Both parties agree that all people should be able to have enough money to support themselves. Both agree that all Americans should have access to health care. And both parties agree that everyone should be able to retire and not end up in poverty.
So, where is the divide? Simply put, the Democrats believe it is the role of government to make all that happen, regardless of what the individual does or does not do to insure their own well-being. republicans believe that it is the responsibility of each individual to secure their own status, and the government should only provide a "safety net" for those who could not, through no fault of their own.
This does not include Social Security - that is not an entitlement. We pay into that, so the money we get out is our own. And that is the real key behind republican thought - YOU do what it takes to pay in. The government will oversee and protect it so you will have it at retirement. But ultimately, it is up to you to provide the money.
Democrats believe we should assure equality for everyone even if they refuse to work, or otherwise do anything for themselves. They actually believe the government should control the economy, top to bottom, then distribute equally. And though they cringe when someone says that is socialism, it is what it is.
Republicans believe the only task of government is to protect the nation from enemies and to uphold the Constitution. People should be free to pursue their dreams, without interference from government, so long as their pursuits do not harm anyone else.
In short, Republicans believe if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Democrats feel if you are not part of the solution, don't worry - we'll take care of you, anyway, because we believe that everyone should have the same.
What Democrats cannot comprehend - "equality" is not synonymous with "same". Two people with $100 means they each have the "same". But if one person worked 10 hours for his $100 and the other person had it handed to him by the government, that is not "equal". Nor is it fair.