WHAT AM I VOTING FOR?

Every candidate has different views and opinions on topics of importance in America. It is important to be aware and knowledgeable of the topics that candidates debate over, to be able to make your own decision on which candidate you agree with. We have compiled some of the current issues that are discussed for the next presidential election in 2020. We encourage you to research these topics on other sites to become aware of any current policies that involve these topics in America today to see where you stand.

EDUCATION


One educational program that caused a great deal of controversy between parties is President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act. In the 2004 Democratic Party platform the Democrats spoke out against the Bush administration, saying, “For this White House, education is an easy promise – easy come, and easy go. When President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act, he said the right things – asking more from our schools and pledging to give them the resources to get the job done. And then he promptly broke his word, providing schools $27 billion less than he had promised, literally leaving millions of children behind. The President also gets a failing grade for higher education. Over the last three years, college tuitions have risen by 35 percent, pricing 220,000 students out of college. Yet while then- Governor Bush promised to increase college aid, President Bush tried to charge more for student loans and eliminate Pell Grants for 84,000 students.”

In terms of education as a whole, the parties are also greatly critical of each other’s educational ideals. Republicans support vouchers for private schools while the Democrats see them as wasteful. Republicans believe that the resources provided could create a successful educational system if the proper systems of accountability are put in place, while Democrats believe that the resources being provided need to be increased.

GUN POLICY


There are always two sides of a debate that are political, Democrats and Republicans. These two sides tend to have very different beliefs, and gun control is one of them. Republicans believe that the gun control can be improved in certain areas, but other areas don't need to be messed with. For example in one of Donald's Trump books, "The America We Deserve" he writes, "I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun". This was written by Donald Trump himself, the leading candidate on the Republican side. Although, this is very rare for a Republican to think that way, most just believe that they should have more advanced background checks and have a background check on every seller, even at gun shows, but thats all; they want to protect gun rights and not change any rule that has to do with what guns they can buy and where they can carry them. The NRA, which is an association that advocates for gun rights and is aligned with all of the Republicans beliefs, believes that their should be background checks on every buyer no matter who or where they buy it; they also believe that every person who has the right to have a gun, should be able to have a gun with them to protect themselves.

Now the Democrats tend to believe the opposite. Both parties believe that their should be background checks on every persons who buys a gun, but that's pretty much all they believe the same thing in. Democrats tend to favor gun control and want more restrictive gun control. Democrats tend to strongly agree with the ban of assault rifles. For example Hilary Clinton, the leading candidate on the Democratic side, says in a debate in N.H, "I have been against assault weapons". In another debate in Iowa, the runner up on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders says, "I said we should not have assault weapons on the streets of America". Both these candidates had voted several times in banning assault rifles in hope of banning them. Some Democrats even believe that guns should not be able to be owned. For example a Democrat Phoebe Maltz Bovy wrote an article called It's Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them. In this she wrote about how all guns should be banned, and how police need to do more. Now this is more of a rare side of thinking of a Democrat, but Republicans still tend to despise most of the Democrat's beliefs and Democrats tend to have hatred over Republican's beliefs.

IMMIGRATION


For Republicans, their approach to immigration policy is clear: immigration is a national security issue. Referencing terrorism, drug cartels and criminal gangs, Republicans stress the need to track persons entering and exiting the United States and that “allowing millions of unidentified persons to enter and remain in this country poses grave risks.” Republicans propose that by completing the border fence between the United States and Mexico and giving additional resources to border agents, America’s borders can be secured.

Complimenting border security, the Republican platform advocates a strict enforcement policy. Specifically, the platform calls for immigration enforcement at places of employment, including prosecution for using false security numbers; limiting the rights of aliens in deportation proceedings; tracking down aliens who overstay their visas; and denying federal funds to “sanctuary cities.” Republicans are also opposed to legalization, or “amnesty” programs; driver’s licenses for aliens; instate tuition for undocumented children; and allowing undocumented aliens to receive social security or other public benefits. The Republican Party platform is reminiscent to the hard-line, enforcement only approach taken by some members of Congress last year.

In contrast, Democrats view immigration policy as an opportunity to renew the “American Community.” Although the Democrats recognize the need to secure the borders, including additional personnel, infrastructure and technology at the borders and ports of entries, and enforce existing immigration laws, they understand the “need [for] comprehensive immigration reform, not just piecemeal efforts.” Noticeably absent from the party’s platform is reference to the controversial border fence. Rather, “comprehensive” immigration reform remains a top priority for Democrats.

