Where Donald Trump Currently Stands on 10 Key Issues

Is Trump Conservative, Liberal, or ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Donald Trump
Donald Trump Announced 2016 Bid. Getty Images

Donald Trump's past policy flip-flops are fairly well-known at this point. Up until about 2010 Trump was mostly bank-rolling liberal Democrats and supporting far-left policies. His ideological "conversion" seemed to occur around the time he became politically popular for pressing Obama on his birth certificate, going as far as to send private investigators to Hawaii to uncover the truth.

Forgetting the any-other-candidate-would-be-run-out-of-town past, what does Trump believe now on the issues?

Let's (try) explore. Editor's note: Trump's positions change frequently and this is the best summary of his positions based on dozens of often-contradictory statements over the last few months. Feel free to send me a note on twitter if he develops a concrete position on any of these and I have missed it.



Trump is open to a flat tax, the fair tax (a national consumption tax), and keeping the current progressive tax. He's in favor of one or all three, often in back-to-back sentences, sometimes in the same sentence. He generally appears to favor a flat tax more than the others, but also emphatically seems to favor wealthy people paying more. Maybe he just doesn't understand what a flat tax is?

Position: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Affirmative Action

In an interview with Chuck Todd, Trump came out unequivocally in support of affirmative action government policies over a color-blind, merit-based system.

Position: Liberal



The former gun-restriction advocate now opposes increasing gun laws for law-abiding citizens and is now fairly aggressive in his pro-2nd Amendment rights viewpoint.

Position: Conservative



Trump asserts to now be "very pro-life" and  favors exceptions for rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk.

He was also the only Republican candidate to come out in favor of continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood, but says they should give up on the whole abortion thing. He seems generally unaware of the reason for the abortion-providers existence.

Position: Moderate: Generally conservative on restrictions, moderate-liberal on funding, but less conservative on the issue than opponents Rubio, Walker, Bush, and Cruz. Doesn't really like to talk about the issue, and has little understanding of what abortion-providers actually do.



Trump is in favor of repealing Obamacare but, again, is generally vague with what happens next. He once said he would repeal it and replace it with something fantastic. During the first presidential debate, he ended up praising socialist healthcare and Canada and in Europe, saying it seems to work. He's occasionally mentions "free market" as an option but, then, who really knows?

Position: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯



Trump has made combating illegal immigration his defining issue, but the details are generally vague and, apparently, a day-to-day decision. On the question of what to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants currently here - perhaps the single biggest questions of the debate - he rarely gives a definitive answer.

He's backed amnesty, deport-and-return, and deport-and-no-clue-what-happens-next policies.

Enforcement Position: Mostly conservative on key aspects such as controlling the border and enforcing laws, but proposes a massive bureaucracy and police state.

Amnesty Position: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Entitlement Reform

Trump told the Daily Signal “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid. Every other Republican is going to cut, and even if they wouldn’t, they don’t know what to do because they don’t know where the money is. I do.”

Position: Moderate-Liberal (Though we are all interested in finding out where the money is.)


Climate Change

In President Obama's first term Trump joined other mostly-liberalbusiness leaders in an open letter asking Obama and the US Congress to pass climate change legislation at the time cap-and-trade proposals were floating about.

Since his "conversion" shortly after he has claimed global warming as a conspiracy by the Chinese and considers the movement fraudulent. He favors

Position: Conservative (Since 2011)



Education seems to be one of the few issues Trump has been consistent on for years. He has long advocated for school choice, breaking up the unions, and against federal control of the government. He also opposes common core.

Position: Conservative


Foreign Policy/International Relations

Normally this would be split into many sections, but, really, why? Trump just verbally seizures from one disjointed point to the next on international relations. It's impossible to decipher, probably because he gets all of his knowledge from "watching the shows." To summarize: Trump was very opposed to the Iraq War from day one. He proposes wiping out ISIS in 2 days and confiscating their oil, all without the use of ground troops, which he obviously opposes. Why would you ask such a thing? Apparently he will get other countries to do that, and we swoop in, and boom, take the oil and leave. Most of the Middle East will also give us oil since they owe us for stuff. This will all help balance the budget back at home. Meanwhile, Mexico will pay for the border wall, too. He doesn't care about Ukraine and he will get along with Putin just fine. And something something China China China. He's very against the Iran deal but doesn't rule out ruling it out.

Position: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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Your Citation
Hawkins, Marcus. "Where Donald Trump Currently Stands on 10 Key Issues." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2015, thoughtco.com/where-donald-trump-currently-stands-on-key-issues-3303184. Hawkins, Marcus. (2015, August 28). Where Donald Trump Currently Stands on 10 Key Issues. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/where-donald-trump-currently-stands-on-key-issues-3303184 Hawkins, Marcus. "Where Donald Trump Currently Stands on 10 Key Issues." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/where-donald-trump-currently-stands-on-key-issues-3303184 (accessed December 12, 2017).