Karenmom asks:

Social Studies:  Is "Right Wing" Republican or Democrat?

I don't know how to answer this question I've heard people say "right wing democrat" and I've also heard "right wing republican".  Are they just referring to an opinion or thought of different parties OR is it actually referring to the Republican Party or the Democrat Party?

Thanks in advance!
In Topics: Helping my child with social studies / history
> 60 days ago



Allyn Anderson
May 26, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Oh, I loved your question! Think of politics as a "continuum." Far to the left you will find very liberal people while on the far right you will find very conservative people. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have people all along the continuum from liberal to conservative. I believe that's why it seems so confusing to you.

In general, the Republican Party is often referred to as the "right wing," while "left wing" denotes the Democratic Party. So, a "right wing" Democrat would be a conservative democrat, while a "left wing" Republican would be a liberal Republican. However, these labels are the opinions of the speaker. When a person uses jargon such as this in conversation, I've found that it is best to ask that person to describe exactly what he/she means because what it means to one person may not be the same meaning to another.

To me, this two-party system is like a balanced scale. On one side is the Democratic Party while on the other is the Republican Party. The platform of each party changes with the various elections, so one time the Democrats will promote and idea while the Republicans may champion the same idea during a different election.

The main difference between the two parties boils down to this. Democrats believe that the Federal government should ensure that every citizen should receive the same, fair treatment, as well as being responsible for "curing" the nation's ills, such as poverty. Republicans generally believe that government should be minimized, except to provide for the common defense of the country through a strong military; this frame of reference believes that limited government would allow its citizens to address the ills of society, such as unemployment through job development. (I believe this thinking spurred volunteerism, which was an unique, American concept.)

Hope this helps to clear the confusion for you!

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