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Parties and Ideologies in American Politics
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Parties and Ideologies in American Politics


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  • 1. Benedict Gombocz
  • 2.  Major parties   Democratic Party (left-wing) Republican Party (right-wing)  Major ideologies   Liberalism Conservatism
  • 3.       President: Barack Obama (D-IL) Vice President: Joe Biden (D-DE) Speaker of the House: John Boehner (R-OH) Chief Justice: John Roberts (R-IN) Senate Majority Leader: Harry Reid (D-NV) Senate Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
  • 4.   Liberalism: belief in the value of social and political change in order to achieve progress; favors abandoning old ideas in favor of new ones Conservatism: a political or theological orientation advocating the preservation of the best in society and opposing radical changes; favors preserving old ways and minimizing change
  • 5.  Democratic Party:       Traces its roots back to Democratic-Republican party; founded in 1828 (see slide 7) and is oldest political party in the world. There have been 15 Democratic presidents; first was Andrew Jackson (7th president, 1829-1837) and most recent is the current president, Barack Obama, who has served since 2009. Has sponsored a socially liberal and progressive platform since the 1930s. Had a dominant conservative wing based in rural South until the late 20th century, but it has all but vanished. Today, its Congressional caucus is made up of progressives, liberals, and centrists. Currently claims a minority of seats in the House of Representatives and a majority of seats in the United States Senate, as well as a minority of state governorships and control of a minority of state legislatures as of the 113th Congress, following the 2012 elections.  Republican Party:          Also collectively known as the GOP (for Grand Old Party). Founded by anti-slavery advocates in 1854; ruled politics nationally for most of the 72-year period from 1860-1932. There have been 18 Republican presidents; first was Abraham Lincoln (16th president, 1861-1865) and most recent having been George W. Bush (43rd president, 2001-2009). Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney was most recent Republican presidential candidate. Currently sponsors a platform centered around American conservatism, in contrast to the Democratic Party, whose members advocate more liberal policies. American conservatism of Republican Party is not entirely centered on dismissing political ideology of liberalism as some ideals of American conservatism are based on classical liberalism. Instead, conservatism of Republican Party is principally based upon its support of traditional standards against modern liberalism of Democratic Party that is viewed as American liberalism in modern American political discourse. Currently claims a majority of seats in United States House of Representatives and a minority of seats in United States Senate in 113th Congress elected in 2012. Also currently has a majority of governorships as well as majority of state legislatures.
  • 6.  Republican presidents:                   1. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) 2. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) 3. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) 4. James A. Garfield (1881) 5. Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885) 6. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) 7. William McKinley (1897-1901) 8. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) 9. William Howard Taft (1909-1913) 10. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923) 11. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) 12. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) 13. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) 14. Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974) 15. Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977) 16. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) 17. George H. W. Bush (1989-1993) 18. George W. Bush (2001-2009)  Democratic presidents:                1. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) 2. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841) 3. James K. Polk (1845-1849) 4. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) 5. James Buchanan (1857-1861) 6. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) 7. Grover Cleveland (1885-1889; 1893-1897) 8. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) 9. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) 10. Harry S Truman (1945-1953) 11. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) 12. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969) 13. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) 14. Bill Clinton (1993-2001) 15. Barack Obama (2009-present)
