SpinTech: June 12, 1999

How To Tell a Democrat From a Republican
(Or "Liberal from a Conservative" or "Leftist from a Right Winger" - without loss of generality)
by Leon Felkins

Conservative, n. - A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
-- Ambrose Bierce

Many of you have expressed great confusion, in these troubled times, in trying to tell a Republican from a Democrat. Sure, we know what they say they are; most of them have well displayed nameplates. But could you tell one from the other in a blind test? That is, without prior knowledge and access to his/her nameplate, could you determine which was which simply by his/her actions? Probably not. The purpose of this essay is to assist you in making such an identification.

In the following paragraphs, I will list the major issues of our times and clearly identify the differences between the Republican and Democrat approaches to these issues.


    Democrats are generally for abortion. Unwanted pregnancy is - like addiction to drugs or alcohol, tardiness, and procrastination - an affliction and therefore needs to be treated by the government.

    Republicans are generally opposed to abortion unless of course it is one's own daughter that got knocked up, in which case the decent thing to do is to ship her off to some distant city where private but expensive medical care can be provided and the local community is spared the details.


    Democrats believe that wild animals should have all the rights of humans, protected from any harm and allowed to die slow and agonizing deaths like most of the world's humans do.

    Republicans believe that wild animals were put here for the sport of hunting, provide a little expensive but gamy, tough meat, and an occasional fur coat for the missus.

    Both think that domestic animals and the raising thereof need massive government support. This often results in an excess of such animals, which are then killed, burnt or buried instead of being shipped off to starving humanity around the world because to do so might upset the local economy.

Capital Punishment

    Democrats: Because Democrats are genetically compassionate, they are opposed to capital punishment especially if it is someone who has tortured and molested 27 women and children to death as it is self evident that such a person has had a bad childhood, probably having his pacifier forcibly taken before he was nine years old. However, Democrats do make an exception to this opinion, if the victims were actually a close friend or part of the family. That family includes the family of government employees such as those that were blown up in Oklahoma City. In cases like that, the guy ought to be hung out in the sun by his testicles and left to die a slow death.

    Republicans: The Republican's position on this issue is clear and is based upon the Judeo/Christian bible: an eye for an eye. That we are not always completely sure that we have the right dude before we send him on his way to St. Peter is not really all that serious of an issue. "God will sort it out" is their most commonly stated rationale for slaughtering a group of people that from their very looks it is obvious that they are guilty -- of something. Actually God really only gave us a hint as to the real possibilities: how about a lopped head for a mashed finger, for instance? That certainly should work even better. I understand that there are now over 50 offenses for which you can be given a quick dispatch to meet your maker.

The Children!

    Democrats love children as a group but find individual children a pain in the butt. "We do it for the children" is an extremely effective slogan for the populace whether the particular program at issue is robbing the tobacco companies or grabbing more land in Colorado. The annoyance of individual children is easily appeased by hiring illegal aliens for house nannies.

    Republicans love individual children but find supporting groups of children not part of God's plan (see Jeremiah 18:21: "So give their children over to famine; hand them over to the power of the sword.")


    Democrats know that when someone commits a crime, it is society that has failed and should have to pay - in the form of higher taxes and reduced freedom.

    Republicans believe that every person inherently knows right from wrong, whether they were raised by harlot on the mean streets of East St. Louis or by a wealthy Episcopal minister in the ritzy 'burbs of Germantown. They know that the solution to violent crime is to beat the hell out of the perpetrators.


    Democrats: Democrats have no qualms about recreational drugs. In fact they think the use of such drugs is cool. However, medicinal drugs are another matter. Since they think of the general populace as children, they want these drugs highly regulated.

    Republicans: Recreational drugs are absolutely verboten according to the Republicans. It is rumored that many folks actually have great fun with such drugs, therefore they are opposed, of course, as it is a basic principle of Conservatism that having too much fun is bad for the character.

    On the other hand, Republicans would allow anyone to prescribe and buy medicinal drugs without constraint as the drug industry is quite profitable. If you use the wrong drug or a bit too much, then the subsequent repairs to your body will again raise the national income just a bit.

    Republicans support the consumption of vast quantities of alcohol even though it kills more people by a factor of ten (more or less) than all the "illegal" drugs combined. This makes sense because while it may get you high and out of control, technically it is not a "controlled substance".

The Drug War

    Strangely, while Republicans oppose the use of recreational drugs and Democrats are much more tolerant, they both support, with great enthusiasm, the so-called War on Drugs (WOD). That is because the WOD has little to do with drugs but is big business with large profits and incentives as well as an expression of political agendas and control.

