The major difference between Republicans and Democrats is not the specific policy issues, but how each side believes the process for deciding those policy issues should work.
Democrats want a democratic form of government which leads to weak state governments and a strong centralized government manifested in the federal government that will decide the various issues for everyone in the country. Republicans want a republican form of government which leads to strong state governments and a weak federal government so the individual people of each state have more say in how issues are decided in their state. The Democrats want majority rule, the Republicans want the individual to have a say in the policy of their state.
We see this played out in the current presidential election. On the one side, you have bother Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton advocating for large federal solutions to local problems. On the other side, we have Donald Trump saying that certain issues are better left to the states.
The mainstream media has not picked up on Trump's attitude toward the federal government yet. On education, transgender issues, and minimum wage Trump has specifically stated that the state governments should decide these issues. Yet nobody has recognized the signifigance of the Republican nominee holding these positions. Trump has developed an Executive branch philosophy that promotes a strong view of the 10th amendment. This is a strong state's rights position which increases the decision making authority of the states.
The position especially refutes the often stated, emotional claim by leftists and #NeverTrump that Trump is an 'authoritarian'. You cannot be an authoritarian if you are giving power to other people (the states).
If we want to talk about authoritarianism, the White House has recently mandated that all school districts must allow boys and girls with the transgender mental illness into the bathrooms of the other gender or else lose their federal funding. While Obama might have the legal authority to make this demand, although critics of this decision say that Congress has already defined gender and that the Executive branch cannot spontaneously change that definition, that is not the point. Obama is imposing his will on the states. Trump wants states to make those decisions for themselves. Who looks like the authoritarian?