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Democrats are usually more in favor of government intervention in economic matters (business regulation, stronger unions, etc.) but prefer fewer laws on social matters (gay rights, legal abortion, legal weed, stem cell research, etc.)

While Republicans...

Are the total opposite? They prefer less government in economic matters (less regulation, smaller unions, lower taxes, etc.) but want more regulation on social matters (no gay marriage, outlaw abortions, outlaw weed, etc.)

In general, Democrats are more in favor of trying new and different things, while Republicans are more in favor of sticking to what works. I won’t say this is a good thing or bad thing on either side.

• I will answer this question with my own personal opinions... lots of other people will do exactly that as well and you may end up with very different answers. This will just give you the biased view point of a single person - biased for one party and against the other. I don’t feel I am exactly for either party or against either party.

To really decide if you want to support one of the political parties, I advise you to get your information from them directly. Avoid the bias and opinions of people who sometimes feel very strongly about things, but also sometimes make some very unfair assumptions and generalizations. Go to the meetings and find out, ask questions, meet the people and see what you think. is the official website for the democrat party. is the official website for the republican party. In case you wondered, GOP stands for "Grand Old Party." That is a nickname for the republican party.

Research each party as impartially as you can, then decide what makes sense to you. Not all people (or even all candidates) of a particular party believe everything in the party platform (the platform is the basic ideas that comprise the philosophy of the party).

And regardless of anything, I highly advise you to vote for the best candidate for each office. Voting for the person not the party is the only way I believe we can get the best government possible.

Now we hear of libertarians, constitutionalists, independents and many others. When it comes down to it the majority of the people are uninformed or misinformed. Many people listen to talk shows where the host is biased and can make things sound so good that if people don’t do their own research they end up believing the talk show host and his or her ideas. The danger in this is many times the misinformation is closer to lies so having true information about all the parties is very important. One side will call the other side evil or use information that may be questionable.

• Who knows anymore what either party stands for? Once Bill Clinton was in office he acted in many way like a Republican and on other issues like a Democrat. I have attended both the Democrat and the Republican Conventions recently and it seems they try to tell you what they believe and many of them don't walk the party line after they are elected. One of my Boy Scouts was trying to decide which party to support and after going over both sides with him and having him attend the conventions with us he is leaning toward Democrat party because he says they are less hateful. Think about that for a minute, you have a Boy Scout that made this decision after talking to me and other leaders and his observation of the Republican party is that they are full of hate especially when it came to the immigration issue. This young man walked about the conventions and talked to people and listened.

• Once politicians get into office they need to be able to work with each other. Personally I feel that having a good balance of both parties is healthy since it helps to balance out the extremes. Many say that if you compromise then you are failing and without compromise nothing really gets done or things get slowed down.

• REPUBLICAN PARTY Traditionally a Republican stands for getting Government out of our business, cutting taxes and reducing big government. Supposedly if businesses don't have to pay as many taxes they can in turn hire more people and provide jobs. (The bailouts really proved this works right?) lol – The problems with things like this is they sound good on paper but many times corruption sneaks in and complicates the issue.

Republicans feel that people should work for what they get and it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

They (Republicans) are also supposed to be very big on family values. Known for their anti-abortion ideals (except where rape, incest and the life of the mother are at risk) This was the stance until recently when some of them are trying to change the Republican platform to take any exceptions for abortion out completely. When extremes enter the parties it seems to cause additional problems. Many Churches including the LDS Church talk about these exceptions yet if we do away with these would we have young girls having abortions with hangers in dirty basements?

I don't want to say that Republicans are pro-war because it not only sounds bad but that is not a true statement. Republicans feel that having a strong National Defense is important and they want to invest in that in order to keep our country free. Democrats will cite the investments that many Republicans have in companies that make weapons and use this as ammunition to say negative things about Republicans and it certainly does look bad.

• Republicans for the most part believe in the right to bear arms and protect the right of citizens to own weapons for hunting, protection etc....Their argument is that if there are laws made so you can't bear arms then the only people that will obey those laws will be honest people leaving only the criminals with guns. This right is also to protect us from corrupt Government. Republicans are also normally pro-death penalty saying it is a deterrent to murder if you know you will be put to death. This however is not always the case since our system will keep people on death row for years before the death penalty can take effect. You have heard many of the saying “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.

