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The difference between Republicans and Democrats

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 4, 2020 - 12:00am

One good thing about the US political system is that they have a very strong two-party system. They have the Republican Party with its official red color and the Democratic Party with blue as its color of identification. We used to have that system, too, during the golden years of the Nacionalista Party and the Liberal Party. But it was obliterated by President Marcos, when he put up its monolithic KBL.

The Republican Party, with its byname GOP (Grand Old Party), was organized in1854, and had its logo the elephant based on the cartoons published by one Thomas Nast in the 1870s. The term Republican was adopted by the supporters of Thomas Jefferson who was elected as the third US president. Its first elected president was the great Abraham Lincoln who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, abolishing slavery in the US. The original principles of this party were laissez faire or free enterprise, capitalism, low taxes and conservative social policies. This party also stands for lowering taxes to stimulate the economy, a strong military and making the US a world power, respected in the international community of nations.

The Democrat Party was founded on January 8, 1828 by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren who were both elected US presidents. This party is associated with progressive social and economic policies. It is more pro-labor and pro-working class than the Republicans, who are more pro-business and pro-capitalists. The Democrats oppose government involvement in the private non-economic affairs of citizens. They are for civil rights and human rights for minorities and for immigrants, and for social welfare programs, including Medical aid and food stamps. Democrats are for gun control, workers and unions rights and for environmental protection. They endorse progressive taxation and bigger budgets for health, education, social services and less for the military.

Some of the more famous Republican presidents were Theodore Roosevelt, who took over from William McKinley who was assassinated in 1901. He was followed by William Howard Taft in 1908. Another notable Republican was Herbert Hoover who was defeated in 1932 by the famous Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, nephew of Theodore. Also a famous Republican was Dwight Eisenhower, the five-star general and World War II Supreme Commander. He was a centrist president who called for a strong opposition against communism. He was moderate and increased the minimum wage as well as social security, such advocacies being normally Democrats' ways.

Notable Democrats are John F Kennedy, the first Catholic president, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The only US president who was elected four times was a paralytic, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The first black to be elected president in the US was Obama and the first female speaker of the US House is Nancy Pelosi, from the great state of California. The first African woman to be elected to a seat in the House was a Democrat, Shirley Chrisholm from Brooklyn, New York. The first female candidate for president of a major party was Hillary Clinton in 2016. LBJ, or Lyndon B Johnson, took over when president Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

This is the main reason why Fil-Ams and other Asians are more aligned with the Democrats. This is the party that cares for migrants, protects the working class and fights for medical care. In the US, there is a clear line that divides the Democrats and the Republicans. We used to have clear lines between the old NP (more like Republicans) and the old LP (more like the Democrats). Today, politics in the Philippines is not based on principles but on personalities.

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