How to explain a democrat and a republican to a child?

We all know the difference between the Democrat and the Republican, but try explaining that to a child can be tricky.  In this article, we would attempt to explain ways on how to explain the difference between a democrat and a republican to a child in the simplest and understandable way.

We cannot shield the children from the political events of the country, and might as well be able to explain the current events in the most honest way possible to a child.

Democrat and Republican to a child’s eyes:

Explaining the difference in the Democrat and Republican can be compared to the division of the girls and boys in school. All the boys in the school will choose their best boy, and all the girls in the school will choose their best gal.  The best boy and the best gal will be the choices for the best kid in school.  The winner of the election will be the one who will make decisions for the school.

Here are other examples on how best to explain the Democrats and Republicans to a child:

  • Explain the different party system to a child by comparing it to their favorite baseball league, if you have sports fans at home. The two parties are like the American and National Leagues in baseball. The primaries, like in politics, are like the early playoff rounds. Both parties will choose their winners, the American and the National Leagues will have one participating team in the World Series. 
  • Compare the Republicans and Democrats beliefs into relatable situations.  For example, a group of ten kids went to an ice cream store. The store has three flavors, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. The group can only afford to buy one flavor, but not everyone wants the same flavor. That’s how the role of the government can be explained. It is the government’s decision how to spend the people’s money, and not everyone will like it.
  •  Using the ice cream store story, the Democratic would choose the ice cream flavor based on the majority’s decision. So, if 5 kids want vanilla, 3 chocolate and 2 strawberry, they would choose the ice cream that most people want which is vanilla.
  • If the ice cream store has only 2 flavors, vanilla and chocolate, and 5 kids want vanilla and 5 chocolate, the vanilla kids will persuade the chocolate kids to change sides, and vice versa. This will go on until one group gets the majority of the votes, just like the Democrats does.
  • The Republican would handle the ice cream story differently. They would choose a representative kid, say for example, Bob, to place the order. Therefore, Bob gets to choose the flavor. He will decide not based on what everyone wants, but because everyone agrees to choose Bob, they will take whatever his decision on the ice cream flavor.

In politics, the primary winners will be voted unto by the public in the general election.  And the winning team will be the grand winner in the World Series. In politics, the general election will determine who will be the next United States President.

As the primaries are heated news on television before elections, many children are curious about the two major political parties in The United States. Parents need to become really creative in explaining things that are too complex for the little kids’ mind. It is also best to explain the role of the government and how they function.

The Government

The character of Mr Mayor in The Powerpuff Girls depicts a government which is unreal to your kid.  It is best to teach your child early on how the government functions and the role they play for the country.

The Republicans in the government believe that it is the responsibility of the people and communities to take care of its own and the people in need. Those who are capable should take care of those who are less capable. Government should focus on  helping everyone. If you see a homeless person, it is the responsibility of the people, group or community who are capable of helping. 

Democrats on the other hand believe that it is the government’s responsibility to take care of the less fortunate and not to burden the people with its task. The Democrats believe that the government is the one who should help the less capable because that’s where the tax money should go.

The Democratic government should provide laws and measures to help those less fortunate in their plight.  The Democratic Party believes that it is the responsibility of the federal government to help everyone. In need. The Republican would not be happy with this.because this will not benefit everyone but only a specified group of the less fortunate and regards this as a special treatment.

Explaining this concept to a child is on how to feed the homeless. Republicans believed that well-off people and groups should be the one to take care of the homeless, while the Democrats believe that the government should be responsible for it. 

What are the political parties?

 There are two major political parties in the United States which are the Democrats and Republicans. Other political parties, though have not made a significant impact in the government, are the Libertarian Party, the Green Party and the Constitution Party. Other powerful parties from the past are the Whigs, the Federalists, and the Democratic-Republican.

These political parties are organized based on their policies, beliefs and goals as mentioned above. The Democrats and Republican parties are so powerful that the United States are basically called the two-party system. These political parties run much of the government due to size and number of members.

One advantage of having a two-party system is that only two parties run the government smoothly. It can lead to a more stable government and less diverse politics. While the disadvantage is that there are only two choices to vote for. This limits people with fresh ideas to have an influence and participation in the government.

 The Republican:

The Republican Party, otherwise known as the GOP (Grand Old Party), was founded in 1854 by opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed spread of slavery into the western regions. This party supported the classical liberalism ideals, opposed slavery, and supported economic reform. The first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln in 1860. 

The Republican Party was founded in the Northern States in 1854 by people who opposed slavery, ex-Whigs, and the ex-Free Soilers. Slavery was banned in the United States in 1865 under his leadership. There have been 19 Republican presidents including Donald Trump, who was elected in 2016. 

The Republican Party is generally associated with social conservative policies and support laws that uphold traditional values, such as opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion and marijuana. Republicans support gun ownership rights and oppose laws regulating its use. 

Majority of the religion of the Republican Party is Northeastern Protestants in 1960.

The traditional mascot of the Party is a red, white and blue colored elephant. 

The Democrats:

The Democratic Party is known to be the biggest and oldest political party in the United States, and generally based on American liberalism, in contrast to the conservatism of the Republican party. Democrats generally support workers rights  and programs to help people in need. 

Democratic platforms sought to promote social programs, labor unions, consumer protection, racial equality, and criminal justice reform. They feel that the government should be the one in control of businesses and industry. They want to avoid businesses taking advantage of the public. 

Democrats call for “affordable health care” and support universal health care to address rising health care costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare), which was signed into law on March 23, 2010, had been one of the most significant thrusts for universal health care. 

They also believe in protecting civil rights and a strong separation between church and state. Democrats support a more progressive tax structure to provide more services to the people and reduce economic inequality by making sure the wealthiest Americans pay the highest taxes. Democrats support an increase in the minimum wage and believe that all its people should have the right to a fair wage. 

In 2012, the Democratic Party endorsed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the anti-bullying prevention for the LGBT youth.

The mascot of the Democrats is a donkey.


Teaching the kids the difference of the Democrats and Republicans is about teaching them not just about what is right or wrong, left or right, but teaching them the in-between or the grey area, where a person can be neither right nor wrong. For a lot of people, the difference is more about their political views, foreign policies, religion, tax system, and more, but the child should understand that the government is established to create order in the community.  

Running a government does not have a right or wrong system, the left or the right. While some parents shared their political views to their child early on, it is best to teach your child the facts and let them decide on their own to get more information when the time comes.

So leave out the biases, the corruption allegations, scandals and everything nasty about politics to your explanation to your child. When they grow older, they will decide on their own and form their own political minds based on the facts.

FAQ’s on “How to explain a Democrat and a Republican to a child?”:

How to explain a Democrat and a Republican to a child?

It starts with creative use of imagination in the terms your child will understand. Like for the example of the ice cream story that tells the difference on how the Democrat and a republican will react to any given situation.

What do Democrats believe in?

The Democrats emphasized on egalitarianism, social equality, saving the environment, and strengthening social safety procedures through liberalism. They also support LGBT community, same-sex marriage, multiculturalism and religious secularism.

What does the Republican Party stand for?

The Republican Party started in 1854 to prevent expansion of slavery into Americal territories an led the fight to destroy the Confederate States of the America (1861-1865).

What is the major difference of a Republican and a Democrat?

There was a time that the foreign policy was their major difference.  The Democrats are into appeasing geopolitical interests and hoping to attain world peace. Whereas the Republicans were more about national defense against advancement of communism. 

Are Republican left or right?

Those on the left are the Republicans, while those on the right are the “conservatives”.