Specifically, the Democrat’s plan calls for increasing family-based and employment based immigrant visas; improving the naturalization process; and addressing the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy. Moreover, the Democratic platform supports a path for undocumented immigrants to become legal permanent residents, or in their words to “get right with the law.” Indeed, Democrats “support a system that requires undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, pay taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.”

CLIMATE CHANGE


Republicans have become less convinced over time that the effects of pollution from human activities are the cause and Democrats have become more certain. In a 2019 Gallup poll, 89% of Democrats compared to 34% of Republicans said they believe increases in the Earth’s temperature are due more to the effects of pollution from human activities than because of natural changes in the environment. As for regulatory responses, Democrats express more concern about the potential costs of not addressing climate change, while Republicans express more concern that regulations will have negative economic impacts. In a December 2018 NBC News/Wall Street Journal question that asked people what concerned them more when thinking about the financial costs of climate change, Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to say they were more concerned that failing to address climate change will lead to greater financial costs from weather-related events, by a margin of 63% to 35%. Nearly half of Republicans, 48%, answered that they were more concerned that regulations to address climate change will lead to greater financial costs and higher energy prices. A quarter of Democrats agree.

When Quinnipiac University asked registered voters in December 2018 about the extreme weather events over the past few years, 90% of Democrats and 24% of Republicans said they were related to climate change. In a similar question asked by Economist/YouGov pollsters in March 2019, 76% of Democrats said the severity of recent weather events were the result of climate change, compared to 17% of Republicans. Seventy-four percent of Republicans said these kinds of events just happen from time to time.

HEALTHCARE


Democrats want to preserve and protect the ACA. Since the full enactment of Obamacare, 20 million Americans now have health insurance, and the rate of people without insurance has been cut in half according to Democrats.org. Most Democrats believe that quality healthcare is a fundamental right of every American, and they want the federal government to oversee, administer and regulate the healthcare system. They oppose cuts to Medicaid, tax cuts for the wealthy and any proposal that would limit access to health insurance on the private market.

At the extreme end of the left, some have argued in favor of single-payer healthcare. That’s when the government is totally in control of all aspects of healthcare, a system that wouldn’t work in America for several reasons, not least of which is because it’s expensive to taxpayers. Even still, some argue that single-payer would solve our nation’s healthcare problems by granting coverage to everyone. Democrats believe that the government should take over healthcare, though they disagree about the extent to which that should happen.

On the other side of the spectrum, Republicans believe that private industry should administer health insurance as it has since the start. Believers in capitalism, personal responsibility and freedom from government regulation, conservatives view the Affordable Care Act as a violation of American independence with its individual mandate and increased taxation to cover subsidies. Rightwing lawmakers and their voters claim that since the inception of the ACA, the nation’s healthcare system is well on its way to imploding as premiums rise and private insurers leave the Obamacare exchanges.

For most right-wing conservatives, a clean repeal of the Affordable Care Act is the only solution to real healthcare reform. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has been outspoken about wanting the ACA repealed, and he refuses to support any reform bill from his Republican colleagues that does not throw out Obamacare. Paul did not support the American Health Care Act passed by the House earlier in the year, and he does not support the Better Care Reconciliation Act proposed by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier in June. He’s not alone in his fight, either.

By contrast, moderate Republicans want to see healthcare reform without shrinking Medicaid. Over the past 50 years, Medicaid has been the health insurance program for America’s low-income children and adults. The program also covers Americans with disabilities and low-income seniors. Without Medicaid, millions of Americans would have little or no health insurance. Many moderate Republicans refuse to back the BCRA with nearly $700 billion in cuts to Medicaid.

Another major sticking point between the two parties is regarding contraception and abortion. This is always going to remain the main issue that drives a wedge between those on each ideological side. The best course of action really would be for the private marketplace and government exchange (gov subsidized plans) to provide plans that do provide coverage for contraceptions and abortion and plans that do not provide for these services. It’s a women’s rights issue, it will be the United States version of the 1,000 year war, and it’s a battle that no real winner can emerge from, and politicians absolutely love it. It’s the primary way that they drive donations when they re campaigning and it will always remain the most heated of the hot button issues.

MINORITY RIGHTS


Democrats stand behind the right of every woman to choose. We believe it is a constitutional liberty. This year’s Supreme Court ruling show us that eliminating a woman’s right to choose is only one justice away. Our goal is to make abortion more rare, not more dangerous. We support contraceptive research, family planning, comprehensive family life education, and policies that support healthy childbearing.