  • 7.  Democratic Party                Liberal Favor minimum wages and progressive taxation, i.e., higher tax rates for higher income brackets Favor decreased military spending Support gay marriage (some Democrats oppose) Abortion should not be outlawed; support Roe v. Wage (some Democrats oppose) Oppose death penalty Believe in community and social responsibility Traditionally strong in: Northeast (see slide 9) Symbol: Donkey Color: Blue Founded in: 1828 (modern), 1792 (historical) Website: Senate Leader: Harry Reid (D-NV) Chairperson: Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) Famous presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush  Republican Party                Conservative Favor lower taxes for everyone (especially wealthy) and believe salaries should be set by free market Favor increasing military spending Oppose gay marriage (some Republicans support) Abortion should be outlawed; oppose Roe v. Wade (some Republicans support) Support death penalty Believe in individual rights and justice Traditionally strong in: Southeast (see slide 9) Symbol: Elephant Color: Red Founded in: 1854 Website: Senate Leader: Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Chairperson: Reince Priebus (R-WI) Famous presidents: Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama
  • 8.  Gender   Race/Ethnicity      Both women and men divided African Americans generally vote for Democrats European Americans divided Hispanic Americans generally vote for Democrats (excluding Cubans) Native Americans divided Socioeconomic levels    Upper class divided Middle class divided Lower class divided
  • 9.  Democratic Party   Strong mainly in: Northeast, Pacific Northwest (excludes Alaska), and part of Midwest Republican Party  Strong mainly in: Southeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountains region, and part of Midwest
  • 10.  Conservatives     Favor small government and minimum regulation; believe most services should be provided by private sector in free market; believe in accurate understanding of Constitution Believe government should minimize taxing and spending; priority should be cutting spending to balance budget; higher profit earners should spend (credits); duty of people is charity Oppose same-sex marriage and abortion and embryonic stem cell research; support the right to bear arms, capital punishment, and personal liability as an individual Believe individuals must exercise personal liability and it is government’s role to hold them liable, even with harsh punishments; laws are passed to reflect the best interest of society as a whole  Liberals     Favor maximum regulation and services such as free universal health care to be provided by government to all citizens Believe government should provide more services (such as health care) to less fortunate and increase taxes if needed; high-profit earners must pay higher percentage of their profits as taxes Support same-sex marriage; abortion should be legal; support embryonic cell research; support limitations and regulation around the right to bear arms Believe people should rely on government to provide structure; laws are passed to defend each individual for an equal society, at times at the cost of economic freedom, if needed
  • 11.  Democrats          1980: Jimmy Carter (liberal) 1984: Walter Mondale (liberal) 1988: Michael Dukakis (liberal) 1992: Bill Clinton (liberal) 1996: Bill Clinton (liberal) 2000: Al Gore (liberal) 2004: John Kerry (moderate) 2008: Barack Obama (moderate) 2012: Barack Obama (moderate)  Republicans          1980: Ronald Reagan (conservative) 1984: Ronald Reagan (conservative) 1988: George H. W. Bush (moderate) 1992: George H. W. Bush (moderate) 1996: Bob Dole (conservative) 2000: George W. Bush (moderate) 2004: George W. Bush (moderate) 2008: John McCain (moderate) 2012: Mitt Romney (moderate)
  • 12.                          AL: Robert Bentley (R) AK: Sean Parnell (R) AZ: Jan Brewer (R) AR: Mike Beebe (D) CA: Jerry Brown (D) CO: John Hickenlooper (D) CT: Dan Malloy (D) DE: Jack Markell (D) FL: Rick Scott (R) GA: Nathan Deal (R) HI: Neil Abercrombie (D) ID: Butch Otter (R) IL: Pat Quinn (D) IN: Mike Pence (R) IA: Terry Branstad (R) KS: Sam Brownback (R) KY: Steve Beshear (D) LA: Bobby Jindal (R) ME: Paul LePage (R) MD: Martin O’Malley (D) MA: Deval Patrick (D) MI: Rick Snyder (R) MN: Mark Dayton (D) MS: Phil Bryant (R) MO: Jay Nixon (D)                          MT: Steve Bullock (D) NE: Dave Heineman (R) NV: Brian Sandoval (R) NH: Maggie Hassan (D) NJ: Chris Christie (R) NM: Susana Martinez (R) NY: Andrew Cuomo (D) NC: Pat McCrory (R) ND: Jack Dalrymple (R) OH: John Kasich (R) OK: Mary Fallin (R) OR: John Kitzhaber (D) PA: Tom Corbett (R) RI: Lincoln Chafee (D) SC: Nikki Haley (R) SD: Dennis Daugaard (R) TN: Bill Haslam (R) TX: Rick Perry (R) UT: Gary Herbert (R) VT: Peter Shumlin (D) VA: Bob McDonnell (R) WA: Jay Inslee (D) WV: Earl Ray Tomblin (D) WI: Scott Walker (R) WY: Matt Mead (R)