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What is the major difference between democrats and the republicans?

There's a joke about the difference that goes, "a liberal is a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet". The joke is meant to quickly contrast the difference on how republicans and democrats view society but generally the most basic difference is that democrats believe in a strong central government while republicans believe more in states rights and that a central government should only be concerned with the bare essentials such as military defense and printing money.