U.S Elections: The Republican Party

Mar 13, 2016 By Heather Sevrens, Guest Writer
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Some of you may have lived long enough to have both a Republican president in the White House as well as a Democrat.

Chances are you know whether your mom voted for Obama, your father is an Independent, or your uncle is an avid supporter of the Green Party, Tea Party, or Libertarian Parties.

But what exactly does it mean to be a Democrat or a Republican? When someone says they're a conservative, moderate, or a liberal, what do they stand for? We continue our election series with a look at the Republican Party. 

What Does 'Conservative' Mean?

Republicans, also known as the Grand Old Party (GOP), lie on the conservative end of the political spectrum. Let's look at what we mean by that.

Conservatives strongly believe in the value of the free market -- in other words, they think that businesses should generally be left alone to make products and provide services without government interference. They support less government regulation (rules) and less taxes because they believe that taxes slow down economic growth and make it harder for companies to do business.

Regulations are laws that tell companies what they must and must not do when running their business. They can be as complicated as telling a Bank of America when they can and cannot charge fees on a bank account. Or they can be as simple as telling Tyson Foods that they cannot knowingly sell chicken nuggets that would make people sick.

Conservatives also support individual responsibility. This means they think people should be responsible for their own actions and for their circumstances in life; they should not be supported by government programs such as welfare.  

It's All About Taxes

The biggest battles in Washington, D.C. between the Republicans and Democrats are about taxes and the economy.

As you know, governments depend on taxes to provide services such as roads, schools and more. Republicans think that if you were to become a doctor, invent the next iPhone, or open your own restaurant, you worked very hard to earn that money. Therefore you should keep as much of it as possible because you're likely to take that money you would have paid in taxes and invent another iPhone or expand your restaurant.

In addition to taxes and personal responsibility, Republicans also support a whole bunch of policies about other areas of American politics. Most Republicans argue for strong national defense as President Bush did after the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Other conservatives are proponents of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, while others believe in the death penalty for prisoners who have committed extremely heinous crimes. On the social side, conservatives support traditional marriage values and the sanctity of life of an unborn child.

Many Republicans share common beliefs, but not all have the same viewpoint about every political issue. In the next article of this series, we'll look at what traits Democrats share. 


4Bs's picture
4Bs April 12, 2016 - 11:50am

I think that the party should not matter just who is a better leader (Not Trump please!! I would die and move to Canada to flee!)

sammy138's picture
sammy138 May 9, 2016 - 6:28pm

Good idea,by the way my class thinks the same thing. P.S:My whole class refers to Trump as, McDonald Trumpet.

Gamerkid's picture
Gamerkid March 31, 2016 - 8:39am
This was a...well..."intresting" debate. I watched it and i think the candidates were immature. Mostly Trumps fault. Out of all the candidates i really have to say in my opinion they all arent the greatest. But hey, as long as who ever wins is smart and wont get us into a ton of wars, i think we will be okay.
Charlesleon's picture
Charlesleon March 18, 2016 - 6:36am

i don't care about all of this Donald trump should win

sammy138's picture
sammy138 May 9, 2016 - 6:29pm

i disagree, i call him McDonald Trumpet.

Tryn28's picture
Tryn28 March 15, 2016 - 8:47pm
I don't believe in a party- I think it's dumb to say that you are one or the other when a party can be divided on so many issues.
4Bs's picture
4Bs March 15, 2016 - 3:06pm

As long as Trump does not win I'm fine!

srinel478's picture
srinel478 March 30, 2016 - 9:39pm
I think you meant that as long as Donald Trump isn't the Republican nominee for this year's presidential election, your fine.
4Bs's picture
4Bs April 12, 2016 - 11:49am

I meant to say that Trump should not win president or nominee. Cause I would move to Canada and one of my friends would be banned from the USA, and that would suck.

maryrosed's picture
maryrosed March 15, 2016 - 9:39am

this is a good article.

geraldinef's picture
geraldinef March 17, 2016 - 11:03am

what are you saying

srinel478's picture
srinel478 March 30, 2016 - 9:41pm
What do you mean by "what are you saying?"
Holden's picture
Holden March 15, 2016 - 8:45am

If you are old enough to be in kindergarten, you've lived long enough to have both a Republican president in the White House as well as a Democrat.

This statement is false. Barack Obama was elected into office 2008 this is 2016 you would need to be in second grade at least to have been with a republican president. Unless you've been held back a couple times of course.

Deepa Gopal's picture
Deepa Gopal March 16, 2016 - 9:18am

Good catch! This was an older article from Pres. Obama's first term that we brought back as it is still relevant. We have edited it - thank you for bringing it to our attention.

gracem3's picture
gracem3 March 15, 2016 - 4:52am

I don't care for any of the candidates

srinel478's picture
srinel478 March 30, 2016 - 9:42pm
Why not?
gracem3's picture
gracem3 April 12, 2016 - 4:53am
because they all suck.
sammy138's picture
sammy138 May 9, 2016 - 6:22pm

that's rude