It can be seen that the dictionary definition of a Republican is somewhat brief, sufficing to say only that a Republican is: “Someone who is a member of the Republican party”. It is therefore necessary, if one wants to understand the nature of a Republican, to understand the party itself as only then can a Republican be more accurately defined.
The Republican party believes that every individual in a state is responsible for their own place in society and thus endeavors to create conditions in which anyone who strives to, can secure prosperity and security for themselves, their families and dependents. The Republican party believe in limiting government intervention generally, though accepting it as a necessity in circumstances where society is no longer functional at an individual level. The party prefers to focus on the state and community levels, rather than centering itself on a federal level.
The Republican party’s core beliefs, as outlined on their national committee website, are as follows:
- The best government for the people is the one that is closest to the people and as such the government should not interfere unless needed.
- The strength of a nation lies with the individuals who compose the nation. It is their freedom, dignity and responsibility which must come first and foremost.
- Free enterprise and initiative have brought the nation economic prosperity in the past and must be encouraged, for they will bring prosperity today and tomorrow.
- Government must exercise fiscal responsibility; the people must be allowed to keep the rewards of their labor.
- America should protect its national liberty, yet should strive for peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
The History of the Republican Party
The Republican Party was founded in the early 1850’s by activists campaigning against slavery and settlers seeking land in the West, who believed it should be granted them without charge. Their first meeting was an informal affair held in Ripon, Wisconsin. The first official party meeting was on July 6th, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan.
The name “Republican” was chosen as an allusion to Thomas Jefferson’s “Democratic-Republican party” and for the powerful connotations conjured by the word, especially so contemporaneously as revolutionary feelings were beginning to upset the monarchic and dictatorial hegemonies which had dominated politics for centuries.
The Republican party became a national one in 1856 with the nomination of John Fremont for president, though it would not be until 1861 that the first Republican president would be elected – Abraham Lincoln. The party worked tirelessly to secure the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments and to grant former slaves equality. They were the first party to support women’s suffrage and it was Republican majority states which voted to ratify the Nineteenth amendment.
The Republican party is often referred to as the G.O.P which, though widely believed to stand for the Grand Old Party, was originally Gallant Old Party.
Health care, often a contentious issue, has lately been at the forefront of political discussion, particularly with the Republican party’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act 2010. The Republican party opines that healthcare should be patient-centered and that by fostering competition and free market forces, health care costs will be driven down. As per their stance against government interference, the party is against a state-run system, which they believe would be inefficient, reduce the standard of care and compromise the patient-physician relationship, evidence for which is shown by the cumbersome, bureaucratic systems which exist currently in some countries.
Republicans support individuals managing their own finances through Medical Savings Accounts and Flexible Savings Accounts. They believe money that has gone unspent in a Flexible Savings Account should roll-on to the following year rather than be lost and that Medical Savings Accounts should be offered to all workers, free of restrictions, as a permanent fixture in tax law. It is the Republican party’s opinion that the more freedom and power of determination an individual has over their own health care, the more effectively the entire system will run.
Republicans also aim to reform malpractice and Medicare laws. In education, they propose cutting school-funded contraceptives and birth-control and instead implementing an abstinence only teaching program.