Political Parties & Interest Groups Purpose, Reason, & Function
Interest Groups • What are they? • Associations or organizations of individuals who share a particular view in common • What do they do? • Use their collective strength to accomplish their goal politically • How do they impact politics? • Can place their support behind a candidate • Offer assistance/help to a candidate running for office • Can persuade public officials to take actions on the issues the group is concerned with
Interest Groups you may have heard of: • PETA • NAACP • ASPCA
Political Parties: What do they do? • Promote a political agenda to influence government policy and action • Select candidates for election • Educate voters • Finance election campaigns • Fill government positions
2 “Big Tent” Parties • Both Republicans and Democrats are considered “Big Tent” parties because there are many different groups that support unrelated issues who associate with the same party. • For example, African Americans, environmentalists, pro-choice Americans and gay Americans all are special interest groups whose members typically vote for the Democrat party. • Often in American politics third parties limit their interests to a single issue. • For example, the Green Party is a political party that puts environmentalism at the center of its agenda.
The History of Democrats • The first two presidents of the US, George Washington and John Adams were Federalists. • They believed in a strong central government. • Both were wealthy men who owned property and were very concerned with improving commerce and ensuring property rights. • The Anti-Federalists evolved into the Democrat-Republican party. • Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States was the first Democrat-Republican to be elected President. • They were mostly supported by working class small farmers from the South who valued their liberties, resented big business and possessed a general suspicion of government.
Andrew Jackson -the first Democrat elected President • Andrew Jackson, • the 7th President of the US was an war hero who as a general defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. • He was the first presidential candidate to run as a Democrat. • History knows him as the first President to frequently veto laws passed in Congress. • Jackson was responsible for enfranchising all white males (giving them the right to vote), large Indian removal projects and the distribution of land to white southern farmers. • Jackson’s Democrats were also considered the party in favor of slavery and as a result typically won elections in southern states.
Andrew Jackson used a donkey to symbolize his working class roots and ever since the Democrats have been known as the part of the donkey. Where did the Democrat Donkey come from?
Democrat History Continued • Democrats evolved into the party that represented mainly the working classesof cities in the North and predominantly white agriculturalworkers in the South until 1932.
Transforming the Democrats • Franklin D. Roosevelt • Took presidency in 1932 • led the United States out the Great Depression by expanding government services like welfare, social security, jobs programs and to a lesser extent supporting civil rights laws. • John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson continued the tradition set by FDR in pushing forward civil rights laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and expanding the welfare state (a type of government designed to take care of its citizens)
Democrats Today • Today the Democrats are commonly perceived as the party of big government, civil rights, women’s rights, environmentalism, the poor and pacifism (slow to go to war). • Our current president is from the Democrat Party
2016 Election: Possible Democratic Candidates - Former Secretary of State and First Lady: Hillary Clinton - New York Governor: Andrew Cuomo - Maryland Governor: Martin O’Malley
History of the Republicans • The Republicans were born in 1854 with support of abolitionists (people against slavery) and those who supported a strong federal government. • Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican to be elected President. • Later, in the late 1880s Republicans became known as the party of big business.
History of Republicans • In the 1920s Republicans such as Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover were known for laissez faire economics (free market) and isolationism (the US should mind its own business and stay out of world affairs). • They favored small government, • were against taxes and • thought that the economy could take care of itself if left to its own devises.
Republicans came to be associated with elephants due to the political cartoons of Thomas Nast in 1874. Where did the Republican Elephant come from?
Transforming the Republican Party • The modern Republican Party was born out of Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy • Nixon appealed to southern white voters by proclaiming his support of states rights and promised to make the US safer. • Today the Republican party stands for many of the issue Richard Nixon supported such as lower taxes, small government, the rights to carry arms, pro-life policies, a strong military and a smaller welfare state.
Republicans Today! • The Republican party today • Tend to support public policies that limit the size of government and cut taxes. • Typically support the War on Terror • Are generally opposed to the legalization of abortion (pro-life) • Usually vote against programs to increase the size of the welfare state.
