Political Party Project Identify the major ideas of the two major parties

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Republican Party (USA)

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The Republican Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. It was established in 1854 by a conglomerate of politicians and non-politicians who opposed the expansion of slavery and held a Hamiltonian vision for modernizing the nation. The party has occasionally been dubbed "America's natural governing party", since 18 of the 27 US Presidents since 1861 have been Republicans. The party is not to be confused with the Democratic-Republican party of Thomas Jefferson or the National Republican Party of Henry Clay.



  • 1 Brief intro

  • 2 Ideological base

  • 3 History

  • 4 List of Republican presidential nominees

  • 5 External links

    • 5.1 Related SourceWatch articles

    • 5.2 References

    • 5.3 Resources

5.4 Articles & Commentary [edit]

Brief intro

The Republican Party was organized in Jackson, Michigan on February 28, 1854 as a party opposed to the westward expansion of slavery.(Three other cities, including Ripon, Wis., also claim to be the party's birthplace.)

The first convention of the U.S. Republican Party was held on July 6, 1854, in Jackson. Many of its initial policies were inspired by the defunct Whig Party. Since its inception, its chief opponent has been the Democratic Party.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) of the United States provides national leadership for the United States Republican Party. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. There are similar committees in every U.S. state and most U.S. Counties (though in some states, party organization lower than state-level is arranged by legislative districts). It can be considered the counterpart of the Democratic National Committee. The chairman of the RNC, since January 2007, has been Mike Duncan. Previous chairmen were Ken Mehlman and Ed Gillespie. [1]

The official symbol of the Republican Party is the elephant. Although the elephant had occasionally been associated with the party earlier, a cartoon by Thomas Nast, published in Harper's Weekly on November 7, 1874, is considered the first important use of the symbol [1]. In the early 20th century, the traditional symbol of the Republican Party in Midwestern states such as Indiana and Ohio was the eagle, as opposed to the Democratic rooster. This symbol still appears on Indiana ballots.

From 2002 to 2006, the Republican Party held a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. It also held a majority of governorships, and was tied with Democrats in the number of state legislatures it controlled. As of the 2006 election, the Democratic Party holds a majority in all of the above areas. [2] [3] [4]

Grand Old Party is a traditional nickname, and the initials G.O.P. are commonly used as a shorthand political designation.


Ideological base

The outstanding difference between the mind set and political ideals of the Republican and that of the Democrat is that the Republican tends to put forth the ideal that all things are earned and nothing is owed. The Republican Party holds the mindset that anything can be achieved but nothing is given. This mindset is seen most often in the party's push for equal tax rates despite income, as well as minimized social assistance programs. This is fought for in an attempt to treat all citizens equally despite income, race, sex, or religion. Meanwhile Democrats seek to raise taxes so that government can provide services such as health insurance and housing assistance to everyone. Republicans wish to minimize these socialist ideals, because of the modern failure of governments that attempted to invoke them. Republicans also show concerns about having big government in charge of such vital issues as food, shelter, or health care, as they believe the private sector and/or the individual are better suited to control their own lives. The much revered president Ronald Reagan was a Republican and has been quoted as saying "Government is not the solution, it is the problem."

The party tends to hold both conservative (right-wing) and libertarian stances on social and economic issues respectively. Major policies that the party has recently supported include a neoconservative foreign policy, including War on Terror, invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, strong support for democracy especially in the Middle East, and distrust of the United Nations due to the organization's incompetent bureaucracy, anti-capitalist undertone and lackadaisical approach to issues such as fighting terrorism. It has demanded radical reforms in the UN and opposes the Kyoto Protocol due the protocol's unfair application to certain countries (especially the United States) and that it prevents economic growth and slows the reduction of poverty.

It generally supports free trade, especially NAFTA. It boasts that a series of across-the-board tax cuts since 2001 has bolstered the economy and reduced the punitive aspect of the income tax. It has sought business deregulation, reduction of environmental restrictions, and other policies that are pro-capitalism. It supports gun ownership rights, and enterprise zones. Its national and state candidates usually favor the death penalty, call for stronger state-level control on access to abortion, oppose the legalization of gender-neutral marriage on a nation-wide level, favor faith-based initiatives, support school choice and homeschooling, and social welfare benefit reform.

The party has called for much stronger accountability in the public schools. The party is split on the issue of federally funding embryonic stem cell research, with many seeing it as unethical to force tens of millions of tax payers who believe this type of research is morally wrong to finance it. Historically Republicans have had a strong belief in individualism, limited government, and business entrepreneurship.

Rhetoric aside however, one way to discover the value difference between Republicans and Democrats is to research which groups support the two political parties. A close look at this Open Secrets "Top All-Time Donor Profiles" page reveals that large corporations usually either favor Republicans or support both parties equally while workers rights groups (unions), which make up the rank and file of these corporations almost always support Democrats.


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