I'm sure you've heard it said that Democrats and Republicans are the same. Perhaps you are among those who believe it. More and more people are saying it, every day. In fact, it's becoming quite the catch-phrase of the main stream. But is it true? Let's compare and contrast a little, shall we?
Democrat: Tax and Spend
Republican: Spend and Spend and Spend... and Tax
Democrat: Love it or do something to improve it.
Republican: Love it or leave it.
Democrat: "Take from the rich to give to the poor." Wealthy pay a higher percentage of net taxable income than the working class, but placing the tax burden on the wealthy is fair because the wealthy still pay a much lower percentage of their disposable (gross income less their cost of living expenses) income.
Republican: "Take from the working class to give to the rich." The working (or middle) class pays a much higher percentage of both gross income and disposable income than the wealthy, but it's fair because the middle class pays the same percentage of net taxable income.
Democrats: Access to health care is a basic human right.
Republicans: Access to health care is an earned privelege.
Democrats: When the basic survival needs (clothes, food, shelter, health care) of our poorest citizens are provided for, it benefits all of society and shows the world that we are a wealthy and powerful nation. Welfare can be a hand up for people who have fallen on hard times and just need a boost. It should be retooled or overhauled so that it is less easily abused and does not trap multiple generations of families in poverty and reliance on the state for sustenance.
Republicans: When the basic survival needs (clothes, food, shelter, health care) of our poorest citizens are provided for, it creates a drain on all of society and shows the world that we are a weak nation. Welfare is just a hand out for people who are too lazy to support themselves. It should be eliminated.
Democrats: Labor unions ensure that the working class is compensated for the time, knowledge and skills they market to employers. A good labor force contributes, substantially, to the financial success of a business. The captain steers the ship with the aid of an able crew.
Republicans: Labor unions are communist organizations whose goal is the even redistribution, among the workers, of the profits earned by businesses through the marketing of goods and services to consumers. Profits are the result of good management, the workforce, by itself, has little or no effect on the financial success of a business. The captain steers the ship and leads the crew, without him there would be no ship.
For Our Own Good:
Democrat: To reduce teen pregnancy and STD rates, sex ed should include information about abstinence in addition to information about birth control and STD prevention.
Republican: To reduce teen pregancy and STD rates, sex ed should include information about abstinence, alone, because it is the only guaranteed method of birth control and STD prevention.
Democrat: Protect us from big business by regulating business ethics.
Republican: Protect us from ourselves by regulating our morals.
Separation of Church & State:
Democrats: Separation of church and state refers to all faiths, because there is no such thing as a generic, one size fits all faith.
Republicans: Separation of church and state refers to all but non-denominational protestantism, which suffices as an acceptable generic, one size fits all faith because the over-all Christian body of faith is the majority faith in the US.
A Democrat who wants a forest to exist for his/her great-grandchildren to enjoy will work to protect it, legally, as a national treasure, to ensure that it exists for our families to enjoy for many generations to come.
A Republican who wants a forest to exist for his/her great-grandchildren to enjoy will purchase the land and put it in a centuries long trust to ensure that it will exist for his/her family to enjoy for many generations to come.
A Democrat catches a twenty dollar bill he sees falling from a hole in the pocket of a shabbily dressed man and immediately returns it to the man, firmly believing that a man so shabbily attired cannot afford to lose such a large amount of money.
A Republican catches a twenty dollar bill he sees falling from a hole in the pocket of a shabbily dressed man and pockets it, himself, firmly believing that if the man had any appreciation for such a large amount of money, he could afford less shabby attire and would e more careful than to carry his money around in a pocket with a hole in it.
Now that I read back through the comparisons, I can see why some people think that Democrats and Republicans are the same. Both spend our money. Both want us to love our country. Both regulate on our behalf. Both tax us and believe their tax plans to be fair. Neither is pushing for our public schools to teach little Baptist children to worship Vishnu. Both want all of us who deserve it to have access to decent health care. Both want to prevent teen pregnancy and STDs through education. Both think our nation is judged by how we treat our poorest citizens. Both want to see the people who are responsible for the success of a business compensated, fairly, for their efforts. The fictional forest would be preserved for future generations either way and neither the Democrat nor the Republican would let that imaginary twenty dollar bill blow away with the breeze.
But... alike? I might just as easily say that all the snowflakes resting on my lawn this fine December afternoon are alike: they're all white, they're all made of frozen water, they all have six points, they're all fragile and they all fell from above. Only upon closer examination is it revealed to me that each individual snowflake is unique. The differences are in the details.