Friday, September 5, 2008 0 comments ++[ CLICK TO COMMENT ]++

Republicans vs Democrats: The Words Spoken

The New York Times has an illuminating graphic depicting the frequency of words used by the Republican Party and Democratic Party speakers during their recently concluded conventions. Election contenders don't necessarily execute what they promise but, nevertheless, the graphic shows the ideological and philosophical differences between the parties.

(source: The Words They Used, September 4, 2008. The New York Times)

It should be noted that frequency bubbles may be misleading at times since a word may be used as a negative in one context, and as a positive in another. For instance, the Republican Party members are far more hawkish towards Iran than the Democrats are. So even though the Democrats cite Iran more times, it's not clear whether that refers to an escalation of the situation against Iran with a potential invasion; or whether it refers to de-escalating the tension and purusing diplomatic channels (even though USA doesn't have direct diplomatic contact with Iran.)

The graphic is consistent with the ideologies of the two parties. Republicans are emphasizing taxes, business, and God; while the Democrats emphasize the economy, jobs, energy, and health care. Both parties target their opponents to varying degree. The focus of the Democrats is on the notion of 'change' and how Obamba will bring that about. The Republicans on the other hand are attempting to distance themselves from the current Bush administration, while focusing on business and social conservatism (God.)

One can never be sure what will be accomplished but roughly speaking, I see the following outcome (this is just my speculation.) If the President ends up Republican, he will likely attempt to expand the tax cuts, pursue drilling for oil in the Arctic, strengthen social conservative items (such as attacking abortion, allow greater religion in schools, etc) and pursue hawkish starategy against Iran and possibly Russia. If the president is Democratic, he will likely expand health care, roll back the Bush tax cuts, accelerate the withdrawl from Iraq and likely temper the disagreement with Iran and Russia, and introduce far greater regulation for businesses. Some of the items mentioned likely won't be executed. For instance, I don't think the Democrats will pursue drilling in the Arctic even though Obama says he is in favour of it. It should also be noted that the House and the Senate are controlled by the Democrats so a Republican president will have to compromise a lot more than a Democratic president. For instance, it would be very difficult for a Republican President to invade Iran right now.


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