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Republicanism is an ideology embraced by members of a republic -- a form of government in which leaders are elected for a specific period by the preponderance of the citizenry, and laws are passed by leaders for the benefit of the entire republic, rather than a select aristocracy....For Republicans, political liberty entails not only freedom from government interference in private affairs, it also places great emphasis on self-discipline and self-reliance. Political liberty keeps government out of individuals' lives (unless to do this threatens the republic as a whole), it also prevents the government from becoming a guardian to its individuals. The role of government in a republic
You can see these values being presented in the current U.S. election between two ideologies. Mitt Romney and the Republicans are running their campaign on less government. They feel people should largely take care of their own and not rely on the state for help. They want taxes low and universal social benefits low as well. The Obama Democratic campaign argues for a more universal society that takes care of the major needs of each other.