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News What is essential issue between Democrats and Republicans

  1. May 8, 2012 #1
    Since 1800 the central issue has been freedom versus government. Is this correct; should all elections be framed this way?
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  3. May 8, 2012 #2
    This isn't a good way to frame it. Without government you can't have freedom just anarchy and rule by force.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2012
  4. May 8, 2012 #3
    well , organized force would be government. Also, when we say we are against government as Jefferson did, for example, he did not mean it literally, he was not an anarchist, he was just for very very limited government

    1)I cant imagine that eating is the essential issue. 2) I cant imagine that anyone would assume government necessarily has the sense to tell us what to eat in light of a history chock full of government errors. Lastly, stated more conceptually, what you have said is that the essential issue is: freedom versus government.
  5. May 8, 2012 #4


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    This thread won't last long.
  6. May 8, 2012 #5
    please say why?
  7. May 8, 2012 #6
    There isn't much of an "issue" at all in world-historical terms; both are varieties of bourgeois, republican (little-r) liberal capitalist parliamentarism, to use a mouthful of acronyms. Whatever difference that exists is over minutiae of running such a society; the fundamental organization of society is not even remotely the question.
  8. May 8, 2012 #7
    Is there no fundamental difference between Republican capitalist health care and single- payer Obamacare? At heart Republicans admire Jefferson and Rand while Democrats admire Marx and Engles. The difference is very fundamental but not very obvious in a democracy with so many confused in the middle.
  9. May 8, 2012 #8
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that Democrats admire Marx and Engels. Some Democrats do, sure, but a great many on the modern left are what are known as social democrats, who want what is called social democracy. And Republicans differ among one another too, some Republicans want an isolationist foreign policy and a military only capable of defensive purposes, and very limited government in the form of regulations and safety nets, whereas others call for a very strong standing military and active foreign policy with a variety of safety nets.
  10. May 8, 2012 #9
    In my opinion, there is no core essential issue. Rather it is a coalition of competing interest groups who have aligned themselves with different parties. There has also been a successful "branding" of both parties, whereas different social groups see themselves and their theoretical interests as being represented by a party. While both parties will imploy rhetorical propaganda that panders to ideological elements, neither represents any consistent ideology.
  11. May 9, 2012 #10
    It is not freedom vs. government.

    It is a fundamental Democrat impulse to shield people from the consequences of their actions.

    It is a fundamental Republican impulse to expose people to the consequences of their actions.

    Now that I've spelled out the abstraction for you, do you agree or disagree?

    The eating business is literal as well: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/02/15/school-lunch-guidelines-p_n_1278803.html
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  12. May 9, 2012 #11
    "It is a fundamental Republican impulse to expose people to the consequences of their actions."

    Except when it comes to any of the numerous personal choices republicans want to regulate.
  13. May 9, 2012 #12

    Vanadium 50

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    Anyone who thinks there is a single issue that divides the two major political parties and that this issue has been constant for two centuries is unaware of both history and political science. Indeed, neither party has been around "since 1800".
  14. May 9, 2012 #13
    I'd say the essential issue is that Democrats (in general) believe Republicans have the wrong idea on how to run the country, and Republicans (in general) believe Democrats have the wrong idea. beyond that, it gets kinda murky.
  15. May 9, 2012 #14


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    The fact that Republicans can propose an idea that Democrats hate, then Democrats pick it up and have Republicans oppose it is a pretty good example of how close the two parties ideologically in the grand scheme of things
  16. May 9, 2012 #15


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    And in that way, each party defines the other.
  17. May 9, 2012 #16
    Both are right.
  18. May 14, 2012 #17
    In fact, Jefferson founded the Republican party in 1792 with Madison.

    Since Jefferson's first attempt to introduce a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution the Republicans have introduced 30 of them, and liberals have killed every one of them! That ought to point up the consistency in the most basic long term ideology of our country and where it had consistently resided.

