We expect political parties all over the world to adhere to certain political ideologies and shape their policy preferences according to such ideals. However, politics is not a coherent institution by its nature. Every US citizen knows the basic principles of the two main US political parties and their fundamental policy preferences. Suppose you regularly vote for either one of the two. In doing so, you probably suppose they stand for the values they promote. How can you be so sure of that?
It is a significant matter of debate whether these parties are able or willing to stick with their own ideologies or whether they let a few policies slip as a trade-off in pursuit of increased political influence. Does your party stand for what you would like them to? Here are five policies that will make you think twice about the party you vote for.
Political correctness is a disease in domestic politics. Politicians from the Republican and Democratic Parties must align with specific policies that have become the parties’ pillars throughout decades of political polarization. To even move up the ranks in your political party, you must accept some policies and political stances forcibly. Otherwise, you have no chance of being a party member, let alone becoming a regional candidate. An example of this phenomenon is the Republican Party’s conservative stance on LGBTQIA+ rights. It is a well-known fact that while the Democratic Party favors LGBTQIA+ rights, the Republican Party generally has in the past opposed them. For example, check this article from the Washington Post,
However, the need to appeal to a more general audience necessitates that even the Republican Party has to adopt some policies that favor gay rights. For example, although the Republican Party has a negative stance on this issue, Donald Trump‘s 2016 election campaign told a different story. Having even been publicly supported by an organization called “Gays for Trump,” he might have seemed like a pro-LGBTQIA+ candidate at first glance.
Nevertheless, the fact that Donald Trump was reluctant to challenge pro-LGBTQIA+ policies does not change the fact that under his administration, countless bills that rolled back nondiscrimination protections for gay people were passed.
War on Terror
American foreign policy has held different views throughout the nearly 300-year span of the United States. After two world wars, a civil war, and countless transboundary military interventions, the US has adopted an isolationist foreign agenda, especially during the reign of Joe Biden. The only exception to this policy is most probably the war on terror.
Recent events show that the Democratic Party has increasingly been pulling its support from the War on Terror. Although the international arena has been debating whether the USA has a place in the Middle East for many years, this issue in the USA was not even open to discussion; it was too sensitive even to try. A consensus emerged in the US public opinion on the necessity of a war on terror, especially after the socioeconomic trauma caused by 9/11. Therefore, President Biden‘s announcement that the US would withdraw from NATO missions in the Middle East was met with great surprise and anger in both the US and NATO public opinion. While war on terror supporters argued that terrorism still presented a significant threat to the US and its allies, NATO countries saw the US’s sudden withdrawal from the Middle East as a policy inconsistency and a roadblock.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party remains a supporter of the war on terror. Although the Republican Party supports policies restricting foreign aid, it still hasn’t withdrawn its support for the war on terror. While liberal fronts say that the war on terror is pushing the national budget too far, conservative fronts argue that the US’s global military presence is still a point of national interest. Terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda, Taliban, and ISIS were targeted by the US multiple times in the 21st century. Donald Trump progressed the anti-terror policy even further by proposing a ban for travelers from several Muslim countries to the US to protect against possible terror attacks.
After quick research on the Republican foreign plan, you would think that the US would cooperate with its allies in the proximity of such terror organizations to obliterate them. However, recent events indicate quite the opposite. The US publicly provides financial and military support to some organizations that are declared terrorist organizations by its NATO allies, which are geographically close to terrorist organizations such as ISIS. For example, Turkey designates the People’s Defense Units (YPG), a military organization active in Syria, as a terrorist organization and often calls for the US to withdraw its support to the YPG in the international arena. However, the US kept maintaining its financial and military aid to the YPG under Donald Trump’s administration. This article of the Middle East Policy Council further explains the relationship between the US and the YPG and how this relationship impacts American-Turkish relations. In a way, Turkey, a military ally of the US, is fighting against an organization that the US also backs.
Clean energy and environmental regulations
Every country in the world is putting some sort of clean energy plan into effect, aiming to reduce the impact of global warming. Thus, any party ignoring climate change would lose a considerable portion of its electorate. Recognizing this, both the Democratic and the Republican parties state that they favor clean energy. The Democratic Party even mentions it on the Democratic Platform, expressing strong support for a transition to renewable energy. However, conservative fronts and the Republican Party show inconsistencies regarding the issue.
The Republican Platform openly disputes several findings supporting climate change and stands with its policy “Climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security Issue.”. This article from FOX News gives another conservative perspective on the topic. Although it recognizes the need for a transition to clean energy, it strongly opposes environmental regulations such as the EPA, and encourages private sectors to innovate for clean energy technologies while still supporting all marketable energy sources to prevent economic challenges.
Internal security and illegal immigration
The internal security of a country heavily depends on solid public safety and preventing civil disobedience. Naturally, illegal migration would harshly disrupt a country’s internal order since immigrants would not be familiar with the host country’s customs and regulations. No party in their right mind could state that they oppose measures for internal security. However, the Democratic Party promotes a few policies that cause suspicion. According to polls, only 19% of Democratic voters perceive illegal immigration as a serious issue.
In comparison, the number of Republican voters who perceive illegal immigration as a serious issue reaches up to 75%. However, the Democrats’ standpoint is unclear here. Unless they clarify their stance, they might be accused by conservative fronts of not worrying about the internal security of the US, just as they experience daily criticism on their current agenda regarding illegal immigration.
More about the border wall.
Inflation and economic policies
Every country in the world is dealing with high inflation. Inflation rates have reached 8% in the Eurozone and exceeded 9% in the United States. Housing prices have reached a 40% increase in some states. The global extensity of the inflation crisis renders the situation insoluble.
The global inflation crisis has made Joe Biden’s job as the president seriously difficult. While people who have a more detailed knowledge of politics might have a bigger perspective on the issue, the average American naturally sees the president as the reason for the high cost of living and inflation and thus look to him for a solution, due to inflationary measures passed with the Covid-19 stimulus packages since 2020. However, Biden’s inconsistent economic policies and foreign policy decisions created the public perception that he did not do enough to solve the problem.
Joe Biden’s green policy and additional oil taxes make sense at first glance as a precaution against climate change and global warming. However, policy change is a process that has to be executed correctly with consideration of all factors in the country’s economic and political systems to avoid adverse global impact.