"I'm writing to you on behalf of my son. In the simplest form, what are the main differences between today's Democrats and Republicans? I get too complicated with my explanations. I don't think these kids really know the difference and just vote for a candidate because he is young, or female, etc. Can you help?"
What Republicans Believe, What Democrats Believe
Republicans believe hard work wins, and government should allow you -- to the fullest extent possible -- to keep what you earn. Democrats believe that success results from luck, chance and happenstance, and therefore a just government takes from those who have and gives to those who do not.
Republicans believe in a colorblind society determined by drive, work ethic and talent. Democrats want a color-coordinated society. This explains the support for race and gender-based preferences to "correct" past sins and to create "diversity."
Republicans believe discrimination to fix previous discrimination remains discrimination, and that all a government can be is just in its own time. Democrats wish to use government to "rectify" past wrongs, which they hold responsible for today's "inequities."
Republicans believe that government should empower the individual -- that a government that taxes least taxes best. Democrats want individuals to empower government, and support policies that redistribute income from person A to "deserving" person B.
Republicans believe that the playing field, while unlevel, requires an individual to do the best he or she can with the cards dealt. Democrats consider life rigged, and that one's destiny rests on matters beyond the control of the individual.
Republicans believe that those who cannot help themselves can and will be helped out by other individuals -- not government -- as a result of basic human compassion. Democrats believe that because of one's misfortune, he or she is entitled to something -- via government -- from someone else.
Republicans believe in peace through strength, and thus support strong national defense, and -- in this era of Islamofascism -- a proactive foreign policy. Democrats believe in strength through peace, and believe they can better influence the behavior of enemies by demonstrating our good intentions.
Republicans believe in the mutual benefits of free trade of goods and services. Democrats believe in "fair trade," and support barriers that shield domestic industries against competition, reducing the incentive to innovate and change to remain competitive.
Republicans consider the Constitution a contract, limiting the duties, powers and obligations of the federal government. Democrats consider the Constitution a "living, breathing document," to be interpreted flexibly. Republicans, for example, reject Roe v. Wade because the court based it on a right to privacy, not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Democrats consider the right to privacy implied, despite the absence of any reference to it.
Michigan, six years ago, became one of about 40 "shall issue" states that now allow citizens to apply for a permit to carry concealed weapons. At the time, law enforcement officials predicted an increase in violent crime. In fact, the opposite happened.
Woodhaven Police Chief Michael Martin said, "I think the general consensus out there from law enforcement is that things were not as bad as we expected. There are problems with gun violence, but I think we can breathe a sigh of relief that what we anticipated didn't happen."
So how did the president of the Michigan chapter of the anti-gun group Million Moms March respond? She called the statistics bogus, and argued that even if true, society still possesses too many guns.
And this brings us to our final observation:
Republicans believe what they see, and Democrats see what they believe.