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If You Think Both Parties Are The Same, This Graph Will Show Why You’re Wrong

republican-democratOver and over again for the last couple of years I’ve heard how “both parties are the same dude! You need to wake up man! Stop being one of the sheeple!” These remarks often come from people who think Infowars or Natural News are legitimate news sources, but I also get this from some of the more “enlightened” people my page picked up back during the days of Occupy.

Let’s be honest — on some things, Democrats and Republicans share similarities. Both sides tend to have super PACs funding candidates and they almost all seem to be fairly cozy with Wall Street. Beyond that, the differences become more and more obvious. In fact, this graph shows that over the last 30 years, both sides of the aisle in the Senate have moved further and further apart.

US Senate Voting Similarity Networks

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


If both parties really were the same, why is one of them hijacked by social and religious radicals who seem to want to bring the federal government to its knees? If there was no difference between Democrats and Republicans, why is one party determined to do everything it can to disenfranchise voters in order to maintain political power in areas where their support is rapidly slipping away?

Anyone who tells you both parties are exactly the same has either not been paying attention, or they’re being completely disingenuous. I’d even go so far as to say that they’re recruiting for the Libertarian Party (with which I do agree on some things, but not all) or they’re trying to keep people from voting by spreading apathy and disinformation.

Despite the faults of Democrats, including being overly zealous on guns when it comes to some further left members of the party, I don’t see them willing to hold the government and economy hostage because they couldn’t push an assault weapons ban through. They may be out of touch with rural voters and those who prefer boiled collards over arugula, but they’re not batshit insane and intent on installing their own version of Sharia law.

I’m not totally happy with everything Democrats have done but as someone who used to be a Republican and has worked for the Green Party, there is definitely a difference between Democrats and Republicans – now so more than ever.

About Manny Schewitz

Manny Schewitz is a Progressive from the Dirty South with an inclination to say it like it is. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and also maintains a popular Facebook page, "Whiskey and the Morning After Blog."
You can also find him on Twitter @WATMAB. Be sure to check out Manny's archives for more of his viewpoints.

  • Robben

    Yes.. you are sheeple… and no both parties are not the same in regards to beliefs, but both political systems manipulate their course audiences using the same tactics and strategies, and yes, info wars is awesome.

  • Milky Teltron

    Nobody is saying they vote the same all the time, they are told to quarrel by their handlers. Politicians answer to their handlers. Handlers use a divide and conquer
    strategy encourage or foster feuds between smaller powers. This kind of political maneuvering requires a
    great understanding of the people who are being manipulated. In order to foster feuds, for example, one must
    understand the political and social histories of the parties intended to take part in the feuds.

  • Richard A. Tucker

    I’m not sure where to start so I’m going to go with the facts. First, this chart is pretty accurate. I say this based on history and my status as a former registered Republican. I’m not a Democrat and likely never will be.
    The Dems have become the voice for social progressives for a good reason. Yes, some blue dogs are in the mix but anyone care to show me the progressives in the rabid lot of right-wing fascist that call themselves Republicans? Good luck.
    The drone campaign: unlike the previous ADMINISTRATIONS Obama owns it. I seriously doubt he likes it because he never brags about it. Though, in some measure he SHOULD. This maligned effort has led to a body count that been tiny compared to our boots on the ground ops. Does anyone honestly think boots on the ground ops were better? Tell that to the legions of widows, the thousands with permanent brain injuries, and thousands more who lost their limbs. Tell that to all the people NOT killed in the crossfire of of BOTG ops when panicked men fired rounds at everything that moved when their “control” went south. That said, not even the White House claims the drone campaign isa good thing. They know that on a certain level they’ve made a bargain with the devil but they can’t bring it to an end until the voters demand an end. They haven’t. So it continues. I’ll take the lower body count.
    Dems made the mistake of signing on with policy deregulations because the Reps promised reforms that they later reneged on. Since then the Reps have ruled congress and when it was proven that even going along with them proved treacherous (anyone else recall the witch hunt that finally concluded with the impeachment of Bill Clinton over a BJ? I did). Then the Dems put up a weak candidate in Al Gore and despite his technical win had that win stolen from him by procedural three card Monty tactics. The Dems were outplayed and the American people were hoodwinked, one could say willingly.
    It’s been a real struggle ever since.
    The prosecution of war crimes has been sandbagged again by procedural land mines left by the Bush admin. It boils down to this- they left behind a procedural legal snare by which ANYONE even privy to war crimes being committed will be prosecuted. That includes those who knew, tried to stop it and failed because of things like the secret courts. The fact is those people who fought it are more likely to lose their careers and even their freedom than those who actively perpetrated the acts.This is how ensnarled that entire mess is. Those with the money and political clout will avoid prison, tying up our courts while small, mostly innocent players will go to jail. How exactly is that the fault of progressives who routinely were out voted and out played by a stacked Rep. Congress? As for people like Sen. Clinton and Kerry who voted to empower Bush and his cronies, yup, they did, because it was their political careers at stake. This notion that something as COMPLEX as our government can win out through altruistic efforts by progressives or a third party is naive, to say the least. It’s really dumb. I’ve been of boards and committees in small organizations (less than a 7 people making decisions for about 100 people) where that didn’t fly and we expect it from of government?

    And then there’s the LAST midterm, where all the cry baby Dems ALLOWED the REPS to take over again and ALL because they failed to look at the incredible number of legislative progress, real WINS that they enacted inn a short, 2 year window (that could actually be number in less than an actual year in power), and why? Because the whiners weren’t crazy about the centrist in office who ran as a centrist!
    Don’t blame the progressives for their losses because YOU failed to deliver the votes they needed and NO ONE stopped you from doing just that.
    The ACA was gutted in the process because no one wanted to see tens , many hundreds of thousands more unemployed, or wanted a full on fight with the millions employed by the health care industry. That’s the REAL world. Don’t like it? Then vote blue and hold them accountable. By the way, anyone complaining about the lack of a third party can go cry somewhere else. We don’t have a parliamentary process so a third or fourth party is not in a position to build actual coalitions between the parties to gain a majority for procedural voting. That means all we do is weaken our ability to shape policy by watering down the congress and whatever majority there is will remain, even if they can’t get the votes to enact legislation. Force cooperation now. We can build on it. But don’t complain about something that doesn’t exist because no one votes for it. It starts with you and we saw how Nader was maligned for weakening the electorate with his race for president. The same thing happened to Ross Perot.
    We are among the dumbest, or at least the most forgetful voters ever.

  • Ally

    A party ‘getting their way’ is an asinine statement. It should be what is best for ALL of it’s citizens, not just for business or parties sake. No side is perfect, but one is for ALL, the other speaks for itself.