Of all the things I hear in politics that absolutely infuriate me, having somebody tell me that “there’s no difference between the two major political parties” is, by far, one of the most irritating and asinine things I encounter quite often.
Whenever I hear somebody actually say this to me, all I really hear them admitting to me is that they don’t know a damn thing about politics. While there are some similarities, you have to be a complete idiot to think that the two parties are “basically the same.”
Saying Democrats and Republicans are “the same” because they share a few similarities is like saying a Chihuahua and an African lion are the same because they’re both mammals, eat meat, have fur, are loud and walk on all fours.
In fact, let me just go ahead and run down a whole list of issues where the two parties are nothing alike.
- Democrats support a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body.
- Republicans want the government to be allowed to tell women what they can or cannot do to them.
2. Marriage equality:
- Democrats believe in marriage equality and staunchly defend same-sex marriage.
- Republicans want to pass a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.
3. Gay Adoption:
- Democrats support the right for gay Americans to adopt children.
- Republicans want to prevent gay Americans from having the right to adopt, often even suggesting that children from gay parents are more prone to having issues than those raised by straight parents.
4. Climate change:
- Democrats believe that climate change is a major threat to the planet and that we need to take steps to combat rising temperatures.
- Republicans bring snowballs to Congress to “prove” that climate change is a hoax.
5. Gun control:
- Democrats believe in common sense gun regulations to try to curb our nation’s out of control gun violence.
- Republicans have sold their souls to the NRA, opposing practically any and all mention of new and sensible gun regulations.
6. Voting rights:
- Democrats believe that voting is a fundamental right and that we should be making it easier for people to vote, not more difficult.
- Republicans continue to pass strict new voting laws that have proven to disenfranchise minority voters.
- Democrats want to provide a common sense path to citizenship for immigrants who are here, in good standing and meet certain requirements.
- Republicans want to build a wall, then rip apart entire families as they deport over 12 million immigrants.
8. Minimum wage:
- Democrats support raising the minimum wage to between $12-$15 an hour.
- Republicans oppose any hike in the minimum wage, with many members of the party who would like to get rid of it altogether.
9. Health care:
- Democrats want to expand the Affordable Care Act to eventually make it a single-payer/universal program that covers all Americans.
- Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act and go back to the old system when millions of Americans were discriminated against because they were born with pre-existing conditions.
10. Equal pay for women:
- Democrats are staunch supporters of equal pay legislation that gives women in the workplace legal power to go after an employer for trying to pay them less than a man.
- Republicans have continued to vote against any such legislation for years.
11. Religious freedom:
- Democrats support a strict separation of church and state.
- Republicans want to turn the United States into a theocracy, with quite a few believing that the Bible supersedes Constitutional law.
- Democrats believe in providing a debt-free college education, with legislation to help the millions of Americans struggling with student loan debt.
- Republicans don’t want to do anything to deal with the skyrocketing cost of education or to help students struggling with debt.
13. Social Security/Medicare:
- Democrats want to expand benefits for current and future recipients by raising tax rates on some of the richest among us.
- Republicans want to privatize the programs so that the rich could profit from them, which would ultimately end up destroying both programs for future generations.
14. Helping the poor:
- Democrats want to expand programs that help the most vulnerable among us (most of which are children or senior citizens), so that those living in the most dire of circumstances have some sort of way to survive.
- Republicans vilify the poor, often painting them as “lazy moochers seeking a handout” or “takers,” while constantly pushing for major cuts to programs like SNAP.
15. Women’s health:
- Democrats continually fight to protect and defend Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides health services to millions of women each year (many living in poverty), with 97 percent of what they do having nothing to do with abortion.
- Republicans all across this country (at both the state and federal levels) have been trying to eliminate funding for the organization in an attempt to possibly force Planned Parenthood to close its doors.
- The Democratic party is very diverse, defends civil rights, fights to end racial injustice within our judicial system and elected our country’s first African American president.
- Of the 300 members of the GOP in both the House and the Senate, there are exactly three African American Republicans (1%). In fact, in 1871, Republicans had twice as many African Americans in Congress than they do today. Republicans also elected former Grand Wizard of the KKK, and infamous white supremacist, David Duke in 1989. Then there’s always the fact that they just nominated Donald Trump, someone who’s built his entire campaign on vilifying minorities.
17. Green energy:
- Democrats want to move us toward more renewable energy sources; get rid of coal and lessen our dependence on oil.
- Republicans want to “drill baby, drill,” while increasing coal production and open up sensitive federal wildlife lands to oil companies.
18. Money in politics:
- Democrats want to overturn Citizens United and get outside money out of politics.
- Republicans view money as “free speech” and think corporations are people.
19. Defense spending:
- Democrats want to take some of the money from our insanely bloated defense budget to invest in helping poor and middle class Americans.
- Republicans want to increase our ridiculously bloated defense budget, while cutting funding to programs poor and middle class Americans rely on.
20. Fighting terrorism:
- Democrats want to build a coalition of allies, especially Muslim allies, to combat ISIS because we understand the history of what caused a lot of this and know this is a complex, difficult problem that must be fixed by other Muslim nations.
- Republicans have members of the party who say cartoonish things like they’re going to “carpet bomb ISIS” until the “sand glows” and have a presidential candidate who has said that he’s fully prepared to commit blatant war crimes.
There are plenty more examples I could provide, but I figured 20 was a nice, round number to finish at.
Yet with each of those issues, many of which impact every single person in this country, the two parties couldn’t be more different. In fact, on most of these vital issues they’re the complete polar opposites of one another.
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