Leading up to the election we are going to feature a monthly piece that will go in-depth with the hot button topics for the two leading candidates for the Republican Party. This is the one for November.
Dr. Ben Carson vs Donald Trump
Carson: Dr Ben Carson has never been rated by the NRA, yet his views on gun control have become more vocal in recent years. Having slowly developed his view on gun control over the course of the past three years, in 2013 he first spoke out on firearm issues; citing the acceptability of firearms in rural communities, yet favoring restrictions in cities and built up areas. A cautious approach turned into a swing of support for defending the 2nd amendment, enabling “law abiding citizens” to obtain firearms without registration. Controversially, Ben Carson linked gun control to the Holocaust in October 2015, suggesting that the genocide could have been avoided if the victims were armed.
Trump: Donald Trump’s views on gun control starkly contrast from his insistence on rigorous background checks back in 2000. Much like Dr. Carson, his views that developed gradually as his political career has emerged, citing discontent with the gun control policies with both the Republicans and the Democrats, and preferring his own position on the matter. An adamant supporter of “National Right to Carry,” Trump wants to go a step further than Carson and bring the privilege to carry guns to all 50 states, expanding the scope for gun ownership.
Carson: Having come from a successful medical career into politics, Dr. Ben Carson is fairly knowledgeable about the implications and consequences of abortion, yet this issue tends to be a rather emotive one, encompassing the religion and moral spectrum. Dr. Carson’s views on abortion have been somewhat stable in nature, from stories of persuading a mother to cancel her hydro-cephalic baby, to wanting to ban “abortion for convenience,” yet more recently in May 2015, Carson stabilized his view by intending to ban abortion twenty weeks after fertilization takes place, unless the life of the mother is threatened.
Trump: Donald Trump on the other hand has publicly admitted that his views have changed on abortion over the course of the past fifteen years. In a rather moderate stance, Trump spoke out in rather of abortion rights in December 1999, believing that “it was a mother’s personal decision” on whether to terminate a fetus. A few months later in June 2000, he erred on his position slightly, expressing his doubt on some of the abortion procedures that are utilized, before declaring that “he was now pro-life” in April 2011, during the ensuing 2012 president race for the Republican Party, thus solidifying his current view on abortion.
Carson: Immigration has been a political hot potato for the Republican Party, as a majority of GOP-voting states are situated on the south, straddling the Mexican border. Ben Carson cannot be traditionally be considered ‘strong’ on immigration in regards to border controls and deportation. In contrast to Donald Trump, he has been consistent in advocating a ‘guest worker program’, citing the Canadian model used over the past few years, adding that the current routes to U.S citizenship are largely unfair to those who “play by the rules.” The focus for Carson is a moral one; no anti-immigration rhetoric, a managed system of merit, and with a focus on agricultural workers.
Trump: Alternatively, Donald Trump has a firebrand view on immigration, not defaulting on this position even in the past fifteen years. Fiercely anti-immigration, he believes in “building a wall with a door” on the country's southern border, opposing citizenship for illegal immigrants and the overhauling of birth rights for undocumented persons born in the United States. Much of his discourse has been directed at Mexico, alleging that the government is ‘sending criminals across the border’, and using this as a reason to secure the border. His views are in contrast to those of Ben Carson, who adheres to a more moderated approach, yet both candidates are in favour of immigration reform.
Carson: Ben Carson has a moderate approach to law and order in the electoral race, with much of his views defined by the incidents in Sanford, Florida and Ferguson, Missouri. As an African-American candidate, high profile incidents regarding police relations are at the forefront of his commentary, supporting both the need for police to be equipped with body cameras and further protection, whilst acknowledging the sensitivity of a number of mishaps regarding “unarmed black men” in recent months. Carson is aware of the issues at hand, yet he lacks a cohesive mandate to address these problems.
Trump: Donald Trump has taken a “tough on crime” approach, which is typical for a Conservative presidential run. Supporting the death penalty, he is quoted as saying that “capital punishment is not uncivilized, murderers living is,” keeping in line with a thought that runs across the Republican Party. Controversially, he has openly tweeted that “the majority of crimes in our major cities are committed by blacks and Hispanics,” leading to a great deal of stipulation, yet any definitive stances by Trump on crime are ill-defined when compared to Ben Carson.
Carson: Oil independence is Ben Carson’s answer to avoiding conflict in the Middle East, as he was seen as not being overtly in favor of entering the war in Iraq, citing the conflict as a moral issue for Americans that was up for debate, but his view on foreign policy has altered during the course of the GOP electoral race. Since the advent of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, he has strengthened his position on interventions and foreign policy, citing nuclear disarmament as something that would enable “tyranny.” Furthermore, he advocates giving the military more freedom to “destroy” ISIS, critiquing the alleged limitations that prevent the full potential of the armed forces, going on to say that he would “make ISIS look like losers” should he win the presidency.
Trump: In assessing Donald Trump’s positions, he is seen as pro-Israel, pro-Nuclear and very “militaristic,” wanting to reaffirm America’s hegemony. Much like George W Bush’s positions on the “axis of evil,” he has spoken out about the dangers of North Korea and Iran attempting to acquire nuclear weapons. In regards to ISIS, he supports the position of having “boots on the ground” to fight the terrorist group and should he become president, he claimed that he would “bomb the shit out of them” at an Iowa rally in November 2015. Trump has identified the monetary wealth of ISIS as a problem, and promotes the “bombing of oil fields” as a tactic. His approach is seen as more firebrand than Ben Carson’s view, preferring direct military conflict as a solution to the current crisis in Iraq and Syria.