Donald Trump's public persona, composed of shocking accusations and unfiltered comments, has earned him enthusiastic supporters, and possibly even more enthusiastic opponents. There is no question that he is an outsider in the political world running an unconventional campaign, but other accusations about his character and beliefs are a little more fuzzy. What are his thoughts on gun control? Women's rights? Is he serious about Mexico paying for a border wall? Government Girls investigate.
Donald Trump believes that the key to stopping mass shootings can be found elsewhere than creating stricter gun control. On his website, he claims that "study after study has shown that very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check" and that perpetrators of violent crimes get their guns from family members or otherwise avoid legally purchasing their own firearms. However, it is important to point out that both the Orlando shooter and the Denver theater shooter obtained their guns legally, so there are some large holes in Trump's statements. Trump himself owns guns and holds a concealed carry permit, and he is all for keeping them legal, including semi automatic rifles. According to Trump, guns are even more integral to American life than drivers licenses - he states that driving "is a privilege, not a right" in contrast with "concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege". So how does he think we can stop the gun violence in our country? His answers are better mental health support systems and and strictly punishing violent criminals. Rather than keep guns off the street completely, Trump wants to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and those with previous criminal histories.
One consistency in Donald Trump's campaign is his dedication to mental health services. In addition to being part of his plan to lower gun violence, mental health is a vital part of his planned overhaul of the Veterans Administration. His proposals include "addressing [veterans'] invisible wounds" rather than merely focusing on their physical ailments. Trump also wants to incentivize hiring veterans, and boosting hiring within the VA itself. Trump also mentions on his website that he would push for better support for female veterans, including permanently staffed OBGYNs at the VA, but completely leaves out any mention of abortion or other women's health issues. In interviews he has stated that he is pro life, despite being pro choice in the past.
Trump's immigration remarks and policies are some of his most inflammatory and controversial. When he first announced his presidential bid, Trump made overarching comments about Mexicans being criminals and rapists, which were very ill received, and has an infamous plan to erect a border wall that Mexico will fund. He is serious about the wall. As Trump states on his website, he believes that the United States has leverage over Mexico because of our trade and our visas, and we can use that leverage to force the country to fund the wall Trump wants to build.
Time after time, Trump has shown us that he is a man of ambition. A key aspect of his vision is a stronger domestic economy, whatever the cost, to “Make America Great Again.” His plan to create a level playing field for workers and businesses, producing jobs here and not overseas, is winning over the hearts of many working Americans, and to rally even more support for his campaign, Trump is also proposing a dramatic tax reform that includes lowering of almost all taxes in order to win global competition and elevate America in the economic world. Limiting regulation to only those necessary, according to Trump, will provide a higher budget for other reforms that are more important and need focus on. When it comes to trade, Donald believes in negotiation of many trade relations to reduce deficit and increase domestic production and application of tariffs and duties to violating countries. He also supports the improvement of infrastructure, creating safer surroundings, and exclusion of childcare cost from Americans’ income.
All of the anticipated economic improvements, however, could be detrimental to the environment. Trump wants to withdraw from international programs focused on slowing global warming in order to save Americans’ money on energy. He says he is "committed to clean air and water, without increasing the cost of electricity" but does not include any actual plans on how he can make that happen. In addition, his support of the Keystone Pipeline demonstrates his belief that money reigns over the health of our ecosystems. A Keystone controversy has divided the country in recent years, with many concerned about the potential increase in greenhouse gas emissions and contamination of groundwater. Although his goal to cancel the revolutionary international Paris Climate Agreement and rescind the Climate Action Plan and the Waters may anger environmentalists, he wants to ultimately withdraw from any more “unnecessary” expenses, deemed so by Trump himself, rebuilding America into the glorious nation it once was.
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(Amanda Hinh and Claire McNamara)