I'm not sure when the words "democrat" and "republican" where chiseled into use for describing political parties but in my personal opinion they somewhat defeat the purpose of democracy. Many and most are so focused on fitting into a party, they seldom develop personal views. Picking one side is like wanting to fit into a group where what you believe is already decided. Where's the democracy in that?! I don't think I've ever met a Republican who's pro-choice. That's a real problem and indicative of the fact that many people's decisions are based on group thinking. When what you believe can be guessed, based on your region and your demographic, what's the point of even voting. We might as well decide from the historical data of past elections.
These titles only create division...each side feeling superior or more right than the other. Imagine if we chose leaders based on issues, without needing titles. This country would be far more progressive. Besides, the politicians who are either democrat or republican aren't living in ways similar to the people they wish to represent. We're basically choosing people to represent us and they have no idea how we truly live. These politicians probably have health care, their children more than likely go to good schools, and they can afford to eat decent food. These three things alone separate them from the general public...the people they represent. With this kind of system, we'll always have a public who needs something we're far from getting.