Two and a half candidates: What are the actual political platforms of each candidate?

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The 2016 presidential election will likely be the craziest election to date.

Between criminal allegations, unfiltered speech, and biased media coverage, most of the political discussions have gone out the window. Polling shows that United States voters are already sick of the media coverage surrounding the election. Many voters are reasoning their vote based on who is the lesser of two evils. On top of all that, social media has made it even easier for followers to see all the mistakes, antics, and overall negatives of each campaign. Yet, when it comes down to voting, where does each candidate actually stand on the major political issues?

Foreign Policy

Trump: Trump supports a foreign policy that takes America into account first and considers the Iran nuclear deal a bad deal. Trump also stated that he would not rule out the idea of using nuclear weapons against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and supports cutting off ISIS’ access to internet recruiting. Trump expressed support for enhanced interrogation techniques for potential and suspected terrorists and supports the surveillance of mosques in the US.

Clinton: Clinton supports the Iran nuclear deal, given strict enforcement by the U.S. government. Clinton regrets voting for the authorization of military force in Iraq and supports the reform efforts for Veteran Affairs. Clinton supports what she calls a 360 degree strategy when fighting ISIS. The approach calls for authorization of military use, cut off of online recruiting, and building cooperation with Muslim-Americans to combat homegrown radicalization.

Johnson: Johnson has suggested that legalizing marijuana could decrease border violence. Johnson criticized the use of drone strikes and opposed U.S. intervention in Syria. Johnson is against military use to combat ISIS and has stated that Britain’s exit from the European Union should be viewed as an opportunity for the U.S.


Trump: Trump said that he wants to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico border and would create a deportation force to combat illegal immigrants. Trump also proposed a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and would suspend immigration from countries with significant ties to terrorism.

Clinton: Clinton supports immigration reform and would establish an Office of Immigrant Affairs. Clinton supports the end of deportation raids against illegal immigrants fleeing violent areas and the increased funding for immigration attorneys in asylum cases.

Johnson: Johnson is critical of immigration policies of both Trump and Obama administrations. He would make it as easy as possible for individuals with no criminal records to obtain U.S. work visas. Johnson supports comprehensive immigration reform.

Gun Rights

Trump: Trump does not want to ban assault weapons nor expand restrictions. Trump supports expanding concealed carry permits to a national level and has stated he would get rid of gun-free zones. Trump supports the restriction of gun sales to those associated to terrorists.

Clinton: Clinton endorses expanded background checks and the closing of loopholes in gun laws. She supports tighter restrictions on online gun sales and gun shows. Clinton also supports the ban of assault weapons.

Johnson: Johnson is against the banning of all weapons. Johnson has admitted he is open to discussing the issue with other politicians and believes that the government could restrict criminals and those with mental illness from owning a gun.


Trump: Trump wants to decrease taxes at all income levels, including eliminating income tax for individuals earning less than $25,000 per year and couples earning less than $50,000 per year. Trump also wants to cut business taxes significantly and proposes a deduction for childcare taxes.

Clinton: Clinton wants to increase taxes for the upper class and has suggested an “exit” tax that would penalize the merger of U.S. companies with foreign corporations trying decrease their taxes.

Johnson: Johnson supports the elimination of income and corporate taxes and replacing them with a federal consumption tax.


Trump: Trump does not believe that the U.S. can raise their minimum wage and stay competitive in most industries with the rest of the world. However, Trump did suggest a $10 minimum wage and further believes that the minimum wage should be set by states rather than the federal government.

Clinton: Clinton plans to increase wages and create jobs by investing in infrastructure, manufacturing, and clean energy. Clinton supports an increased minimum wage and has pledged a $275 billion infrastructure plan.

Johnson: Johnson supports right to work laws, which eliminate unions, and believes that the key to growth in the jobs market relies on growth in businesses, which he proposes only occur with less government interference.


Trump: Trump is against Common Core State Standards Initiative’s education standards and would return funding to states that removed the standard. Trump also supports the reduction of the size of the U.S. Department of Education.

Clinton: Clinton opposes the tie between teachers pay and testing scores. Clinton has suggested a $350 billion plan to reform the higher education system and would require colleges to control costs and make loans more manageable. Clinton also introduced a policy that would make in-state college free for students whose family income is under $125,000.

Johnson: Johnson believes that states should control public education and encourages competition between schools to drive improvement in public education.

Legalization of Marijuana

Trump: Trump opposes the recreational use of marijuana. He said that he believes medical marijuana should be legal and that each state should determine its own marijuana policy.

Clinton: Clinton has not taken a stance on recreational marijuana, but she supports access to medical marijuana and the reclassification of marijuana.

Johnson: Johnson supports the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana. Before running for president, Johnson worked as the Chief Executive Officer of a marijuana marketing company.

Abortion/Planned Parenthood

Trump: Trump says he is pro-life with exceptions to rape, incest, and life of the mother. Trump supports defunding Planned Parenthood.

Clinton: Clinton says she is pro-choice and supports funding Planned Parenthood.

Johnson: Johnson says he is pro-abortion rights. He also opposed the Texas House Bill 2 which required abortion facilities to meet the requirement for outpatient surgery centers.

Gay Rights:

Trump: Trump is against gay marriage. Trump also expressed that he believes the state level should decide many issues on transgender laws.

Clinton: Clinton is pro gay marriage. Clinton has advocated for gay and transgender rights on multiple occasions.

Johnson: Johnson is pro gay marriage. Johnson has advocated for the end of the U.S. military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and supported making gay marriage legal.

Written by Kevin Nelson, News Editor