On the gay marriage issue Republicans tend to go against legal gay marriage and lean more toward giving them many of the rights but not calling it marriage since the traditional thought process in Religion seems to be that Marriage is between a Man and a woman. I would not say that all Republicans are religious and many religions favor Democrats for their compassion hence the issues get even more polluted. Another problem is that you have far religious right groups claiming to be Republicans or conservatives that hold up signs like: “God hates gays” and completely crazy statements bringing the aspect of hate back into the party. Overall most Republicans do not feel this way so lumping all Republicans into being hateful towards gay people is not right either.

On the Immigration issue many Republicans tend to quote "Rule of Law" and don't want any form of amnesty. Some moderate Republicans realize something reasonable has to be done although most of them don’t want to appear weak in that area for fear of losing the next election. The far right Republicans (Tea Party) want mass deportation and moderate Republicans want to fine them and run background checks etc....We should have separation of Church and State but the LDS Church is a large influence in Utah and the Church came out asking law makers to be more compassionate in their law making when it comes to immigration laws that could separate families. Many law makers tend to vote based on their faith dealing with many issues while others seem to ignore it. * More on Immigration at the end. • DEMOCRAT PARTY interestingly enough I found the Democrat Party convention to have a nicer ambiance. From above you can almost quote the opposite of the issues I already mentioned.

Democrats believe that there should be more social programs to help the poor and these programs can be managed and paid for by Government through taxing the rich or re-distribution of wealth. (This is why allot of minorities vote Democrat) I am not saying this is a good or bad idea because obviously there are programs that work. They believe there should be more compassion in the immigration system allowing for Parents of US Citizens to stay and not be deported etc they are for the most part against capital punishment or the death penalty......

Pro-life allowing the mother to make the decision about abortion (Republicans will say that Democrats are Pro Abortion), Pro-gay marriage saying that all people should have the same rights regardless of their sexual preference, Anti-gun attitude leaning toward peace and less accidents and less crime with less availability of guns and harsher laws. They have more of an anti-war attitude as well. Oh, rather than just giving a man a fish the Democrats want to start a Gov program that gives out fish and teaches people to fish and they will set up a committee to study the program and then start a whole Gov office to manage the fish and the teaching of how to fish, and that will require an ongoing tax from the people. Health care for all people and much of it to be free for the poor etc.....This can end up being a very good thing although many times it gets complicated very fast and becomes costly.

After saying all that and if you look up the real definitions and go to the conventions you will learn that it is never as cut and dried as some people want you to believe. It is not as simple as I put it either but you have to start somewhere. Many say when you’re young you're a Democrat since they start scholarship programs and have free programs for the poor and when you get educated or start a business you become a Republican and when you're older you become a Democrat again so there will be programs to take care of you. Either way if you're too extreme on either side you’re not reasonable. Now we have people that are very liberal showing up at the Republican conventions trying to change the platform. Two caucuses ago two gay people stood up and objected to the Republican platform obviously trying to change things such as this within the party and that may not be such a bad plan although they were shut down fairly quickly using Roberts rules. I being a registered Republican was allowed to be a Democrat delegate which was also quite interesting. Two conventions ago some of the people they had running for office were obviously very extreme and could not win yet whoever decided to spend the time to run did it even thought it brought embarrassment to the party. There is an Election this year where the Incumbent is a Democrat and the Republican running against that person does not have the experience yet they were the person that was willing to run so it happens on both sides. The websites listed along with the platforms show a general idea about the beliefs of Republicans and Democrats but until you get involved it is hard to explain it.

Attending Conventions and viewing attitudes and listening to platforms and their written statements. I would be open to correction if I got anything wrong. I tried to be non-biased especially since I don't really consider myself to be a died in the wool republican (That means a hard core Republican) nor a democrat since I have conflicts in different areas on both sides of the issues. They both have good points and they both have points I personally would consider not so good or prudent. The people in office should represent the people and many times they don't since they represent where the money comes from. Some Republicans and some Democrats spend so much time complaining about the United States and saying what is wrong with it that they miss the opportunity to make lasting change by working together because they disagree on so many things.

Getting involved is much better than being apathetic and not doing anything or sitting home and then complaining about government. If you got involved in either party you could be a force for good trying to help those that are not being reasonable to think about issues more carefully. Becoming a delegate is a good thing to start out with. Read both party platforms and then attend both of the caucuses and both conventions if you are serious about trying to decide. Don't just listen to your parents or neighbors about what they think. Go get informed.