Much is made of ideological and demographic differences between the voters of either party—Republicans generally skew white and rich, Democrats diverse and working class. Some on the Far Left will deride both parties as the same based on generalizations, such as, they both raise money to run for office, both have members that voted for policies at some point that they disagree with, or represent a continuation of what has come before.
I myself couldn’t even put my finger on what being a Democrat meant, into my forties. Being pro-choice or pro-gay seemed like enough to be liberal by default, without knowing enough to have to be an actual “Democrat.” This is probably because I came from Chicago, where the city was run entirely by Democrats, some of who identified as Corrupt Democrats. (I go into this in the book.)
By now it’s clear what the difference is between the two parties. We should strip away the cultural identities and history and take both parties at their face: Democrats believe in more people participating in government, Republicans are vehemently opposed to this. Democrats want to make it easier to vote, Republicans fight to prevent voting at all costs. Republicans will politicize the census because it might lead to unfavorable electoral odds down the line.
Republicans aren’t only against voting, they oppose governing. Democrats aren’t the one shutting down the entire federal government as a negotiating tactic. Democrats aren’t the ones launching seven fruitless investigations into Benghazi and still not improving embassy security afterwards. Democrats wouldn’t obstruct hearing a nominee for the Supreme Court. Democrats wouldn’t try to impeach a popularly-elected president over lying about a consensual affair in a deposition pertaining to a land deal made years prior which turned up no wrongdoing.
While we identify around the issues that unite and divide us culturally, the two parties aren’t really functioning ideological apostates. Rather, one party seeks to advance an open government, and the other continually undermines those efforts through national fault lines that trace back to the Civil War.
This needs to become recognized as the primary distinction between Democrats and Republicans, and drop the pretense that that this is just about tax cuts.