What is the difference between a Republican and a Democrat? Oh, the cynical side of me wants to say “not much.” Some would argue that a Democrat wants bigger government while a Republican wants a smaller government. While that’s shockingly oversimplistic, it’s at least a starting point.
We can get into the whole conservative versus liberal thing, but being a Democrat does not automatically mean you’re the latter. Same with Republican and the former.
I guess, a better explanation is that a Democrat feels the federal government is better equipped to handle a majority of the nation’s issues while a Republican believes those things should be dealt with at the state level. That seems, to me at least, to be the best overall explanation of the two major political parties.
So, given that, why are our state legislators Democrat and Republican? Whether or not they believe, in general, that certain issues need to be decided at the state level, they ARE at the state level. Democrats don’t continually say “sorry, we’re going to pass this on up to Congress to deal with.” They couldn’t do that even if they wanted to. Likewise, Republicans don’t throw things down to the county or city level.
So for what reason do we have Republican and Democratic legislators. I can think of two reasons myself.
First, my overall explanation of what an R or D is, is inaccurate.
Second, it is much much easier to run on a ticket, with national backing to help with your campaign, if you fall in line with a particular party.
So what is it then?