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What Do Democrats Believe? A Summary of Democratic Party Ideology 
by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy September 27, 2005

Although many Americans claim to be independent of either major political party, many more offer allegiance to one of two major parties in the United States – Republican and Democrat. Under a Republican administration, many citizens no longer understand what Democrats support. Thomas Jefferson founded what he called the Democratic-Republican Party in 1793. Decades later, Andrew Jackson split his own coalition from the main party in a bid for the White House and the current party Americans know as Democratic evolved.

The older of the two major parties today, Democrats are those Americans who believe in government by the people. As stated in the Preamble of the United States Constitution, this nation’s government was founded to be by, of, and for the people. Democrats strive to support this idea and to protect it.

Individual Applications

Democrats believe in rights of the individual citizen. These rights include life, liberty, dignity, security, equality of opportunity, justice, privacy, and private ownership of property.

To summarize, Democrats believe that each American citizen should have the right to all of the above things without interference from other citizens or the government.

Democratic beliefs also honor the freedoms of the individual – freedom to worship as he or she may choose, freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, freedom of assembly, freedom of inquiry, freedom of expression, and freedom to participate in the political process.

These Constitutional rights are valuable to Democrats who defended them daily. These rights – called inalienable by the Constitution –stem from the rigid standards that prevented most under British rule prior to the American Revolution. Throughout the Colonies, it was common that some religions were allowed while others were not. Common assembly was expressly forbidden by law, as were most other freedoms that are dear to Democratic hearts.

By the tenets of the Democratic Party, each individual also has responsibilities toward society and the nation. Each one of us – by Democratic point of view – has the obligation to respect human life, to respect the rights of others, to be tolerant, to be honest, to have self-control, to respect property of others, and to participate in the democratic processes of this nation.

In short, Democrats support a more complex version of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you.



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