In ultimately simplistic terms, the 2 parties are to differ in this way: Big Government vs. Small Government. Democratic Party aims for the first concept; Republican Party’s aim is the second.
Taken to their furthest extremes, the Democratic ideal leads to Socialism and the Republican ideal leads to a kind of Anarchy.
I’d like to broadly generalize it this way: The Republican class is the working class, while the Democratic class is the intellectual class. This is such a widely sweeping statement that it’s quite often a wrong assessment, but it’s a philosophy that we can observe in the daily operating world. Those that work to build wealth for themselves and their family end up being Republican, crying “stay away from my pot of gold, it’s mine!” while the more reflective and philosophical personalities believe in Democratic standards of helping the weak and running society as a collective. Democratic focus is less centered on ownership.
The first position exemplifies Anarchy, the second, Socialism.
How large should a nation be? In the U.S., we have four levels of hierarchical Government: Federal, State, County and City, each with its own evolving sets of jurisdiction. All the current Republican candidates for President believe in lowering the amount of power the Federal Government has, leaving many decisions in the hands of state legislatures.
Racially, minority groups traditionally lean toward Democrat because money and assistance comes from social aid programs and racial minorities are typically on the low end of the fiscally endowed spectrum in America.
Gays often lump themselves in with Democratic views because that party professes a more accepting social liberalism in contrast to the traditionally American views believed to come from fundamentalist Christian philosophy which is not accepting of homosexual lifestyles.
The Republican Party aligned itself, many years ago, with the Christian majority in a bold and decisive political move. They can now brag themselves up as the party offering classic family values. The exception to this generalization is the stance of minority groups, who do have a large number of Christian and religious adherents, but still side with the Democrats based on the party’s alignment with humanitarian aid programs for the materially oppressed.
Economically, the wealthy are Republican, desiring less restriction in material attainment.
The Urban/Rural divide sees Republicans in the country, Democrats in the city. This is largely race, finance and religion based.
One final issue to look at is War. The Republican Party is known more as the gun toting group less aligned with empathetic programs. They edge out as the group more supportive of Warlike policies of international engagement.
It is interesting to note that the term ‘Isolationist’ is currently in wide use against any politician wanting to pull out of wars across the world. It is as if military force is the only way to interact with the rest of the world.
Is war the only medium we can use for international communication?