What is a Political Party • A political party is a group of people who try to control government by winning elections and holding public office. • The two most common political parties in the United States are the Democrats and the Republicans
So, You Think You’re a Democrat… The Democratic Party Platform (In a nutshell…)
Democratic Party Platform • Tax Reform • Cut taxes for middle class, not the wealthiest Americans
Democratic Party Platform • Social Security • Stop the practice of keeping retirement funds in company stock. • Oppose privatization and oppose raising retirement age. • Strengthen Social Security for Baby Boomers.
Democratic Party Platform • Trade • Knock down barriers to free, fair and balanced trade. • Review all trade agreements; investigate China rights abuses.
Democratic Party Platform • Oil and Energy • Stop drilling our way to energy independence. • Develop energy independence to avoid dealing with repressive regimes. • Develop renewable energy and efficient vehicles. • Invest in technology & transportation friendly to earth.
Democratic Party Platform • Gun Control • Reauthorize assault weapons ban, close gun show loophole. • Strengthen gun control to reduce violence.
Democratic Party Platform • Civil Rights • Racial and religious profiling is wrong. • Keep marriage at state level; no federal gay marriage ban. • Strengthen some parts of Patriot Act and change other parts. • Support affirmative action to redress discrimination. • Pass hate crime legislation including gays. • Democrats lead fight for ERA and equal employment.
Democratic Party Platform • Homeland Security • 3 challenges: War on Terror; WMDs, stable world democracy. • Reform intelligence community internationally and locally. • Safeguard nuclear material and stop creating new materials. • Keep military all-volunteer—No Draft • Equip military for new threats and missions. • Encourage military careers with better pay & benefits. • Develop limited missile defense system.
Democratic Party Platform • The Environment • Honor hunting & fishing heritage via more conservation lands. • Encourage open space and rail travel. • We do not have to choose between economy and environment.
Democratic Party Platform • Education: • Standardized tests to advance learning • Character education • Accountability is a key to public school success. • Reduce class size, modernize facilities, hire new teachers. • Enact new tax programs to enable more life-long learning. • U.S. needs public school accountability, not vouchers.
Democratic Party Platform • Health Care • Expand coverage and cut healthcare costs. • Every American should have affordable health insurance. • Add prescription drug benefit to Medicare.
Democratic Party Platform • Abortion: • Support right to choose even if mother cannot pay. • Choice is a fundamental, constitutional right.
Democratic Party Platform • Values • New vision for America: strong at home, respected abroad. • Appoint judges committed to Constitutional rights
Or Maybe You’re a Republican… The Republican Party Platform (In a nutshell…)
Republican Party Platform • Tax Reform • Cut taxes to stimulate economy and help families. • Tax cuts & low interest rates lead to home ownership.
Republican Party Platform • Social Security • Workers should have choice to invest their payroll taxes.
Republican Party Platform • Trade • U.S. should position itself to dominate trade. • Promote free trade with America setting the standards.
Republican Party Platform • Oil and Energy • No mandatory carbon emissions controls. • Provide tax incentives for energy production.
Republican Party Platform • Gun Control • Open more public land to hunting. • No frivolous gun lawsuits, no gun licensing. • Will protect right to bear arms.
Republican Party Platform • Civil Rights • Favor the Patriot Act • Homosexuality is incompatible with military service. • Support the advancement of women in the military. • Ban gay marriage with amendment • Affirmative Access, without preferences or set-asides.
Republican Party Platform • Homeland Security • Keep our homeland safe by taking action on multiple fronts. • Support to create a National Intelligence Director position. • Provided Arm Forces better pay, treatment, and training. • Equip our nation to fight 21st Century adversaries. • U.S. needs comprehensive missile defense system. • Eliminate as many nuclear weapons as possible. • Restore health of defense industry; peace thru strength.
Republican Party Platform • The Environment • Cap-and-trade market-based air pollution reductions. • Encourage market-based solutions to environmental problems.
Republican Party Platform • Education • Promote school choice (vouchers) and home-schooling. • Support voluntary student-initiated prayer in school. • Limit role of federal government in education. • Increase access to higher education with savings accounts.
Republican Party Platform • Health Care • No government-run universal health care • A reformed Medicare will give seniors choice, flexibility. • Give individuals tools to manage their own health needs. • Allow customization of insurance, support health centers. • Lawyers should not hold physicians Hostage-tort reform
Republican Party Platform • Abortion • Promote adoption & abstinence, not abortion clinic referrals. • Human Life Amendment to the Constitution. • Ban abortion with Constitutional amendment.
Republican Party Platform • Values • A distinctly American internationalism for the 21st century. • Favor the nomination conservative judges.
Maybe neither of these parties meet your needs Third Parties in the United States
Examples of Third Parties in the United States • Independent Party • Green Party • Reform Party • Communist Party (yes, we have one of these in the U.S.) • Populist Party • Libertarian Party • Pro-Life Party • And about 500 more…