If you want to evaluate the actual policies of each party as opposed to the rhetoric, just take everything which Republicans say and reverse it. National Security–which party blocked attempts to fight al Qaeda during the Clinton years and then ignored intelligence reports leading up to the 9/11 attack? In contrast, which party successfully stopped the planned Millennium terrorist plot, and which party killed bin Laden (along with other al Qaeda leaders)? Ronald Reagan might have talked about getting government off our backs, but it is the Republican Party which has been attempting to impose the beliefs of the religious right on the country while Democrats (not entirely consistently) have defended civil liberties. Republicans promote a revisionist view of the Constitution which exists only in their heads, ignoring key elements such as the creation of a secular government to protect freedom of religion for all, while Democrats support the Constitution as intended by its framers. Republicans support tax cuts–but only for the very wealthy, while Democrats have repeatedly pushed for tax cuts for the middle class. Want to make lots of money–then definitely vote Democratic.
There have been many analyses over the years as to how the economy and stock market have done over the years. As I’ve noted in the past, the economy has done much better under Democrats. Bloomberg has repeated the analysis, again showing that the stock market does better under Democrats:
While Republicans promote themselves as the friendliest party for Wall Street, stock investors do better when Democrats occupy the White House. From a dollars- and-cents standpoint, it’s not even close.
The BGOV Barometer shows that, over the five decades since John F. Kennedy was inaugurated, $1,000 invested in a hypothetical fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) only when Democrats are in the White House would have been worth $10,920 at the close of trading yesterday.
That’s more than nine times the dollar return an investor would have realized from following a similar strategy during Republican administrations. A $1,000 stake invested in a fund that followed the S&P 500 under Republican presidents, starting with Richard Nixon, would have grown to $2,087 on the day George W. Bush left office.
These differences are likely to be even greater in the future with Republicans increasingly creating huge deficits while in office while hindering attempts at economic recovery for political gain while in the opposition.
There are other variables in play, primarily religious views, but in general the Democrats have become the party of the more educated, affluent, upper middle class voters. Demographically Obama receives his greatest degree of support from those making $100.000 to $250,000. Wealthier voters tend to be easily conned into voting Republican because of a lower marginal tax rate, even if the higher amount paid in taxes (often very small unless extremely wealthy) would be offset by higher business and investment income under Democrats. Less educated voters tend to be more easily conned by the entire Republican line.