GREENSBORO – In the midst of a presidential campaign dominated by controversy, it’s easy to forget that the two candidates actually have detailed positions on the issues on their websites. Below are the positions of the two candidates in a side-by-side comparison aimed at helping student voters.
National Security: Both Trump and Clinton support defeating ISIS and other terrorist organizations that threaten U.S. interests by working with allies and improving intelligence operations. Trump also supports increasing the defense budget and ending nation-building, while Clinton supports diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian civil war and sectarian conflict in Iraq. Trump’s most controversial foreign policy proposal – barring Muslims from entering the United States – has been walked back; his website proposes to suspend immigration from areas of the world with histories of international terrorist activity with no mention of any particular religion.
The economy: Clinton and Trump both promise that they will revive the economy and preserve middle-class jobs. Trump supports lower taxes across all income groups and less regulation on business, whereas Clinton supports rebuilding infrastructure and establishing the United States at the forefront of ‘clean energy.’ Both say that they will pursue trade policies that will protect U.S. jobs.
Immigration: Trump’s most well-known immigration policy proposal is to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and make the Mexican government foot the bill. Most experts, and even many of his own supporters, doubt that it will happen due to any number of financial, environmental, political and logistical hurdles. Trump’s other controversial immigration proposal – the deportation of up to 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. – has been reiterated numerous times in public appearances by both the candidate and his surrogates, but has also been withdrawn. His website says that only undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes will be immediately deported, though it also says that all undocumented immigrants are subject to deportation. Clinton supports comprehensive immigration reform that would provide undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship and would defend the Obama administration’s executive actions deferring deportation of certain undocumented immigrants.
Education: Clinton promises to make college debt-free by allowing every student from a family making less than $85,000 to attend an in-state school without paying tuition, as well as allowing borrowers to renegotiate current student loan debt. Clinton also promises to make pre-school universal for every four-year old and invest more money in programs such as Early Head Start. Trump promises to use federal funds to support school choice and use federal tax breaks to encourage colleges and universities to reduce tuition costs.
Healthcare: Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as “Obamacare,” and replace it with individual health savings accounts, as well as letting consumers purchase insurance across state lines. Clinton would defend the ACA, expand Medicaid coverage and guarantee paid medical leave so families can care for children or seriously ill relatives.
Crime: Clinton promises to pass legislation to outlaw racial profiling, reform mandatory sentencing laws and provide funds to train law enforcement in unbiased policing. Trump, in several public appearances, has supported “stop-and-frisk” policies that have previously been ruled unconstitutional, though his website doesn’t mention this. Trump promises to protect the Second Amendment, while Clinton promises to expand background checks for gun purchasers and support legislation that would prevent domestic abusers and the mentally ill from purchasing firearms.
Social Issues: Trump promises to support “freedom of religion” and appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court. Trump has claimed to be friendly to the LGBT community, but his website doesn’t specifically address issues such as LGBT rights. Clinton promises to fight for federal protections of LGBT rights and use U.S. foreign policy to push for the protection of LGBT rights worldwide.