Many discussions about politics and political parties end up veering towards the concept of core values. Core values are supposedly the ideals that someone or an entire party hold most dear and most prominently. Superficially, the core values of most Americans are basically the same: everyone wants equality, fairness and freedom. The problem is that the way those values are defined, acted upon and prioritized varies greatly depending on individual beliefs.
This is not really a problem until you start to look at the larger picture involving the two major political parties. Democrats and Republicans in this country come in many different forms – some Democrats have are conservative or moderate, others strongly identify as Liberal or Progressive. Most of the people with these views gravitate towards the Democratic Party during elections. Republicans can likewise be moderate, or extreme in their conservatism.
How Republicans and Democrats see core values is starting to create a confusing situation in this country. It can be argued that core values are sometimes mutually exclusive. Freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want can actually reduce the amount of equality in the country if you are allowed to discriminate in a public accommodation. Promoting equality might mean imposing more taxes to fund better government and social programs.
This is where Democrats and Republicans start to differ: Democrats are often concerned about the humanity and wellbeing of even the most impoverished people in this country. This frequently translates into support for government programs that can provide assistance to the needy or help those at the bottom of the economic ladder to start climbing upwards. Many Democratics believe that the government is obligated to provide certain services or funds to its people.
Republicans view freedom as the most important and overriding core value. Republicans would like to see a government that does little other than manage the military, and let private companies doing the rest of the work. Some want little to no taxation. The Republican idea of freedom overrides equality. If you do not want to serve someone based on gender, race or sexual orientation in your public accommodation, then you do not have to because that is freedom. The Republican philosophy put forth by many in the party is that each person is solely responsible for his or her own situation and no one owes anything to society.
To some Republicans, freedom as a core value is a way to justify greed. What is baffling today is the number of poor and underprivileged people voting for the Republicans party when they are the one’s who will suffer most from conservative policy. This is a country where 95 percent of the poorest counties are located in states that are solid Red. The 2016 Republican presidential candidates regularly insult the poor, women and minorities. Some have turned to outlandish rhetoric and blatant racism.
There are candidates seeking to destroy the social safety net, take away heath care, lower the minimum wage and control women’s bodies. Surprisingly, the voters who would be most negatively impacted by those types of values and policies are the ones voting for the Republican Party. Some supporters of candidates like Trump and Cruz are actively hostile against Democratic ideas even if they were originally Republican plans. Exactly why so many people are choosing to vote against their interests in US elections is baffling.