Magenta Nation – Fakchex

What Today’s Political Parties Support – Part II


In a recent edition of Fakchex, we took a look at what the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as Donald Trump, stood for on important policy issues facing the country. In this follow-up article, we continue that journey to look at more key policy questions, and what the major parties stand for on each one so that you – and other voters – can make informed choices.

Climate Change

  • Democrats view climate change as a global emergency, and list it as a policy priority informing how many other issues are addressed. The Democrats support and have enacted policies to combat climate change, most notably in the recent Inflation Reduction Act, which was called “the largest investment in climate policy in U.S. history.” It included billions in credits to stimulate clean energy technologies and spending on climate adaptation work in vulnerable communities nationwide.
  • Republicans have largely been skeptical and unsupportive of climate change and climate policies, seeing it as largely incompatible with their concerns for economic growth and business prosperity. For example, every House Republican voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, called the biggest investment in climate policy in U.S. history, and voted numerous times on repealing it. Recently Republicans have worked to change their image and position on climate change, creating the Conservative Climate Caucus and embracing the perspective that climate-focused policies can actually create opportunity and benefit for businesses.
  • Donald Trump has been an outspoken opponent of not only climate policies, but the actual existence of human-caused climate change. He has recently said that “the only global warming we should be worried about is nuclear warming.” He previously called climate change “a make-believe problem,” nonexistent,” and “a hoax.” His administration rolled back over 100 environmental rules and regulations. Conservatives including former Trump staffers have composed a memo for an agenda if he becomes president again, which includes dismantling the carbon capture tax credit and repealing assistance for struggling nuclear reactors—two positions that go against what many Republicans actually support.


  • Democrats support policies that reduce gun violence, but do not believe in removing all guns from private ownership. These policies include expanding background checks for gun purchases, limits on ammunition purchases, longer waiting periods, and bans on certain kinds of guns such as assault rifles.
  • Republicans take mixed positions on gun policies. A few Republican officials have become more receptive to some proposals in the wake of repeated gun violence incidents, but are consistently against policies that are seen to restrict gun ownership rights. They have repeatedly blocked and thwarted attempts to introduce gun safety legislation such as background checks or waiting periods following multiple mass shooting incidents. Their proposals on gun policy have largely focused on addressing mental health issues as the primary cause of gun violence, or arming more people (like teachers) to provide protection in public settings.
  • Donald Trump has taken a vocal stance on the side of gun rights activists. He has publicly stood by the National Rifle Association (NRA), long viewed as the catalyzing force behind “pro-gun” or gun rights supporters, and recently told its annual meeting that gun owners’ rights are “under siege.” In his current campaign he has promised to stand by the NRA’s agenda, “roll back every Biden attack on the Second Amendment,” and undo any efforts Biden makes to regulate guns on his “very first week back in office, perhaps my first day.”

Social Safety Net

  • Democrats largely support the social safety net of programs that provide various forms of assistance to individuals who lack food, shelter, and the necessities of life. They believe that sometimes people face circumstances they cannot resolve on their own, and in those instances the government has a responsibility to assist them until they can become self-sufficient. Half of those receiving support from the social safety net are children, about 30 percent of recipients are people who are disabled, and as recently as 2019, nearly 70 percent of the adults participating in the safety net worked full time but still needed help from these programs to afford food and/or healthcare.
  • Republicans tend to believe that social safety net programs create a danger of dependence on government and threaten to erode individual motivation and responsibility. Republicans often propose policies to limit or reduce social safety net programs and their capabilities, including reductions in funding and work requirements.  Republicans believe that individuals are responsible for themselves and should overcome adversity by their own efforts; for those in need, private charities should step up to help them. It should be noted that Republicans’ definition of “welfare” extends to Social Security and Medicare, because they are paid for/administered by the government.
  • Trump has expressed a desire to crack down on fraudulent abuse of social programs. In his administration he proposed budgets that included cuts to Social Security through disability benefits, as well as Medicare through reduced provider payments. He has also previously said that he would be open to reducing the federal deficit by reducing entitlement program funding. In this current campaign, however, Trump has also said he would “always defend Social Security and Medicare,” ultimately leaving his practical position if re-elected seemingly unclear.

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