1 of the 2 major political parties in U.S. politics today. Republican politicians are usually a blend of religious and economic conservatives. This means they they argue for fewer taxes and fewer regulations on what businesses can doo. However, they also want more laws about sexuality and social values that align closely with Christian beliefs.
Note: you’ll sometimes hear people call Republicans “the GOP” (Grand Old Party). They mean they same thing.
5 things Republicans ran on in 2016
- Lower taxes for businesses
- Renegotiate trade agreements with other countries
- Open public lands to oil production
- Spend less on healthcare and Social Security
- Laws that recognize marriage as only between 1 man and 1 woman
If you’re interested, here’s the whole Republican platform.
Republicans’ vision for the U.S.
Republicans want to reduce the size and influence of government in the economy and on how we treat our environment. For example, they want to get rid of rules that affect large financial corporations and banks. They want to reform or even abolish the IRS (the government agency in charge of tax collection). They want to make it easier for companies to drill for oil and mine coal on public lands.
They’re also a party that thinks Christianity should have a bigger influence on U.S. government and life. For example, their platform argues that abortion violates the Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights (that nobody should “be deprived of life, liberty or property” without fair treatment under the law). It also argues that publicly displaying the Ten Commandments is protected under the First Amendment, which protects free speech. (The Supreme Court has ruled that you can’t do this.) They also call for laws limiting marriage to 1 man and 1 woman.
Republicans also often argue for spending cuts, including on healthcare (Medicare), government-funded food (SNAP Benefits/food stamps), and money you get after you retire (Social Security).
Conflicts in the party
President Trump ran on a several issues that run directly counter to traditional Republican values. First, he promised not to cut healthcare — in fact, he said he’d expand it. He also argued against free trade, which many Republicans are for. More recently, he’s tried to advance a few laws limiting guns or gun accessories, which many Republicans feel threaten their Second Amendment rights.
President Trump has caused a lot of upheaval within the Republican Party. He doesn’t particularly care about making the government smaller. He’s also not a crusader for Christianity, though he’s been happy to advocate for issues his Christian voters care about. This has led to a lot of news about how Trump is changing the GOP’s values.
That said, since he’s been in office, the Republican-controlled congress has mostly worked on traditional Republican laws. For example, they’ve tried to reduce healthcare spending, they’ve passed a tax cut that benefits big financial corporation, and they’ve cut regulations on banks. However, Trump is much more popular than the rest of the Republican Party — so it’s not clear how things will change in the next elections.