Chapter 05 - Political Parties and Politics

Believe it or not, we haven't always had Democrats and Republicans in our country. In fact, James Madison and fellow Federalists warned of political "factions" in Federalist Papers #10 and 51. Political parties have, nevertheless, existed since the days of Hamilton and Jefferson and we have undoubtedly seen many parties come, go, and evolve. Whether we like it or not, political parties are a major part of our lives today. This chapter will explore the foundations of the two major parties, Democrats and Republicans, but will also examine other parties in our society. Most importantly, we'll examine why parties exist and the benefits they provide to voters, politicians, and the nation in general. We'll also examine some of the ideological underpinnings of the major parties. Finally, we'll look at how political parties affect public policy in the US. It is our goal in this chapter to begin identifying our political ideologies--whatever they may be!

Left Wing vs. Right Wing Ideologies

Democratic Party: donkey-democrat-logo.jpg
Pennsylvania Democratic Party

Republican Party: republican-elephant-clock-11.png
Pennsylvania Republican Party

Other Third Parties:
Green Party
Libertarian Party
Constitution Party
US Communist Party
American Independent Party
US Pirate Party
Workers' Party
Labor Party
American Populist Party
Rent Is Too Damn High Party (yes, it's real)
US Marijuana Party