    Making a distinction between Republicans and Democrats with regard to the WOD is difficult for several reasons that are fundamental to what government is all about. I list a few:

    1.The WOD allowed that time-honored tradition of governments - the seizure of private property - to be re-instated (amazingly, with citizen approval!). History tells us that in ancient times, governments satisfied their desire for accumulating wealth by simple and honest plunder and property seizure. As governments got smarter, they organized the theft, provided a stable environment for its culture and labeled it "taxation" (See Mancur Olson's essay, "Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development", American Political Science Review, Sept. 1993). I quote Olson (discussing the successful evolution of Chinese warlords): "The warlords had no claim to legitimacy and their thefts were distinguished from those of roving bandits only because they took the form of continuing taxation rather than occasional plunder." In these modern times, the plunder sometimes has even more sophisticated titles such as "surcharge" as used by the recently imposed fee on anyone who has more than one telephone line.

    2.The WOD allows the meddling in the affairs of small defenseless countries at will.

    3.The WOD provides another great opportunity to collect and spend great quantities of taxpayer's hard earned cash without any serious opposition. The reason for this is that the Drug problem is very close to being a natural disaster - which governments love as they can spend freely without complaints.

    That said, there are small but helpful differences:

    Democrats: The Democrats, as well as the Republicans, support the WOD, if for no other reason, because to do otherwise would result in the loss of votes. However, Democrats also support the program because it allows the U.S. to act as the world policeman. Socialism is never going to work without one-world government.

    Republicans: The Republicans love the WOD because it allows us to build up the military, throw a lot of people in jail that don't come around to the prescribed religious/moral values, and to make huge profits in the liquor and lawyer businesses.


    Democrats are for universal government provided education provided that - to make it fair - all educational institutions must be equally bad. Of course that only applies to the general population - politicians send their own children to private schools so that when they graduate they might actually be prepared to make a decent living and they will not be biased against the values of public education for the masses.

    Republicans support private education but do not see any reason why the institutions shouldn't be government funded. They particularly like the idea of religious or military schools that are better equipped to teach a state of perpetual obedience.


    Democrats see the "environment" as another means to control the masses. Even if "Global Warming" only exists in the heads of some out-of-work pacifists, it is certainly a powerful tool to keep the masses towing the line. Further, it is an unbelievable sink hole for public funds. Have you ever looked at what the asbestos scare cost?

    Republicans were a little late in appreciating the merits of environmentalism and have therefore had to live with some bad press. However, someone finally showed them how much money could be made by simply declaring Freon 12 as the main cause of Global Warming from which billions were made developing and selling a new coolant. This brought them around and now they frantically trying to find the next common household product to ban - like toilets that use too much water.

Government Spending

    Democrats: Democrats make no apologies for massive government spending. For the government to provide a happy, healthy, shameless, and even exciting society, for everyone, regardless of their personal means, requires a massive amount of cash from the citizens as well as all they can borrow. Further, to make sure that no citizen gets into trouble and is in bed each night at a reasonable hour, a huge government staff is a necessity. This, in turn, requires every dime the public can spare and just a bit more.

    Republicans: Republicans, in their hearts, and especially at campaign time, really would like to cut back on government spending - especially such luxuries as the social, environmental, and health programs. But there are necessities that it would be irresponsible to avoid. Such things as National Defense, which requires a military budget far greater than any we have had in any major war, can no more be cut back than you can cut back on helping the folks back home that need a superhighway to the new park out in the country. These are essential expenditures unlike the "feel good" stuff of the Democrats. When Iraq threatens our shores by such hostile actions as flying one of their planes over the southern half of their country, we better be ready for action.

Individual Liberty

    Democrats: Democrats are great believers in the concept of Liberty for all of humanity. It's just that individual humans need to be restrained - for their own good of course. It would be irresponsible to let individuals endanger their health by eating greasy theater popcorn or drinking water from a mountain stream that some fish has peed in (and hasn't been tested by a government agency). Sadly, when you face the reality, every aspect of human activity must be controlled by the superior knowledge of the government bureaucrat. That government bureaucrats themselves are sometimes accused of being human is a fallacious argument because even though as individuals, they may be bumbling idiots, as a group their holistic association results in superior knowledge.

    Republicans: Republicans would like to give people lots of freedom especially those that are economically active such the officers of large corporations and farmers. However, some aspects of human nature just cannot go unpunished. There must be law and order. Violence must be stopped if we have to kill every one of the sorry bastards. Republicans feel that they have the monstrous responsibility of enforcing God's word. It is not a matter of public vote. People who have unapproved sex, get high on anything (including testosterone) except approved drugs such as alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine, don't regularly go to an approved church, allow their kids to kiss before they get married, and talk smart to policemen that are dutifully beating the hell out of them, must receive appropriate punishment.


    Democrats are very fond of the military as it is a vast receptacle of funds and the defense industry has the reputation of being basically a giant welfare program for mostly engineers and scientists, without which millions of them would have to get a real job.

    Republicans also love the military for its capacity to absorb unbelievably large quantities of money. Even more, they appreciate the importance of importing American Justice to sometimes unreceptive and uncooperative countries by means of our military. Let's face it, kicking a little butt once in awhile can really "make your day"!


