In one of the most tumultuous presidential elections in recent history, there have been a few hot-button political issues. These issues, and how each of the two leading candidates have addressed them, have shaped the 2016 election and captured the nation’s attention.
According to the Pew Research Center, the top two voting issues of this year’s election are the economy and terrorism.
Other big issues include gun control, immigration, Supreme Court appointments, healthcare, the treatment of women and the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities.
This article will break down what these issues are and how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have addressed each issue.
The candidates’ policies are taken directly from their campaign websites.
Clinton’s economic proposal includes a tax plan that would increase taxes for the wealthiest Americans, as well as a plan to invest in creating jobs in America and a guarantee for paid family and sick leave.
Trump’s economic plan is to “create a dynamic booming economy that will create 25 million new jobs over the next decade.” He also wants to cut taxes overall.
Clinton’s policy regarding terrorism is a three-part plan. Part one is to take out ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria. Part two is to work with allies of the United States to dismantle global terror networks, and part three is to strengthen our defenses at home.
Trump’s plan to combat terrorism is to increase military spending to build up our armed forces. He wants to “advance America’s core national interests, promote regional stability and produce an easing of tensions in the world [and to] work with Congress to fully repeal the defense sequester and submit a new budget to rebuild our depleted military.”
Clinton believes that there should be stricter gun regulations. She wants to expand background checks, take on the gun lobby and “keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals and the severely mentally ill by supporting laws that stop domestic abusers from buying and owning guns, making it a federal crime for someone to intentionally buy a gun for a person prohibited from owning one and closing the loopholes that allow people suffering from severe mental illness to purchase and own guns.” She will also support work to keep military-style weapons off our streets.
Trump argues that he will protect the Second Amendment, “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.”
Clinton believes that we need a massive immigration reform to provide a “pathway for more people to full and equal citizenship.” She will work to enforce current immigration laws humanely as well as implement new laws to ensure more people can come to America.
On Trump’s website, he states he wants to “establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.” This is vastly different from his initial policy to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
Supreme Court Appointments
Clinton believes that Congress should act on President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination, Merrick Garland. If he is not confirmed, Clinton would nominate a justice who will support her policies.
Trump wants to nominate “justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution. The replacement for Justice [Antonin] Scalia will be a person of similar views and principles who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Clinton wants to defend and expand the Affordable Care Act to allow more Americans get health insurance. She wants to make healthcare more accessible for more people.
Trump has said he will repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts. He says he will “work with Congress to create a patient-centered healthcare system that promotes choice, quality and affordability.”
Treatment of Women
As the first female presidential nominee for a major political party, Clinton has made women’s rights a priority. Clinton believes “what’s good for women is good for America.” Clinton will work to close the pay gap, fight for paid maternity leave and affordable childcare, stand with Planned Parenthood and fight against gender violence.
Trump’s campaign website does not say anything specific about the treatment of women.
His only discussion regarding women is from previous speeches throughout his campaign.
Treatment of Racial and Ethnic Minorities
Clinton wants to “fight to break down all the barriers that hold Americans back and build ladders of opportunity for all people “” so that every child in America can live up to his or her God-given potential.” She will work to reform the criminal justice system, protect the right to vote and end violence in all communities, but especially those who are most targeted.
Trump’s campaign website does not include any information on how he will handle race issues as president.
Managing Editor | Class of 2018 | Major: Political Science | Minor: Philosophy