Democrat or Republican? Take Your Issues “Blind Taste Test” and Find Out


OK, I know you’re scared of Trump…or mad at Hillary. But — as Bill Clinton used to say about the economy — IT’S THE ISSUES, STUPID! The media would rather talk about sex and bluster — it’s good for ratings. (Politicians have learned that talking about the issues with actual details only causes problems.) But this election will have real consequences, and how we vote — Democrat or Republican — will shape our society. It’s much more than the president. It’s the Senate and the House of Representatives. There’s no right or wrong, other than understanding how each party stands on the issues that you care about and voting accordingly.

Here’s my challenge: Ignore the personality stuff and the silliness on the news. Compare each party’s stances on the issues to your beliefs. (It’s fair to say that candidates embrace their respective party platforms, and generally vote in lock step with these.) Take this issues “blind taste test,” make your choice — Democrat or Republican — and then vote.


25 Issues Party #1 Party #2
Climate change a hoax really important
National healthcare no (privatize it) yes (build on it)
Abortion pro-life pro-choice
Social Security more privatized status quo, public
Education privatize support public
Environment fewer safeguards more safeguards
Energy friendlier to oil friendlier to renewables
Foreign relations build walls build bridges
Immigration harder softer
United Nations bad good
Israel BFF with privileges friend with limits
Iran nuke deal no yes
Corporations fewer restrictions more restrictions
Banks fewer restrictions more restrictions
Taxing the wealthy less more
Taxing corporations less more
Inheritance tax end it keep it
Labor unions should be weaker should be stronger
Minimum wage no raise raise it
Marijuana status quo reclassify, liberalize
Supreme Court picks conservative liberal
Citizens United for against
Voter rights don’t expand expand
For-profit prisons allow end
Presidential candidate Trump Clinton


If you think this issues-based comparison might be helpful to others, please share it. Thanks, vote thoughtfully, and GHA (God help America).


74 Replies to “Democrat or Republican? Take Your Issues “Blind Taste Test” and Find Out”

  1. An excellent breakdown of the actual important issues. Hope it will have some effect. I am not a US citizen, am looking at this from the sidelines. The result of this election will have a ripple effect all over the world so hopefully intelligent thought will prevail.

  2. And remember, the president will need a constructive, active Congress to work with and not the obstructionist do-nothings that the Republicans offer; so vote for Democrats in all races. (If we want to actually be effective, and end gridlock.)

  3. Can add Marriage
    (party1) man/woman only & reverse nat’l and make state only
    (party2) Marriage Equality keep status quo

    Add Religion
    (party1)allow discrimination against LGBTQ
    (party2)prevent discrimination against LGBTQ

  4. Save our country.against the corruption of America ‘s crime family the Clinton’s.Votr Trump

  5. You have a couple of errors….

    Conservatives are not friendlier to oil, they are friendly to all forms of energy. Instead they believe you should not get rid of oil and coal all at once because that creates very high energy prices.

    Taxes, you only list wealthy and corporations, what about middle class taxes? Conservatives favor low taxes for all and smaller govt.

  6. Rick, I appreciate you putting your a** on the line in support of Hillary Clinton. I share your ideals and goals. That’s why, as a fellow HRC voter, I am compelled to share that I think you’re doing more harm than help with posts like this.

    “It’s the issues, stupid.” This reference alienates many people who were not yet alive or old enough to be a part of the 1992 campaign. That demographic makes up a chunk of undecided voters. You’ve just called them “stupid.” That’s a stupid way to start persuasive dialogue.

    This is not a test. This is a list or a chart. A test would ask neutral questions before revealing party affiliations.

    This is not “blind.” I can very quickly scan to the bottom of the list to see which candidate you’re attributing to party 1 or 2. And because you said it was a “test,” I scrolled to the bottom of the page looking for the test to start, and I saw the answer. So…

    You’re missing the mark because you’re getting in your own way. You are better than this. Please, in this last week, if you want to help, call or canvas. Use your privilege to go to another state and help ensure polling place safety. But challenging someone in this way only makes them dig in deeper to their contradictions — that’s the last thing we need now.

  7. And if you run down the middle on MOST of these issues???? That’s the problem, both parties have polarized the system, where you can’t vote for a candidate based on “issues” if you’re forced to adopt a rigid compliance with EVERYTHING a given party believes in. I’m a moderate conservative….who is believes in fiscal responsibility, strong defense, increased personal responsibility (for healthcare, retirement, etc), and a reduction in entitlement spending, yet believes strongly in a woman’s right to choose, increased stem cell research, a strict separation of church & state, and a de-criminalization of marijuana. Soooooo, tell me who I should be voting for, as NEITHER “candidate” represents me?!?!?!

  8. There is NO way I could or would vote for Trump. Clinton MAY have done some things she shouldn’t have but I don’t see where she has harmed anyone through her actions. Trump on the other hand has talked bad about women, Muslims, Blacks and Mexicans and has made fun of people that are different than him. I believe he has treated these 13 women poorly but not according to his standards. I don’t like that we haven’t seen his tax return and I don’t like the fact that he has sent his businesses to other country’s just to take advantage of cheap labor. I don’t approve of some of the people he has working on his campaign and I believe he uses a strong arm approach in business that hurts the little people, like not paying contractors or trying to renegotiate less payment to them. I especially don’t like his hissy fits when someone says something against him, it proves that he would NEVER get along with any foreign government except maybe Russia with whom I believe he has close ties to and knows all about the wikileaks. In other words, I don’t trust him at all and I certainly wouldn’t want him as a father or around my female children or grandchildren. He is an entitled egomaniac and the worst thing is that he is proud of it. He is a compulsive liar and speaks like a 10 year old!