2016 Election:Possible Republican candidates - New Jersey Governor: Chris Christie - Louisiana Governor: Bobby Jindal - Florida Senator: Marco Rubio
What are the differences between Republicans and Democrats today? Republican vs. Democrat
The Economy and Taxes Republicans • Are generally in favor of a smaller government • Generally for free market agreements with other countries, like NAFTA- North American Free Trade Agreement. • Vehemently against raising taxes even if it means a budget deficit • Tend to believe in global trade and don’t tend to protect US businesses from international competition Democrats • Are generally in favor of large government and a progressive tax system in which the wealthy pay a larger share than the poor • Tend to be against international free trade agreements because they claim that such trade agreements hurt American workers and in particular unions • Tend to believe in a balanced budget and are willing to raise taxes if needed • Tend to make laws to protect American businesses from international competition
National Defense and Security Republicans • Believe in a strong military and are willing to pay for it with government money • Believe in confronting American enemies with or without UN support • Believe in using military intervention when American interests or security is threatened more quickly than Democrats Democrats • Tend to cut the military budget • Generally want to avoid American military intervention unless supported by the United Nations • Tend to believe in diplomacy and are slow to go to war
Entitlements- Welfare, Medicaid, Social Security, Health Care Republicans • Generally think the government should limit or reduce the “safety net” for the poor. • They believe that private businesses and non-profit charities can provide the same services Democrats • Generally think that the government should provide a broad safety net (health care, education, welfare, food stamps) for the poor and others. • They generally think these policies help the common good and are compassionate
Crime and Punishment Republicans • Tend to focus on prison sentences as a deterrent to crime • Usually for the death penalty • Usually for stiffer penalties for convicted criminals Democrats • Tend to focus on rehabilitation programs over long prison sentences for convicted criminals • Usually against the death penalty • Focus on rights of the accused
Environmental Protection Republicans • Favor fewer restrictions on businesses in the hopes that wealthier companies will be able to be more environmental • Many do not believe global warming is a real threat Democrats • Favor stricter regulations on businesses to protect the environment • Believe global warming is a real threat
Abortion and Stem Cell Research Republicans • Tend to be pro-life- do not believe that women have a right to have an abortion and instead call abortion a form of murder • Tend to be against stem-cell research Democrats • Tend to be pro-choice- believe that a woman should always have the right to choose to have an abortion • Tend to favor stem-cell research
Energy Policy Republicans • Focus on securing existing energy sources for the present and future Democrats • Focus on researching alternative energy sources for the future
Values- Same Sex Marriage and Civil Rights Laws Republicans • Tend to oppose the right for same-sex couples to marry Democrats • Tend to support the right for same-sex couples to marry
Education Republicans • Favor using tax money for school choice (vouchers and charters) Democrats • Oppose using tax money for school choice (vouchers and charters)
Immigration Republicans • Favor stricter immigration laws • Some favor punishment or deportation for illegals already in the country Democrats • Favor looser immigration laws • Some favor “Amnesty” for illegals already in the country
Sources • http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dGd2wM3jp9Q/UYQt3GrggaI/AAAAAAAAGVM/tv8_dPPvUwI/s1600/Hillary+Clinton.jpg • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0e/Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow_cropped.jpeg/200px-Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow_cropped.jpeg • http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/504759506bb3f74640000002/martin-omalley.jpg • http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/first-family/masthead_image/30cc_header_sm.jpg?1250881526 • http://www.thegreengirls.com/tgg/wp-content/uploads/LeaMichelePETA.jpg • http://www.nycgo.com/images/uploadedimages/devnycvisitcom/articles/naacp_460x285.gif • http://pawzforthecauze.webs.com/ASPCA.jpg • http://media.cmgdigital.com/shared/lt/lt_cache/thumbnail/615/img/photos/2012/11/22/4d/a0/108004215.jpg • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/40/Bobby_Jindal_by_Gage_Skidmore.jpg/220px-Bobby_Jindal_by_Gage_Skidmore.jpg