The Republican's goal is to ensure that women with problem pregnancies have the kind of support, material and otherwise, they need for themselves and for their babies, not to be punitive towards those for whose difficult situation we have only compassion. We oppose abortion, but our pro-life agenda does not include punitive action against women who have an abortion. We salute those who provide alternatives to abortion and offer adoption services.We say the unborn child has a fundamental right to life. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation that the 14th Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect the sanctity of innocent human life.

ECONOMY


Democrats are said to rely more heavily on government intervention to influence the economy's direction and keep the profit motive of businesses more at bay – subscribing to a belief that businesses are more focused on earning a return for shareholders and willing to cut corners in terms of protecting the overall social good. Higher regulation comes with increased costs, which Democrats believe in supporting through higher taxation. As a result, the party's approach is often described as "tax and spend."

Generally speaking, the Republican Party is considered business-friendly as it favors limited government regulation of the economy. This includes restrictions that might seek to decrease the pursuit of profits in favor of environmental concerns, labor union interests, healthcare benefits, and retirement payouts. Given this more pro-business bias, Republicans tend to receive support from business owners and investment capitalists, as opposed to the labor component that constitutes workers and their interests.

FOREIGN POLICY


The public’s leading long-range foreign policy goals for the United States are focused on security, including economic security. About seven-in-ten (72%) say that taking measures to protect the U.S. from terrorist attacks should be a top priority for the country, while about as many (71%) say the same about protecting the jobs of American workers.

Two-thirds (66%) say preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) should be a top long-range priority for the United States.

With only a handful of exceptions, including stopping the spread of WMD, there are sizable differences between Republicans and Democrats on the 26 foreign policy goals in the survey by Pew Research Center, which was conducted Nov. 7-16 among 10,640 adults. And on several foreign policy goals, particularly the importance of maintaining U.S. military superiority, there also are notable gaps between older and younger adults.

U.S. allies. Improving relationships with U.S. allies ranks at the top of Democrats’ foreign policy goals (70% top priority) but is a middle-tier objective for Republicans (44%). In addition, Republicans are 30 percentage points more likely to say that getting other countries to assume more of the costs of maintaining world order should be a top priority for U.S. foreign policy (56% vs. 26%).

U.S. military superiority. A large majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (70%) say that maintaining the U.S. military advantage over all other countries should be a top priority for the U.S.; just 34% of Democrats and Democratic leaners rate this as a top priority. Notably, maintaining U.S. military superiority is a top priority for a majority of adults ages 50 and older (62%). But just 30% of those younger than 30 say this should be a top foreign policy priority.

Refugees and immigration. While only about four-in-ten Democrats (39%) say that aiding refugees fleeing violence should be a top foreign policy priority, far fewer Republicans (11%) say the same. Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to rate reducing both illegal immigration and legal immigration into the U.S. as major priorities. The partisan divide on the importance of reducing illegal immigration, 48 percentage points, is wider than at any point in the past two decades (68% of Republicans vs. 20% of Democrats).

Climate change. Partisans have long differed over the importance of dealing with climate change. But the gap is especially wide today, with 64% of Democrats and just 22% of Republicans saying that dealing with climate change should be a top foreign policy priority for the U.S. (The survey was conducted before the Nov. 23 release of the National Climate Assessment.)

Partisans differ over importance of limiting power of Russia, Iran, ChinaRussia, Iran, China and North Korea. Partisan opinions about limiting the power and influence of Iran and Russia are nearly mirror images: 52% of Democrats say reducing Russia’s power and influence should be a top priority, compared with 32% of Republicans. By contrast, 52% of Republicans rate limiting Iran’s power as a top goal, compared with 29% of Democrats. Reducing China’s power and influence is not a leading goal for either party, but more Republicans (39%) than Democrats (26%) rate this as a top priority. There is greater partisan agreement on North Korea: 43% of Republicans and 35% of Democrats say limiting North Korea’s power and influence is a top priority.

Trade and economic relations. Reducing the U.S. trade deficit with other countries is viewed as a top foreign policy priority by 54% of Republicans, compared with 33% of Democrats. And more Republicans (51%) than Democrats (40%) say promoting U.S. economic interests abroad should be a top foreign policy priority.

Among the public overall, attracting skilled workers from other countries (16% top priority), promoting democracy in other countries (17%) and finding a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians (18%) rank near the bottom of the long-range foreign policy goals. However, for each of these items – indeed, for all 26 priorities in the survey – majorities say they should be given top priority or some priority.