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Examining Democratic, Republican party platforms

In case you don’t know what a Republican or Democrat is, here’s the answer.
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With the Presidential Election right around the corner, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, have taken over political news and popular culture. However, this extreme attention to the candidates may in fact detract from the real significance of the Presidential Election: choosing a representative and his or her respective party to act as the leader and face of the free world.

The voting demographic in the United States is currently split between Hillary supporters, Trump supporters, neither, and third party candidates. While voters label themselves as a supporter of a certain candidate, they must remember that their support is to the candidate’s respective party as well.

In this election, that message may get drowned out due to the on and off camera dramatics specific to each candidate. Therefore, in order to decide who is the best fit for the country, let’s revisit what it means to be a Democrat and Pro-Hillary, or a Republican and Pro-Trump.

Here is where the Republican and Democratic parties stand on some of the most controversial topics today. The following information is provided by KQED News. For the full list, visit the KQED website.

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ABORTION

“Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally…that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured.”

“We will fight Republican efforts to roll back the clock on women’s health and reproductive rights, and stand up for Planned Parenthood.”

“We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution.”

“We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions…We will not fund or subsidize healthcare that includes abortion coverage.”

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

“We will push for a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter and there is no place for racism in our country.”

“Whenever possible, Democrats will prioritize prevention and treatment over incarceration when tackling addiction and substance abuse disorder. We will build on effective models…that seek to give nonviolent offenders opportunities for rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration.”

“We encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from the list of ‘Schedule 1’ federal controlled substances and to appropriately regulate it, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization.”

“The Republican Party, a party of law and order, must make clear in words and action that every human life matters.”

“Along with diversion of first-time, nonviolent offenders to community sentencing, accountability courts, drug courts, veterans treatment courts, and guidance by faith-based institutions with proven track records of rehabilitation, our platform emphasized restorative justice to make the victim whole and put the offender on the right path.”

“We call for mandatory prison time for all assaults involving serious injury to law enforcement officers.”

EDUCATION

“We believe that a strong public education system is an anchor of our democracy, a propeller of the economy, and the vehicle through which we help all children achieve their dreams….We also support increased investments in afterschool and summer learning programs.”

“Democrats are unified in their strong belief that every student should be able to go to college debt-free, and working families should not have to pay any tuition to go to public colleges and universities.”

“We support options for learning, including home-schooling, career and technical education, private or parochial schools, magnet schools, charter schools, online learning, and early-college high schools. We especially support…education savings accounts (ESAs), vouchers, and tuition tax credits.”

“The federal government should not be in the business of originating student loans. In order to bring down college costs and give students access to a multitude of financing options, private sector participation in student financing should be restored.”

ENVIRONMENT

“As a nation, we need policies and investments that will keep America’s public lands public, strengthen protections for our natural and cultural resources, increase access to parks and public lands for all Americans, protect native species and wildlife, and harness the immense economic and social potential of our public lands and waters.”

“Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities.”

“We are committed to getting 50 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources within a decade, with half a billion solar panels installed within four years and enough renewable energy to power every home in the country.”

“Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time.”

“Our air and waterways are much healthier than they were a few decades ago. As a nation, we have drastically reduced pollution, mainstreamed recycling, educated the public, and avoided ecological degradation.”

“We support the development of all forms of energy that are marketable in a free economy without subsidies, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower.”

“We encourage the cost-effective development of renewable energy sources — wind, solar, biomass, biofuel, geothermal, and tidal energy — by private capital…We oppose any carbon tax.”

“Information concerning a changing climate, especially projections into the long-range future, must be based on dispassionate analysis of hard data.”

FOREIGN POLICY

“Democrats believe that America must lead in the world to grow our economy, protect our interests and values, and make our country safer and more prosperous.”

“We believe that while our military must be the strongest in the world, it should only be sent into combat when the terms of engagement are clearly presented to the American people and our troops have what they need to fulfill their mission. We believe that war must always be the last resort, never the first choice.”

“Our country faces a national security crisis … We are the party of peace through strength. We believe that American exceptionalism — the notion that our ideas and principles as a nation give us a unique place of moral leadership in the world — requires the United States to retake its natural position as leader of the free world.”

“Quite simply, the Republican Party is committed to rebuilding the U.S. military into the strongest on earth, with vast superiority over any other nation or group of nations in the world.”

HEALTHCARE

“Democrats believe that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and our health care system should put people before profits… Americans should be able to access public coverage through a public option, and those over 55 should be able to opt in to Medicare.”

“Democrats will fight any attempts by Republicans in Congress to privatize, voucherize, or ‘phase out’ Medicare as we know it. And we will oppose Republican plans to slash funding and block grant Medicaid and SNAP, which would harm millions of Americans.”

“We will defend the Affordable Care Act, which extends affordable preventative healthcare to women, including no-cost contraception.”

“A Republican President, on the first day of office, will use his legitimate waiver authority under that law to halt its progress and then sign the repeal (of The Affordable Care Act of 2010). It is time to repeal Obamacare…”

“We will return to the states their historic role of regulating local insurance markets, limit federal requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid, and call on state officials to reconsider the costly medical mandates, imposed under their own laws, that price millions of low-income families out of the insurance market. To guarantee first-rate care for the needy, we propose to block grant Medicaid and other payments and to assist all patients, including those with pre-existing conditions, to obtain coverage in a robust consumer market.”

IMMIGRATION

“The Democratic Party supports legal immigration, within reasonable limits, that meets the needs of families, communities, and the economy… People should come to the United States with visas and not through smugglers.”

“Democrats believe we need to urgently fix our broken immigration system—which tears families apart and keeps workers in the shadows—and create a path to citizenship for law-abiding families who are here…”

“We will defend and implement President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans executive actions to help DREAMers, parents of citizens, and lawful permanent residents avoid deportation.”

“In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, human trafficking, and criminal gangs, the presence of millions of unidentified individuals in this country poses grave risks to the safety and sovereignty of the United States. Our highest priority, therefore, is to secure our borders and all ports of entry and to enforce our immigration laws.”

“Illegal immigration endangers everyone, exploits the taxpayers, and insults all who aspire to enter America legally. We oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by breaking the law, have disadvantaged those who have obeyed it. The executive amnesties of 2012 and 2014 are a direct violation of federal law and usurp the powers of Congress…These unlawful amnesties must be immediately rescinded by a Republican president.”

JOBS

“We should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over time and index it, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy so every worker can earn at least $15 an hour.”

“We support the right of states to enact right-to-work laws and call for a national law to protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce.”

“Minimum wage is an issue that should be handled at the state and local level.”

TAXES

“We will make sure that our tax code rewards businesses that make investments and provide good-paying jobs here in the United States.” “We will ensure those at the top contribute to our country’s future by establishing a multimillionaire surtax to ensure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.”

“We will offer tax relief to hard working, middle-class families for the cost squeeze they have faced for years from rising health care, childcare, education, and other expenses.”

“Republicans consider the establishment of a pro-growth tax codes a moral imperative.”

“Wherever tax rates penalize thrift or discourage investment, they must be lowered. Wherever current provisions of the code are disincentives for economic growth, they must be changed.”

“We oppose retroactive taxation. We condemn attempts by activist judges at any level of government to seize the power of the purse from the people’s elected representatives by ordering higher taxes.”

About Nick Li

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Nick has been a part of the BFC for two years and formerly held the role of Social Media Editor. A Malvern native, Nick is a captain of the baseball team and will be attending and playing for Johns Hopkins University next year. He also is President of the Diversity Awareness Club and participates actively in other clubs.

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