US Political Parties


Energized to Vote but your not too sure on who to vote for?  Don’t worry we got you covered! Down below is four political Parties that will be on the ballot.

The Democratic Party

Image Courtesy of the United States Democratic Party, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Democratic Party is a major American political party in the United States of America. It was first established on January 18, 1828. The Party founders were Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. Both men went on to become President of the United States. The Democratic Party is the oldest political party that is still functioning and it is one of two major political parties in the United States. Early in its existence, the Democratic Party was pro-slavery and opposed most civil rights legislature leading up to and after The Civil War, as it garnered support amongst the South. However, during the late 19th century, leading up to the election of FDR, the party went through a massive realignment. At that point, the party started to realign themselves more with civil rights and more modern liberal party platforms. Today the Democratic Party is much different than it was years ago and it supports more liberal policies.  Democrats believe in government intervention to help out with social welfare programs and manage the economy.

Party Leaders

Notable Democratic leaders include the following:

Speaker of The House: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

House Majority Leader: Steny Hoyer( D-MD)

Senate Minority Leader: Charles Schumer (D-NY)

Senate Minority Whip: Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Party Platform 

The Democatic Party advocates for increased protection rights and liberties, such as protection of voting rights and protection of rights for people who are undocumented immigrants. They believe In increased advocacy for gun control legislation that involves universal background checks and providing all Americans with basic necessities such as affordable education being widely accessible. They support having access to affordable healthcare to all Americans who want it. The Democratic Party Supports social welfare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid as well as programs like Meals on Wheels. Democrats believe in large government intervention to help out with social welfare programs and manage the economy. They have also been championing for civil and voting rights for many decades

The Green Party

Image courtesy of the Green Party of the United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Party History

The Green Party began the process to become a minority political party in the mid 1990s when state level Green Party factions were coming together. It was officially established in the year 1996. In 1996, 25 different states met to discuss forming the American States Green Party. It was aimed at being a more progressive alternative to traditional liberalism. However, the first Presidential candidate to take part in an election was Ralph Nader in 2001 even though Alaska had Green Party ballot status in the early 1990s. There were seedlings of the Green Party before the year 1996, before getting complete official campaign status in 2001.

Party Leaders 

Jill Stein

Ralph Nader

Howie Hawkins

Party Platform  

The Green Party has supported different policies such as Participatory Democracy, which encourages broad participation for constituents, essentially giving power to people to make legislative decisions. They continue to advocate nonviolence, as well as social justice.  They focus on community-based activism for movements such as gay rights. The main way they advocate for nonviolence is to be completely anti-war. They are in favor of decentralization, which means that they favor a lack of centralized entities governing over the country.  They favor grassroots democratic movements, as well as gender inclusivity. Other platform policies include free access to reliable healthcare, an ideology they share with the Democrats. They are also in favor of universal free college tuition. They reject all political PAC money as they are committed to grassroots organization.

Libertarian Party

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Party History

The Libertarian Party was established in August of 1971 as a opposition to the Vietnam War under President Nixon. The first Libertarian Party convention was held in June of 1972. Dick Randolph was the first ever Libertarian elected as a state legislator. Fast forward to the 1980s, the Libertarian Party was growing at a fast pace and it became the third largest party in the United States during this time. In 2012 Gary Johnson received 1.2 million new votes in the 2012 Presidential election, the most ever by a third party candidate. He was nominated once again in  2016, where he received national news coverage during the election. In 1994, 40 different Libertarians were elected to statewide office, which was a huge accomplishment. The first electoral vote for Vice President for a woman happened under the Libertarian Party. Today Libertarian membership has declined and there is no congressional representation, no governor seats, and there are less than 10 members holding state legislator seats.

Noteable Party leaders

Gary Johnson (R-NM)

William Weld (R-MA)

Dick Randolph

Mark Whitney

Party Platform

The Libertarian Party platform takes progressive and conservative policies and mixes them together.  They believe in limited government intervention, claiming that the government does not have any business telling people how to live their lives.  In contrast, they embrace freedom of choice, political freedom, and other progressive policies. They believe in fiscal conservatism as well as individual liberty. They follow typical conservative policy platforms such as support for the 2nd Amendment and opposing gun control. They believe in small government, and believe in no government intervention in things such as the economy.  Consequently, they are pro-choice, claiming that that it is up to the person to decide. They also oppose the death penalty in all 50 states.

Republican Party

Image courtesy of the Republican Party, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Party History 

The Republican Party was first established in 1854 when disgruntled members of different parties in opposition of the Kansas Nebraska Act formed a new political party. In 1856, John C. Fremont, the first Republican Presidential candidate, faced Democrat James Buchanan. James Buchanan went on to win the Presidential election of 1856. In 1860, the Republicans saw this as an opportunity to win the White House as civil war was on the horizon. As Buchanan’s popularity sank, he had decided not to run for a second term. Abraham Lincoln was the first republican president in party history. The Republican Party began its ideological shift in 1912 when progressive Republican members such as Teddy Roosevelt decided to run as an independent for the Bull Moose Party. They were rejected as a party by fellow conservative Republicans and Progressives left the Republican Party in droves. The Civil Rights Bill of 1964 saw the end of the old Republican Party, as it completely shifted to the right.

Notable Party leaders 

President: Donald J. Trump (R-NY)

House Minority Leader: Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

House Minority Whip: Steve Scalise ( R-LA)

Senate Majority Leader: Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Majority whip: John Thune (R-SD)

Party Platform

The Republican Party platform currently consists of the following: supporting lower taxes and free market capitalism. By supporting a laissez faire approach to capitalism, Republicans are advocating for less government involvement in the economic process. They advocate for free trade markets, as well as restrictions on immigration policy.  They have championed gun rights and increased gun ownership. They support individual liberty and support decreased government intervention into daily American life. They believe that the government should not dictate how they live their lives. Which explains their staunch opposition to many progressive policies such as Medicare for All , money being spent on social welfare programs, and Obamacare. Their idea of forcing people to have healthcare is something they vehemently oppose.

Featured image courtesy of the US Library of Congress

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