    Here is primary source, "Congressional Record", to get you started if you want to begin your study of American history:

    1)5th Congress (1797-1799)
    Majority Party: Federalist (22 seats)

    Minority Party: Republican (10 seats)

    Other Parties: 0

    Total Seats: 32


    6th Congress (1799-1801)

    Majority Party: Federalist (22 seats)

    Minority Party: Republican (10 seats)

    Other Parties: 0

    Total Seats: 32


    7th Congress (1801-1803)

    Majority Party: Republican (17 seats)

    Minority Party: Federalist (15 seats)

    Other Parties: 0

    Vacant: 2

    Total Seats: 34

    Always remember you must use primary sources if you want to get to the bottom of this issue. Most historians are liberal so need desperately to deny that the founding ideology was Republican.

    "Although people were still deeply ambivalent about political parties, although one party did not necessarily recognize the legitimacy of the other, and although men on both sides were nostalgic- at one time or another- for the imaginary golden age of political harmony, few people could be found in the early 1790's who believed the parties did not exist. The parties had names: Federalist and Republican." -Susan Dunn Ph.D, "Jefferson's Second Revolution".
  19. May 14, 2012 #18

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    In fact, Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republican party, not the Republican party. The Democratic-Republican party was the predecessor of the Democratic party and not the Republicans.
  20. May 14, 2012 #19
    There is no primary source to support you. I gave you Congressional Record above and quote from book on subject by famous historian. Jefferson gave a million speeches and wrote a million letters. He was not a Democratic-Republican. It seems only liberal historians want to confuse the founding to make Democrats fit into it.

    If you can find a primary source saying Jefferson's party was called Democratic-Republican party in the 18th Century I would be forever in your debt. I would not invest too much time though, if I were you.
  21. May 15, 2012 #20


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    Political Party:Democratic-Republican


    Three references indicating that the current Republican Party was established in 1854.

    Interesting book - The origin of the Republican Party



    I'm sure more can be found.
  22. May 15, 2012 #21


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    This part is true. The term "Democratic-Republican" was applied after the fact to differentiate the earlier Republican Party from the modern Republican Party.

    But, it's applied because, organizationally, both modern parties originated from the earlier Republican Party. It would be wrong to trace the Republican Party back through history by its attitudes towards economic issues, states' rights, etc, though.

    The modern Republican Party and Democratic Party were really defined by their stands on slavery. But even that is misleading. After civil war, the party names stayed the same even if the parties became identified with new issues. Two say the modern Republican Party can be traced all the way back to Jefferson jumps completely over the civil war and completely over the portion of history where the Democrtatic Party was more closely identified with the concept of states' rights.

    Jimmy intended humor, but the two original parties give the best impression of what political parties really are: the Federalists and the anti-Federalists. Hamilton was the first to organize a true political party, making his Federalist Party against the other guys. It was only after Federalists started dominating government positions that the "other guys" decided a rival political party was necessary.

    Anyone that gets too wrapped up in the history of their political party is really drinking the kool-aid. It's probably better to look at political parties as "brands" of politicians that you can select between rather than a team you join and support no matter what.
  23. May 15, 2012 #22
    Wow; good for you! Not 1 in a million know about the liberal conspiracy or admit it if they do know.

    I'm afraid its applied to give the Democrats a place at the founding they don't deserve. How on earth could modern Democrats originate in any meaningful sense from the Republican Party when they have an opposite philosophy.

    Let's always remember that human history is about the struggle between freedom and government; so that will always be the most useful context in which to organize your view of history.
  24. May 15, 2012 #23
    Hmm it looks like it was Ted that didn't last long.

    Here is a good Bill Moyers show on the topic. How Do Conservatives and Liberals See the World?


    There are several questionnaires to click on at the bottom of the page.

    I was a bit surprised to see that on one of them I scored higher than the average liberal in two parts and higher than the average conservative on the other three.:confused:
  25. May 15, 2012 #24


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    There are not "two sides" to every complex issue. We all live in a social continuum that evolves continuously. People that get their "news" exclusively from biased sources really have no appreciation for this. There are those on the right that rail against the "liberal media", though ABC, NBC, and CBS are owned by huge corporations. They have no real motivation to offend their advertisers, and they are about as middle-of-the road as one could expect. I'm glad that we have bloggers and Internet sources to provide some balance.
  26. May 15, 2012 #25


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    Must be because you're one of those unprincipled consumers of politicians - you pick which one appeals to you the most with no sense of team loyalty.

    A true team player would join either the Republicans or the Democrats and then make sure their views always matched their team. It's easier to vote that way - you don't have to read the names; only the letter that comes after the name.
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