Sunday, October 7, 2012

Are you a Democrat or Republican? Are you sure?

Once again I digress from the field of gaming to delve into the world of politics.  I admit that I feel strange today, I've a desire to give a perspective that might shock you.

Ask any semi- knowledgeable adult today and they will be able to correctly identify that there are two major political parties, Democrats and Republicans.

But where did these parties come from?  Have their ever been other parties?  And most importantly how, if at all, have these parties changed over the years?

First some brief history:

The Democrats claim their heritage from Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic- Republicans who first took power in the election of 1800.  They were known for preferring isolation over trade, France over Great Britain, and agriculture over business.  In the 1830's the republican was dropped officially from their name. 

The Republicans came into being in the 1850's.  Some Republicans claim heritage with the Whigs or the Federalists but they really cannot fairly be compared.  The Republicans are the only third party in our country's history to become a national power.  Most Republicans today consider Abraham Lincoln to be the father of their party because he was the first Republican president. 

You may be wondering why neither party can claim George Washington as their founder.  It's because Washington hated the idea of political parties and is the only president in our history that had no party.  Some, wrongly, list him as a Federalist.  He wasn't.

Now, to our next point.  Have these parties changed over time?

Here is the map of the 2008 election.  Remember blue is Democrat (Obama) and red is Republican (McCain).

Now let's look at the map of the 1860 election

Notice anything?  Many of the red states in the first map our blue (Democrat) on this map, and many of the blue states on the first map are red (Republican) in this one.

If you were a Republican in 1860 you favored:  Civil rights, humanitarian efforts, you wanted society to change, and you were typically middle class.

If you were a Democrat in 1860 you favored a small Federal government, you were concerned with your business interests, and you wanted society to stay just the way they were.

My point?

The political parties have switched.  If you are a Republican today, in 1860 you would likely be a Democrat and if you are a Democrat today you would likely be a Republican in 1860.

So give someone who has opposite political beliefs from you a hug or a high five, they were part of your party one.

No comments:

Post a Comment