Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
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Our Two Political Parties
By Tammy Maygra

Have you ever wondered where the two party system came from. In the 1790' s a quarrel broke out between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton on how much power the federal government should have. Their followers split into two groups thus the two party system was born.

The Democratic Party is the oldest existing political party in the U.S., Scholars say that it began when Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republicans in 1792. Jefferson was known to oppose a strong central government. And wanted most of the powers to be given to each state.

The party broke apart from Democratic-Republicans into separate factions. Scholars say that the Democrat Party grew from a branch headed by Andrew Jackson. Jackson, elected President in 1828, who threw a party at the White House opened the doors for every-one because he said the taxpayers are paying for it so they should get to attend, which they did and after getting drunk they tore up the White House, he believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution and a limitation of the government's powers.

Today's Democratic Party takes a different stand. Democrats are sometimes referred to as "the Party of the People," attracting immigrants, blue-collar workers, women, and minorities. Democrats tend to take a more liberal stand on important issues. They believe that the federal government should take a more active role in people's lives, particularly those who are in need. The Democrats are more earth friendly and support protecting the environment, and protecting the rights of all people.

One example of liberal thinking is Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency (19331945). To pull the U.S. out of an economic depression, Roosevelt started a slew of government programs to create jobs. His action created prosperity for all Americans for decades until the corporations and Republican Party begin to slowly erode his remarkable programs.

The Grand Old Party or GOP---The Republican Party was formed in 1854, when a man named Alvan E. Bovay brought together antislavery leaders. These leaders opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would permit slavery in these new territories if the people voted for it.

The party's candidate lost in 1856. The Republicans realized they needed more than one issue to win. In 1860, they still opposed slavery in the territories, but also called for a transcontinental railroad and free land to settlers. The candidate that year, Abraham Lincoln, won.

What do Republicans stand for today? In general, Republicans tend to take a more conservative stand on issues. They believe that the federal government should not play a big role in people's lives unless it is religion or women issues then they try to legislate laws to control women's health issues such as birth control or abortions. They also favor corporate greed and low taxes on the corporations. Most Republicans favor taxing the middleclass and poor. They also do not support social services and they hate unions and support low wages for American workers. They believe in less government intervention in business and the economy, which means most do not support protecting the environment. They support corporations paying low wages, supports tax abatements for corporations, supports low taxes for the rich to name a few.

Not everyone agrees with everything his or her party stands for but chooses the best fit for them.

Over the last 40 years, Americans have seldom granted their Presidents much freedom to enact their proposals. Voters have usually kept the opposite party of the elected president in control of the house and senate, until this year when Trump was elected his party controls the House and the Senate. Until mid -term elections when there is a possibility the Democrats could regain control of the Senate.

While we have a two-party system, there are hundreds of political parties in the U.S. There are also people who are not linked to any party and run as independents. No third-party or independent candidate has ever been elected President. But several third-party proposals have gained such widespread support that the major parties were forced to adopt them. The direct election of U.S. senators and primary elections, which are part of selecting presidential candidates, both began as third-party ideas.

No matter what party you opt for the importance of being involved in issues, voting, is a must. When you see something wrong stand up and speak out. Democracy is sometimes very rough but worth the fight. Remember the tree of democracy is only as strong as its roots or base. And the roots or base is each and every-one of us.


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