Democratic Party (United States)
|File:US Democratic Party Logo.svg|
|Chairperson||Tom Perez (NY)|
|Secretary||Jason Rae (WI)|
|Speaker of the House||Nancy Pelosi (CA)|
|Senate leader||Minority Leader|
Chuck Schumer (NY)
|House leader||Majority Leader|
Steny Hoyer (MD)
Martin Van Buren
The U.S. Democratic Party is one of the two biggest political parties in the United States. The other is the Republican Party. The U.S. also has several smaller political parties known as third parties. Supporters of this party are known as Democrats.
Every four years the party holds a National Convention where they agree on their candidate for President. The Democratic National Committee coordinates most of the activities of the Democratic Party in all 50 United States. There have been 15 Democratic presidents, the most recent being Barack Obama, who was President from 2009 to 2017. The Democratic Party represents a broad spectrum of leftist ideologies, including classic liberalism, social democracy, progressivism, and socialism.
Philosophy and role in government
Democrats, also sometimes called 'the left', 'liberals' or 'progressives' make up one of the two main political parties in the United States. A mostly Democratic state is sometimes called a 'blue state'. This comes from the party’s main color, which is blue, referring to a state supporting ‘blue’ candidates.
Democrats believe in a strong government with social assistance programs to help members of society. They prefer diplomatic solutions to conflicts, and take a generally protectionist view on trade, believing that trade must be regulated to protect American workers.
Socially, most Democrats believe in social liberalism, taking pro-immigration, pro-gay marriage, and pro-choice views.
Generally Democrats support:
- Progressive income tax, increasing overall tax income
- Higher corporate taxes and recapturing income from overseas profits
- Expanding spending on government programs
- Spending on business, education, infrastructure, clean-energy
- Expanding rights to Abortion
- Restrictions of weapons use and potentially dangerous users through government oversight
- Universal healthcare
- Regulating business and the economy
- Same-sex marriage
Most support for Democrats comes from states in the Northeast, Northwest and Pacific Coast areas of the USA, but there are Democrats elected to office in all other states too.
Historically, Thomas Jefferson, whom the party claims as it founder, has been often seen as symbols of the Democratic Party, particularly emphasized in the annual celebrations of Jefferson Day Dinners held since the days of Andrew Jackson. As such, the Democratic Party is also often referred to as the “Party of Jefferson.”
- Presidents during the 19th century
- Thomas Jefferson (1801 – 1809)
- James Madison (1809 – 1817)
- James Monroe (1817 – 1825)
- John Quincy Adams (1825 – 1829) (Adams and his supporters left to join the rival National Republican Party very early in his term.)
- Andrew Jackson (1829 – 1837)
- Martin Van Buren (1837 – 1841)
- John Tyler (1841 – 1845) (A Democrat for most of his life, Tyler was elected as the Whig candidate for Vice President, but allied with Democrats after assuming the presidency after William Henry Harrison’s death.)
- James K. Polk (1845 – 1849)
- Franklin Pierce (1853 – 1857)
- James Buchanan (1857 – 1861)
- Andrew Johnson (1865 – 1869) (A Democrat for most of his life, Johnson was elected as the National Union candidate for Vice President, but allied with Democrats after assuming the presidency after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.)
- Grover Cleveland (1877 - 1881) (1885 – 1889)
- Presidents during the 20th century
- Woodrow Wilson ( 1913 – 1921)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933 – 1945)
- Harry S. Truman (1945 – 1953)
- John F. Kennedy (1961 – 1963)
- Lyndon B. Johnson (1963 – 1969)
- Jimmy Carter (1977 – 1981)
- Bill Clinton (1993 – 2001)
- Presidents during the 21st century
- Barack Obama (2009 – 2017)
Other famous Democratic Politicians
- Joe Biden (Delaware), former Vice President
- John Kerry (Massachusetts), former Secretary of State, former Senator, former Presidential candidate
- Patrick Leahy (Vermont), former President Pro Tempore, Senator, and Dean of the Senate
- Hillary Clinton (New York), former Secretary of State, former Senator and former First Lady
- Jim Clyburn (South Carolina), Representative and Assistant Democratic Leader
- Howard Dean (Vermont), former Governor and former head of the Democratic National Committee
- Christopher Dodd (Connecticut), former Senator
- Mario Cuomo (New York), former Governor
- Dick Durbin (Illinois), Senate Whip
- George Moscone (California), former Mayor of San Francisco
- Chuck Schumer (New York), Senator and Senate Minority Leader.
- Harvey Milk (California), Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
- William M. Daley (Illinois), candidate for Governor of Illinois, former White House Chief of Staff
- Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey), former Senator
- Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois
- Paul Simon (Illinois), former Senator
- Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania), former Senator
- Bob Menendez (New Jersey), Senator
- Richard M. Daley (Illinois), former Mayor of Chicago
- John Edwards (North Carolina), former Senator and Vice-Presidential candidate
- Richard J. Daley (Illinois), former Mayor of Chicago
- Al Gore (Tennessee), former Presidential candidate and Vice-President
- Robert F. Kennedy, former Senator, former Presidential candidate, and brother of John F. Kennedy
- Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), former President Pro Tempore, former Senator, and former Dean of the Senate
- Steny Hoyer (Maryland), House Minority Whip
- Robert Byrd (West Virginia), former President Pro Tempore, former Senator, and former Dean of the Senate
- Tim Kaine (Virginia), Governor, 2016 vice presidential nominee and former head of the Democratic National Committee
- Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Representative
- Janet Napolitano (Arizona), Secretary of Homeland Security
- Nancy Pelosi (California), Speaker of the House
- Brian Schweitzer (Montana), former Governor
- Harry Reid (Nevada), former Senate Minority Leader
- Rahm Emanuel (Illinois), Mayor of Chicago, former White House Chief of Staff
- Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (Virginia), former Senator
- Bill Richardson (New Mexico), Governor
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Florida), Representative and former head of the Democratic National Committee
- Eliot Spitzer (New York), former Governor
- Mark Warner (Virginia), Senator and former Governor
- George Wallace (Alabama), 45th Governor of Alabama
- Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts
Independents who side with Democrats
- Ronald Reagan (California), 40th President of the United States (1981-1989). Registered Democrat until 1962.
- Condoleezza Rice (Alabama), 66th United States Secretary of State (2005-2009). Registered Democrat until 1982.
- Rudy Giuliani (New York), 107th Mayor of New York City (1994-2001). Registered Democrat until 1975.
- Rick Perry (Texas), 14th United States Secretary of Energy (since 2017), 47th Governor of Texas (2000-2015). Registered Democrat until 1989.
- Jesse Helms (North Carolina), United States Senator (1973-2003). Registered Democrat (1942–1970).
- Donald Trump (New York), 45th President of the United States (2016-current), Registered Democrat until 2016.
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