Republicans believe responsibility for each person's station in life ultimately resides with each individual person. The Republican Party encourages individuals to work to secure the benefits of society for themselves, their families, and for those who are unable to care for themselves.
Democrats believe each person's rights can be sacrificed to the assumed needs of the group. Democrats assume "society" collectively is responsible for each of its members. Democrats place less emphasis on individual enterprise and initiative and prefer government "programs," such as the failed forty-year "War on Poverty."
Government and the Governed
Republicans believe government should only do for people those things they cannot do for themselves. Each person should have the right to determine what is best for him. Republicans believe governmental power and resources should be kept close to the people, through their state and community public servants, rather than centralized in distant big government.
Democrats believe a centralized power in Washington should control and direct our lives, with secondary consideration for the rights of individual citizens and communities. This has led to increasingly more federal controls and regimentation, often in the hands of un-elected bureaucrats, causing a severe erosion of local government power across the country.
Republicans believe peace and freedom can be protected only if America maintains a defense force strong enough to deter any aggressor. Republicans believe America, by striving to be that "shining city on a hill," can serve as the example the citizens of other countries can strive to become. Republicans encourage other nations to shoulder responsibility for their own problems. Republicans oppose unnecessary intervention in the internal affairs of other nations and stress helping our friends around the globe develop the skills and strengths necessary to protect themselves.
Democrats vacillate between extreme isolationism, intervention and confrontation tactics in relation to countries such as Vietnam, Cuba and Korea. Such inconsistent foreign policy confuses our allies and encourages our potential enemies.
Republicans believe in the competitive free-enterprise system. Individuals must be free to use their talents, the key to personal and national prosperity. Republicans believe the only limits to an individual's opportunity to succeed are the limits of his own initiative and enterprise.
Democrats believe the economy is too complicated to be left to free enterprise alone, and therefore must be subjected to ever-increasing controls by the federal government. Democrats say we are "entering an era of limitations" and therefore must lower our individual economic expectations. Democrats see the economy as a fixed pie to be sliced up for special interests, rather than as a pie than can be made bigger by the industriousness and innovation of Americans unfettered by ill-conceived government regulations.
Government Spending and Taxes
Republicans believe Americans should constantly strive to cut governmental spending and to eliminate costly, overlapping and unnecessary governmental regulations. Republicans believe tax increases should be voted upon by the people.
Democrats believe the federal government knows how and where to spend money for local needs better than elected community leaders, and federal bureaucrats should continue to control the flow of funds to the states and localities and dictate how the taxpayer s money will be spent.
Republicans believe in solutions decided upon and implemented by the people themselves, through their locally elected representatives. Republicans believe the solution to America's problems lies in the greatness of the American people, not government.
Democrats believe in a powerful, centralized bureaucracy aimed at solving local and nation problems from the top down—a method that has failed everywhere it has been tried throughout history.