Let’s be honest, who has time to research every candidate to figure out their stance on the major issues? Once I saw the most recent viral video for Hillary, the one where all the stars are singing “Fight Song” (Yes, I am a MAJOR Pitch Perfect fan), I figured that was good enough to #ImwithHER. But when I was asked about where she stands on some of the major topics, I was a bit clueless.

So here I am, gathering the facts and putting them in a single location. Based on what I’ve found, and the discussions I’ve had, there are 12 Major issues crowding center stage this election. That’s a lot. This election really does hold a great deal of weight in terms of what our country will look like in the next 4-8 years+. So here is what you need to know before November 8th…

Economy

Each candidate has their own “Economic Plan”, that has been discussed repeatedly, but here are the basics:

TRUMP: Less Taxes + Less Spending = More Jobs + Economic Growth. I don’t quite understand his equation here, but basically, Trump wants to cut taxes for Corporations to encourage more jobs, and for the public, to make them happy. In order to make up for the lost income, Donald proposes to ELIMINATE the DOE, and Dept of Education, as well as decrease military spending. Unfortunately, the economists say that his math doesn’t quite add up.

CLINTON: Hillz is a bit more specific in her plan. Tax cuts for the Middle Class and Small Businesses. She’d also raise the minimum wage, and increase capital gains taxes and income taxes for those making more than $250K a year. Experts say that these suggestions MIGHT work, since small businesses create 70% of all new jobs.

Terrorism

Everyone is talking about ISIS. And even though Donald has accused Hillary of not being able to say the words “Radical Islamic Terrorism”, she has a plan for ISIS too.

TRUMP: When it comes to terrorism, Donald does not mess around. He supports tactics such as waterboarding, nukes and bombs against ISIS, as well as surveilling mosques in the US for jihadist rhetoric. (Insert the cartoon of Donald with the big red button here) Previously, Donald has suggested a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the country. Recently, Donald advocated that Muslims in the US should be the ones to report radicalization, which resulted in a trendy new hashtag…. #muslimsreportstuff

CLINTON: Hillary has chosen a 360 degree approach to defeating ISIS that many say just won’t cut it. She doesn’t support boots on the ground to fight the terrorists, but she does hope to cut off online recruitment of funds, create stricter screening of visa applicants for those with connections to Islamic state controlled areas, and reengage some military force against ISIS. She also hopes to partner with Muslim-American communities to prevent homegrown radicalization.

Foreign Policy

Though ISIS also leaks into foreign policy during most debates, let’s talk about the other big players: China and Russia.

TRUMP: Trump sees China as a threat and wants to increase military presence in the South China Sea. He would also impose Tariffs on Chinese goods to make them “behave”, a tactic that could damage foreign relations with a long-standing US ally.  Now Russia… Apparently Putin has a crush on Trump, but Trump denies his lust for Putin. Trump also doubts Russia’s involvement in hacking election related emails, etc., even though increasing evidence supports a Russian connection. But back to the foreign policy part of Russia:  Trump believes that Putin has outsmarted the US Leaders (Obama and Hillary in particular) and that we should partner with, or at least get along with, Russia.  

CLINTON: Overall it sounds like Hillary just wants us all to get along. She supports increasing alliances in the Asia-Pacific, and cooperation with China. However she does not like all of the cyber-attacks that are coming from both China and Russia, and would like to increase our deterrents against them. Hillary believes that the relationship with Russia is tenuous and that Putin is a “Bully” that needs to be put in his place.

Health Care

Healthcare really has come down to one thing: Do you like ObamaCare or not?

TRUMP: Wants to repeal ObamaCare immediately and create something new (that actually pseudo resembles Obama’s original plan.)

           CLINTON: Supports the mission of ObamaCare, but agrees that it needs to be improved.

Gun Regulation

Oh guns… This is a divisive one, especially for the folks that I’ve talked to in the South.

            TRUMP: Guns Guns Guns… “I love the NRA”… More Guns.

CLINTON: Hillary supports the 2nd Amendment, but doesn’t like that so many people are getting killed. She wants comprehensive background checks and to close the loopholes to prevent the bad guys from getting guns.

Immigration/Borders/Walls

Everyone knows that Trump wants to build a wall, but let’s get beyond that.

TRUMP: Trump’s choice of words around this issue has left a lot of people angry… calling Mexican immigrants “Bad Hombres”… and ultimately resulting in the internet blowing up with pictures of “Bad Ombres”. But when you boil it down - he wants to get the illegal immigrants out, and make it tougher for international folks to get in.

