And the differences are very un-subtle when you examine a lot of specific cases.The differences are subtle in the sense that it requires foresight. In hindsight it's fairly obvious: thousands dead. Trillions spent on the war to nowhere. The list goes on.
But it's also not untrue that essentially Ds & Rs are just two sides of the same neo-liberal coin. Being disheartened and giving up... not voting, not engaging and not participating in any kind of activism... is really the point. Obey your corporate masters and bow down to the almighty dollar. It's sad when people can't see past that. This is why I respect Bernie so much - he can help people feel that there is a point even as he loses yet again.
If given a monolithic voting block that would support them NO MATTER WHAT including shrugging off an epidemic killing tens of thousands, I have no doubt that the Democrats would be just as vile and unwilling to govern as Republicans. As it is, they don't have to give a fuck about their constituents, and are now fully embracing the slumlord ideal of America. The Democratic Party is a bunch of disorganized namby-pambies who will to curry favor with the boardrooms of the corporate overlordship when they can, although they're not as reliable at it. And damn it, many of them still make choices in favor of their actual constituents! The nerve!
In local elections, I love to see third party or unaffiliated candidates, and often vote for them. And sometimes they win. Right now, on a national scale, wishful thinking is not going to turn the tide, so I see voting Democrat as the only realistic alternative.
Hopefully we will still have elections.