The Republican Premises
People should take care of themselves and their dependents. “Looking out for #1” is a priority and principle, not a sign of greedy acquisitiveness. The world, as Darwin demonstrated, is replete with competition, and one must be fit to survive and to thrive.
Therefore, making the most of your talents and potentials is a natural imperative; whereas being a slacker and a willful dependent is immoral. In the spirit of Horatio Alger, one must “strive and succeed,” and the fruits of your labors are yours to do with as you will, principally to support your needy dependents, but also to share charitably with those unable to support themselves, but not with those unwilling to do so. Widows and orphans and the unfortunate downtrodden deserve assistance as well as encouragement and support in becoming self-sufficient whenever possible.
The principle of Self-Sufficiency is paramount with Republicans. Taking the fullest responsibility possible for one’s own welfare and well-being is the prime precept of Republican conservatism. Government is not meant to redistribute wealth lawfully earned by one’s initiative, enterprise and industriousness to those capable of acting from those same virtues if they would but choose to do so. The real heroes in life are those who strive and struggle to reach their full potentials with integrity, honesty and charity.
The Democratic Premises
Life is not fair. The circumstances in which people grow up and live are inevitably inequitable. Some are blessed with bounty, privilege and opportunity by the luck of “birthright.” Most are less well-favored by fortune and must struggle to fare well materially. At the bottom of the socio-economic ladder are the desperate ones deprived of the basic resources for even minimal well-being: food, clothing, shelter and protection from harm and disease; much less, opportunity to improve their sorry lot—the deck is stacked against their advancement.
Therefore, it is unjust for a society not to provide the means and opportunities for all its citizens to be able to thrive, and then to encourage and facilitate their advancement to a “decent” standard of living, through their own initiative and efforts to the greatest extent possible.
Some people, though, will be physically, mentally or emotionally impaired from fending for themselves successfully. They should be cared for, supported in their needs, and rehabilitated to the fullest extent possible: by voluntary charity when offered, but by public programs and tax dollars when necessary. A humane society cannot neglect the plight of the truly needy.