How to tell a Republican from a Democrat?




One issue that keeps coming at our conferences and exchanges between our two cultures is the total disregard of the two parties in France. For Once and for All, we can’t compare our Republicans and Democrats to your right and left. That would be too simple, wouldn't be ?


First finding our political reality in the US is both much more complex than in France and at the same time much narrower than yours. But how is this possible? Basically your left (except those who are pro-European and yet) doesn’t exist here, so forget Bessansno and don’t even mention the Communist Party please, this is unthinkable in the USA. But we too have many small extreme movements at the corner of our two parties. Only ours extremists Republicans are against any form of taxation whatsoever, and for the Democrats, their vision of ecology would make your ecologist go crazy. However, unlike in France, in our part of the world these small groups have little power.

To understand our two political parties, you have to have a good understanding of one of the very principles of our country, we are above all a FEDERAL state. This means that both parties are independent towards national authorities and candidates across the States concerned more about their district than the entire territory.

Whether Hillary Clinton or Sarah Pallins, Republicans and Democrats share the following common values: the market economy (and yes even the Democrats), respect for our Constitution, religious freedom, and last but not least, the spirit of entreprise. 

In fact to be clear and precise, the two parties agree on a common set, but differ in their means to implement it. And this is where opinions differ. Republicans are for a larger autonomy of the states and therefore a weak federal government, contrary to the Democrats who want a strong federal government.



A brief historical retrospective of our two parties


If the current view of our parties is a direct result of our Civil War, and yes the federal government were strengthened, it is necessary to have a brief overview of the history of our parties to understand the evolution of our politic, because unlike France, these last two have shifted 100%.

Let me explain, if you go back to the beginning of our democracy, the positions of the two parties were reversed. How so? You may say. Well many Democrats who were so afraid of losing their newly acquired freedoms were for a weak federal government, and thus overpowered States. Contrary to popular belief, in the south Democrats were the majority, which translated for the occasion with slavery against the advice of Republicans in Washington. One that ended the shame that was slavery is a famous Republican Abraham Lincoln. At that time the Republican party was for a strong federal power to simply consolidate the union and protect the rights of these citizens.

But when did these two sides have radically change their opinion?, will you ask me? In fact this has happened in two stages.

The first referred to the Republican Party and took place in 1932. And yes, while we are in an economic crisis, the newly elected democratic government will make something unthinkable at the time, a social policy to stimulate the troubled economy and to fight against rising poverty. It was then that Republicans will begin to defend the right of states.

The last change will take place during the implementation of the civil rights act of blacks in 1964 that will tear into the flesh of the Democratic Party. Indeed it will be split into two parts, first the Southern conservative Democrats who prefer to close their eyes, will gradually leave the party and become Republicans, and across the northern Democrats who no longer accept these injustices, will become the true American left if I can say, they will be our current Democrats. It’s from this time that the South and the Midwest are in principle Republicans, be careful not to confuse slavery and racist with Republicans, remember Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

Mainly the opposition between Republicans and Democrats tend to decide who will have the most power, the state or federal government.



The Democratic Party


Its emblem is a donkey and no offense to those who think that the animal is stupid, for us it represents strength and perseverance. This is a tough animal. The Democrats are generally for a strong federal state with a significant tax policy system. Which results in social policy and higher taxes. However, their questioning of liberalism without safeguards doesn’t make them less critical of more forceful socialist policies.



The Republican Party


Its emblem is the elephant because it’s a powerful and dignified animal. So forget rants like: a bull in a china shop. In principle they are today for a weaker federal government, economic liberalism and they rather represent conservative values. Their credo can be simplified as follows: "Government is not a solution to our problem government is the problem" (Ronald Reagan quote). Paradoxically for a french point of view, they are against any liberal morals, they are overwhelmingly against gay marriage, against abortion (Pro Life). I assure you some Democrats also share these thoughts (humor).



A third party, why?


Often I hear some people criticize our quasi typically American two-party system. If many of my compatriots would not be against a third major party, our country hardly lends itself.

Indeed, in our system to a single round,  a “ Useful Vote” doesn’t exist like in France. The clash is direct, there is no second chance for the loser, except to try again at the next election. In addition two other points complicate the emergence of a third major party, firstly the vast expanse of our territory, we must not forget that we must be present everywhere. And last but not least the huge amounts spent during the presidential campaigns are a major obstacle to any other party, it’s very difficult to compete with the two established parties.