What Are the Basic Differences Between Democrats and Republicans?

Democrats tend to represent liberal American values, such as equal opportunities and rights for the working class individuals and protection for lower classes, while Republicans believe that cutting lower class protections let business owners invest more, creating a stronger and more robust economy. The democratic party's symbol is a donkey, while the Republican party's symbol is an elephant.

Taxes are one of the most contentious elements in the disagreements between Democratic and Republican values. Democrats are generally willing to support social welfare programs that benefit those in need even if it means raising taxes on citizens. Republicans are generally against taxation, believing that taxes hurt business and rationalizing that weak business is in fact the culprit of the social injustices that Democrats are attempting to fix.

Most Republicans do not support a universal health care system similar to those found in Europe and Canada, and tend to favor military spending. Democrats generally support universal health care and support a strong military, but place greater importance on domestic affairs than on international ones.

Most Democrats believe that businesses need to place greater importance on environmental issues, and are willing to penalize businesses that do not comply with environmental legislation. Republicans tend to focus on restricting illegal immigration and promoting free trade agreements with other countries to help businesses succeed.