CLINTON: Hillary’s viewpoint aligns more with the original concept of the American Dream. She believes that though we do need to do our part in preventing the bad guys from entering the country, she wants those that are already here to be able to stay. She supports immigration reform as a road to citizenship, instead of a road out of the country.

Social Security/Programs

Social security is something that most millennials have already accepted won’t be around for when they retire, but the SS Piggy Bank is drying up quicker than expected. Unfortunately there is no clear path to improve it.

TRUMP: Trump believes that all we really need to improve Social Security is the have a booming economy… Refer back to the section on Donald’s economic policy for affirmation that this won’t work.

CLINTON: Hillary’s economic plan would include tax hikes on the wealthy. More taxes equals more money into Social Security. Seems pretty simple to me.

Education

Since the beginning of the campaign trail, the big focus has been on the unaffordability of college education. For simplicity’s sake, let’s split education into two categories: College and K-12.

TRUMP: Donald is proposing eliminating the Dept of Education as part of his economic plan, but supporting K-12 education with a $130B State/Federal voucher plan to support Private Schools. For those concerned about College Costs: Donald supports No Change.

CLINTON: The Hillz loves kids. So obviously she supports Universal Preschool for all 4y/o’s and fixing school buildings. As for college, she sides with Bernie and supports free in-state tuition, mostly funded by closing the tax loopholes.

Supreme Court

The next POTUS will likely appoint 4 Supreme Court Justices. Currently, after Scalia’s death earlier this year, the Supreme Court is split half and half between the parties. With an additional 3 Justices coming up to retirement this year, the court will likely be swayed to the party holding the Presidency.

TRUMP: Trump has already stated that he will elect justices that will support the 2nd Amendment and will 100% overturn the historic Roe v Wade ruling.

CLINTON: Just a few days ago, Hillary described her Dream Supremes. She wants justices to defend Women’s Rights, back LGBT, and reverse Citizens United.

Equal Rights – For literally everyone

This campaign trail has been completely polarizing. At one time or another, every class of people has been insulted or called into the spot light. Women, Muslims, LGBTs, Mexicans, Trump Supporters, Hillary Supporters… It’s been a tough pill to swallow. So here’s how the big two really match up on equal rights.

               TRUMP:

  • Gender Identity: States Decision
  • Same Sex Marriage: Oppose
  • Women: Unclear, claims that “Nobody has more respect for women than I do”, but supports punishment of women for abortions
  • Religious Freedoms: Supports business right to deny service based on religion

CLINTON:

  • Gender Identity: Supports
  • Same Sex Marriage: Supports
  • Women: Supports equal pay, and right to choose
  • Religious Freedoms: Equality for everyone

Environment

Apparently no one wants to talk about climate change this year… maybe other than Grandpa Bernie. It was blatantly omitted from the 3rd debate, other than one mention from Hillary. So where do the candidates really stand?

TRUMP: Donald seems to be more concerned with becoming Energy Independent than what changes are occurring with the climate. In fact, he does not even have a Climate or Environment section on his “Positions” page. Going back to a 2012 Tweet from Donald, he believes that Climate Change is a “Hoax”.

CLINTON: Hillary is much more concerned about climate changes, most notably witnessed during her interaction with the now internet sensation, Ken Bone. Hillary supports the transition of the Energy Industry to include more Clean Energy options, and believes in the science behind Climate Change.

Abortion

I’ve saved the toughest topic for last. I’m not sure that there is any other issue that is more dividing between the candidates. 

TRUMP: Trump is now a self-proclaimed Pro-Life-er, even though during his earlier years, he did state that he was supportive of the woman’s right to choose. During his campaign he has declared multiple times that he will elect justices that will overturn Roe V Wade and that he supports making abortions illegal. During one interview he did state that he supports the woman being legally punished if she seeks out an abortion.

CLINTON: Though Donald has painted Hillary as a late-term baby murderer, Hillary’s stance is based more on the medical decision made between the woman and her physician. She believes that the right to terminate a pregnancy, especially when the life/health of the mother or baby is in jeopardy, should NOT be made by the state or government. Yes, this does include late-term, medically necessary terminations.

So there it is folks, a comprehensive look at the major issues we face in this historic election. Now that you know the facts, go forth and VOTE!