible. We believe we are elected to serve the people with honest and balanced policies. We believe in moving forward and adjusting policy to fit the times.
Republicans: Government is the problem. We are pro-military, pro-business, and pro-religion. We don't want regulation of business and industry, but we want prisons to lock people up. We believe the less we do as a government, the better off we'll be, except for more military spending and additional police. We favor little or no change. We believe private enterprise does better to provide for our country than the government. We like how things were fifty years ago and want to rebuild our nation to that model.
Summary: At the highest level of this debate, the Democrats feel the government is responsible for ensuring everyone has a shot at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Republicans prefer to offload that responsibility to private enterprise and hope everyone is honest.
Democrats: We believe in equal rights for all people of all nationalities, colors, religions, sex, and sexual preference. The government's job is not to impose morality based on religious beliefs. Democrats tend to be more progressive in their views, favoring abortion and gay marriage, but are firmly for strict gun control laws that limit ownership.
Republicans: The Republican platform encourages states to pass voter ID laws, which the US Justice Department and multiple federal and state courts have declared discriminatory against minorities and low-income voters. Justice's acts were described as "bullying." They tend to oppose gay marriage and promote marriage between a man and a woman. They also oppose abortion and promote the right to gun ownership.
Summary: The Republican Party, the old Southern Democrats during the Civil War era and switched names during Reconstruction, opposed most civil rights programs because they knew that people of color tend to vote Democrat, which hurts their chances of being/staying in office.
Democrats gear their economic policies to benefit low- and middle-income families. Democratic economy plans favor low-income and middle-income families typically. The belief is that reducing income inequality stimulates economic growth, meaning people are more likely to spend than save and invest. Democrats also support that a government should pay itself out of a recession.
Republicans advocate supply-side economics that primarily benefits businesses and investors. This theory states that tax cuts allow companies to hire more workers, increasing demand and growth. In theory, the increased revenue from a more robust economy offsets the initial revenue loss over time. Republicans advocate the right to pursue prosperity without government interference. They argue that this is achieved by self-discipline, enterprise, saving, and investing.
Summary: A National Bureau of Economic Research study found that Democratic presidents since World War II have performed much better than Republicans. On average, Democratic presidents grew the economy by 4.4% each year versus 2.5% for Republicans.4
Democrats believe in restricting drilling for oil or other avenues of fossil fuels to protect the environment. Democrats will push and support with tax dollars alternative energy solutions.
Republicans favor expanded drilling to produce more energy at a lower cost to consumers, regardless of the impact on our planet. Republicans favor allowing the market to decide which forms of energy are practical.
Summary: While both parties receive campaign contributions from the very industries hurting the environment, the Republicans get the most money. We seriously need campaign reform to take private money out of our campaigns; we need public financing of campaigns to do this.
Democrats: The party wanted to close down tax loopholes that specific individuals exploited to make more money. They also planned on supporting small-scale businesses "by providing tax relief and simplifying the tax code." Democrats proposed to fund social security by taxing individuals with a vast amount of annual earnings. Democrats favor raising taxes for established corporations and high-income earners.
Republicans say they want to eliminate unspecified special-interest loopholes while being mindful of the tax burdens imposed on the elderly and families with children." They want to preserve social security benefits without tax increases. Republicans are against the idea of raising taxes for a few wealthy Americans while ignoring the others. They believe it is an initiative by the Democrats to steal hard-earned cash from various hard-working people they say will pay higher prices if corporations are taxed fairly.
Summary: America's wealthy have benefited enormously from reductions in the corporate tax rate, which has fallen from a peak of 52.8 percent in the 1960s to 21 percent under the 2017 Republican tax law. The windfalls of lower corporate taxes flow primarily to high-income Americans because of their disproportionate ownership of corporate stock.
Democrats across the board believe that government should run such social programs as welfare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and Medicaid that support people in need. They feel more tax dollars should be funneled into these programs.
Republicans acknowledge a need for these social programs but favor less funding and tighter control. Republicans favor supporting private organizations that help people in need.
Summary: I would mount the same argument I did for healthcare here. If the private sector could be relied on to address our social issues, we wouldn't have 552,830 (2021 estimate) homeless people living on the streets of our country. For-profit companies are not going to put a priority on the homeless, mentally ill, and other issues.
Democrats favor more progressive approaches to education, such as implementing the Common Core System. Democrats favor giving students more money in the form of loans and grants. Democrats will work to expand access to career and technical education, magnet schools for science and the arts, International Baccalaureate programs, and early college high schools to offer multiple pathways to meet the diverse needs and interests of America's high school students.
Republicans: We support options for learning, including home-schooling, career and technical education, private or parochial schools, magnet schools, charters, schools, online learning, and early-college high schools. We especially support the innovative financing mechanisms that make options available to all children: education savings accounts (ESAs), vouchers, and tuition tax credits. Rigid tenure systems should be replaced with a merit-based approach to attract the best talent to the classroom.
