How Democrats and Republicans Compare on 12 Major Issues (with lesson plan)

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Are America’s two ruling political parties really all that different from each other?

As it turns out, they are. Looking over the Democratic and Republican platforms is sort of like reading two different languages.

Every presidential election year, Republicans, Democrats and third parties spend months crafting their official party platforms. The documents, which get officially adopted at the national conventions, outline where the parties stand on the big issues, from hot button topics like abortion, gun control and immigration to lesser-watched items like auditing the Pentagon or supporting the postal service.

[Click here for more on political party platforms]

See for yourself. The excerpts below are taken directly from both party platforms, illustrating some of the widest divides on a range of major issues. Browse through the embedded version or download the PDF here.