    Democrats believe in the sacred right of privacy as guaranteed by our Founding Fathers. Unless, of course, it involves money, children, or your suspicious conversation on the phone (it is well known that phones are sometimes used by terrorists).

    Republicans see no particular reason why you would even want privacy. What's the matter: You got something to hide? If you are not doing anything criminal, then privacy should not be a concern, according to them. Also, too much privacy is a real hindrance to getting every one in jail that ought to be there.

Private Property

    Democrats believe that all property should be shared equally among the people and enough to the animals to ensure their welfare (which they can't do for the people as there is just not enough of it). To insure the proper usage of property, the government, of course, must be the actual custodian of the property. What you think is yours is actually only on loan to you and may be recalled at any time. The whining of property owners that lose up in the millions of dollars when the government declares that a piece of property is needed for R&R for traveling geese is misplaced as it never belonged to these so-called property owners in the first place.

    Republicans, on the other hand, definitely believe in the right to private property as clearly enunciated by our Founding Fathers. But there is one small catch: The Bible is older than the Constitution and trumps it. The Bible points out very clearly, "When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox must be stoned; the flesh may not be eaten. The owner of the ox, however, shall go unpunished", Exodus 21:28. That means that if your house or your car or your bank account is in any remote way associated with a crime, then it must be "stoned to death". The modern translation of "stoned to death" is "given to the government".

    Surprisingly, an amazing amount of property is in someway related to a crime. For example, let us say that some pot dealer is driving down the street and decides to turn his car around using your driveway. It is obvious that your property has now aided in a crime for if it had not been there, the druggie's auto would have fallen into a bottomless pit. Case closed.

Racial Issues

    Democrats believe all "minority" races to be "disadvantaged" and to need government help. An exception is made for the Orientals because they stubbornly insist on doing quite well for themselves and refuse to suck up. Democrats see minorities mainly as large block votes at bargain prices. Racial groups should not be encouraged to mix as we need to retain each of their cultures.

    Republicans have always been fond of the people of color as they have been very well behaved house servants every since Lincoln freed them from slavery. Classes should not be allowed to mix because an inferior offspring will result. Yes, some claim that hybrids in the animal world are usually superior to their parents but this is easily explained as humans obviously are not animals!


    Democrats think religion is cool especially if it is "New Age", ancient Native American superstitions, Far East shamanism, or African witch doctors. What they can't stand are the low class, redneck religions like Church of God and Southern Baptists.

    Republicans are in full support of religion and see it as every citizen's duty - as long as it is "main line". The definition of "main line" is left up to the politicians, of course.


    Democrats are in full support of sexual activity, especially if it is a little kooky. The concept of the old fashioned "male-female" sexual interaction is best left to the lower animals.

    Republicans know that the purpose of sex is for procreation and not pleasure. If you must have pleasurable sex, which by definition would be outside of the marriage, then for God's sake have the decency to lie about it!


    Democrats consider any form of smoking of tobacco that is produced by the large corporations to be evil. The only material acceptable for smoking is marijuana or Native American ritual tobacco. If you are invited to the home of one of your cool friends and are handed a joint, do not think you have to eat it just because there is a sign on the wall that says, "Thank you for not Smoking".

    Republicans think smoking is fine as long as it provides the opportunity to ship large quantities of money to the subsidized tobacco farmers and producers. Of course the smoking of any "controlled substance" is not permitted even if tobacco kills far more people. Because, it is the law, you idiot. Republicans are for law and order. Lots of both.

War and other "World Cop" Activities

    Democrats, the "Peace Party", are strongly against war and other police actions and will attempt to create legislation to limit presidential powers and to influence public opinion - during Republican administrations. Of course, if the Democrats happen to be in charge, then such activities are OK because their purpose is to stop violence and to "prevent further suffering and bloodshed".

    Republicans, on the other hand, have no hesitation in bombing any recalcitrant country (those that refuse to accept aid in return for submission to U.S. control) "back to the stone age", unless, of course, the Democrats are in power. In that case, they are opposed to such acts because Democrats rarely have a decent "exit strategy". ("Exit Strategy" is a term often used in discussions of sexual activity. It is sort of the opposite to "foreplay".)


    Democrats believe in the concept of "equal distribution of wealth" even if they happened to be hoarding quite a pile of it. They justify this by the fact that to do their job requires that they live in a certain high class style that allows them to associate with the influential.

    Republicans believe that hard work and the economic "invisible hand" will make sure that anyone who deserves it gets it or the reverse as the case may be. By definition, if you are broke and living off the street, you deserve it.

First-time contributor Leon Felkins is a retired engineer now enjoying the good life living on a small, wooded farm. His homepage is entitled "IMHO...".

Copyright 1999 Leon Felkins. All rights reserved.