Summary: As with many life-critical services, the Republicans prefer to let the free market fix things. At the same time, the Democrats recognize the criticality of an excellent education for all children regardless of their economic status, like a government plan that ensures that will happen.
Democrats believe the government should care for its people, providing them necessities. Democrats push for quality and affordable healthcare for all citizens and have been behind getting things like Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program passed into law.
In the Republican mindset, the less government interference, the better. The Republican party fights the Democratic party on each healthcare reform they propose. The Republicans believe the government shouldn't be involved with its citizens, as they support the free market.
Summary: The so-called free market has been controlling the situation since time immemorial, and because that is a for-profit-driven industry, we are in the mess we're in today. A better approach is called for; other nations worldwide have shown us how it's done.
Democrats ask that the "broken immigration system" be changed, including a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Republicans supported Trump's desire for a border wall between the United States and Mexico but were split on whether to endorse his proposal to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants.
Summary: Democrats see immigrants as people in need; Republicans see them as criminals and grifters. That is the fundamental difference here.
Democrats treat gun violence as a legitimate public health concern. They believe better gun control will distribute gun ownership rights to more responsible people while discouraging antagonistic individuals. This is best demonstrated by Elizabeth Warren's gun plan involving federal licensing, having a firearm cap per person, increasing the minimum age for gun ownership, and, more importantly, holding gun manufacturers accountable.
Republicans strongly oppose any form of gun control. Republicans claim their right to protect themselves, family, and private property from criminals, corrupt government, and war-time invasions. Conservative politicians claim that gun control doesn't work - pointing to states with strict laws yet plagued with violence. At the same time, they argue for more stringent regulations for drugs and illegal immigration, claiming that stricter laws work in those cases.
Summary: Only two times in our history have we had to take up guns to protect ourselves from insurrection, during the Civil War and on January 6, 2021. Both times, the violence was perpetrated by conservatives who either wanted the right to enslave people or who sided with a defeated and arguably demented man who was no longer President. We have more to fear from conservatives with guns than criminals or invaders.
Democrats are more progressive in their views, believing that crimes that do not involve violence, such as selling drugs, should have lighter penalties and rehabilitation. They are also against capital punishment in any form.
Republicans generally believe in harsher penalties when someone has committed a crime, including selling illegal drugs. They also generally favor capital punishment and back a system with many layers to ensure the proper punishment has been meted out.
Summary: These differences are pretty straightforward. Do you spoil the child by not beating them? Or, do you get more cooperation with love and caring? Do you want revenge or change?
Democrats: Nailing down any president's foreign policy is tricky; it's usually based on more than just defending democracy; it involves deals, oil, trade, and a crap-load of other stuff. Here is what Bloomberg said about Biden: "It's time to give President Joe Biden credit for achieving something no one predicted: bipartisanship in foreign policy." Biden made the risky choice to respond forcefully to Putin's aggression at a considerable political cost in the form of higher gas prices and overall inflation. Ukraine could have proved to be a less appealing or less competent ally. Biden's decisions have turned the war into a broader rally around NATO and international cooperation - precisely the larger purpose Biden and most Democratic (and many Republican) foreign policy professionals thought was needed after Donald Trump's presidency.
Republicans favor a nationalist foreign policy that hinges on self-reliance and autonomy and promotes using more direct, forceful means to achieve US goals. These means include maintaining superior military power, economic pressure, decision-making independence, and a more aggressive approach toward China.
Summary: Foreign policy is a political nightmare. It's not that easy anymore, if it ever was, to identify the good and bad guys; one day, they are your ally, and the next, they're not. Biden has a lifetime of jockeying for positions and brokering deals, which seems to serve him well as President.
Democrats understand that as much as we would love to believe that if we leave everyone to their own devices, all will be well. If history has taught us anything, it is that we will steamroll our neighbor if it is to our advantage. We know that as excellent as our nation is, there will be people at the bottom for various reasons, and we need to put a floor under poverty and its many causes. The communists tried to make everyone equal, at the bottom, to be sure, which didn't work. Pretending that if we get everyone out of the way, the capitalist system will make everyone wealthy is just as wrong-headed. We have to support the rich by allowing them to function and help the poor who missed that train.
Republicans continue to repeat the Reagan mantra of private enterprise. That government is some evil presence, or perhaps a necessary evil that has to be beaten into submission. They worship profits and wealth above all else. They call it freedom of choice (unless it's a pregnant woman), but the truth is that a government without involvement becomes anarchy in time.
- Republics and democracies are political systems in which citizens are represented by elected officials sworn to protect their interests.
- In a pure democracy, laws are made directly by the voting majority leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected.
- In a republic, laws are made by representatives chosen by the people. They must comply with a constitution that protects the rights of the minority from the majority's will.
- The United States, while a republic, is best described as a "representative democracy."