  9. An excellent summary — I’m Team Hilliary and voted the 1st day of early voting. GHA and its citizens before we break it irreparably.

  10. What a left leaning list. I’m Party #1, but don’t believe climate change is a hoax, just believe it is part of the ever changing world. It has been going on since the ice-age. Energy–friendly to all, but don’t make oil the enemy. Foreign relations and immigration–work together, but do what we can to stop illegal immigration and vet those that are entering our country. Corporations aren’t the enemy either. They employ our citizens. Everyone can’t be employed by the government. It won’t work that way. I’m all for voter rights. You must be alive, show your ID, and only vote once. I don’t see why that’s a problem. I’m voting for Trump.

  11. I could NEVER EVER EVER VOTE for Trumpz. he’s a a reckless danger to our society. I won’t sleep knowing this maniac could have access to nuclear weapons and use them at ANY time. That’s not republican / Dem issue it’s a survival issue. Neither are great but The devil
    You know is better than the devil
    You don’t know.

  12. The GOP operates under a false assumption that if you give a corporation a tax break they will create jobs. FALSE!!! Jobs are created by consumers with disposable income to spend. When a consumer buys one more of a product than is on hand by the manufacturer, the manufacturer must add resources to produce that extra product if it is above their capacity. Manufacturers never make extra product so it can sit on a shelf unsold in a warehouse. Warehoused products are taxed as inventory, something a manufacturer seeks to avoid.

  13. Proud deplorable and proudly voted for Trump! The past 8 years is enough! The Muslims that now head so many of the departments of our government is a disgrace and they have got to go! Trump will clean house and fire them in the first 100 days!!!!!!!!

  14. Rick, I am sure you are going to get a lot of grief over this, but good for you for adding your voice to the discussion. It’s hard to believe anyone is still undecided but perhaps you will reach a few. Coming on the heels of your piece about Nuremberg, it is hard not to make comparisons to the rise of the so-called alt-right in our country and the early days of Naziism. As we seem unable to learn, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to stay silent. ” Thank you for not staying silent.
    Annette Lamoreaux
    Bismarck ND

  15. Thank you, Allison and Allan. Why vilify voters for their personal choices? Why denigrate those with more conservative views? I’ve danced back and forth between the two candidates and I’m neither an “uneducated white racist” nor a “left wing fanatic.” Very little in life is black and white, and this tidy little list ignores the complexities of important issues.

  16. Yay, Rick! History will show that President Obama has been a FANTASTIC leader. I’m excited for our first female president but will definitely miss Michelle and Barack. Fortunately, we’ll have another 4-8 years of having a critical thinker in the whitehouse.

  17. Why vilify voters for their personal choices?

    Are you serious? This isn’t a choice between conservative and liberal. Trump ISN’T a conservative.

    It’s a choice between an incompetent and a 30 year public servant who honestly seems to care about doing the most good.

    If you vote R in this election, you are betraying real conservatives and and are a traitor for putting party before country.

    It’s really that simple.

  18. as a responsible gun owner, I am afraid that I am going to loose my rights by this guns for every one, every where mentality of the NRA and irresponsible gun owners. I wish people could wise up to what is taking place on what i feel is the most important issue facing us.

  19. Putting obvious and divisive issues that are synonymous with the two parties at the very top of the list was a bad idea, since everyone will read the rest of the list already knowing which side is their “tribe.”

  20. Ok you had to invoke your liberal prospective. I just want to watch travel. I just want to use the product. I do not need to know how the person who sells me soap, or cars leans policitially and I do not want to hear how you or other celebs think. Just do your job!! I guess I’ll just want reuns by Rudy Maxa.

  21. I agree with all the parts on the left side. I am more of the Libertarian bent and believe that any time government force is used to make someone pay for other peoples” wishes is totally wrong. The government I want is to protect us from foreign and domestic threats.

  22. I split between the two. Many of the questions are dishonest and offer only start choices, so sometimes both of them are wrong, in my opinion. Typically simplistic and demands voters fall into “liberal” or “conservative” camps and most independents DON’T.

  23. In other words Rudy Maxa wants none of the information on issues or facts…another Trump, “make America white again” supporter weighs in. And these are the people voting for Trump. Smh

    James…uhhhhh if a person hadn’t heard the issues and formed a thought by now then wooohooo they are in for a surprise. You on the other hand may need to have your medication up for your conspiracy issues.

  24. Nothing on gun laws? Hmmm, seems to me like that’s another big one many folks care about and it should not have been left out. Also, the role of gov. in social services in our country. Ah, well, as usual, I chose answers that do not solidly point me towards one party or the other!

  25. Umm….maybe only a small child wouldn’t be able to tell which side was which. This is by no means a good test on how you’d vote without seeing names. Way oversimplified with regards to the issues and not totally factual as was mentioned above in the comment section. I have a degree in psychology and it is easy to feel the bias from the types of issues that were presented from top to bottom to the way the categories were worded.
    Once again, not in any way a true indicator of which side a person favors. Good try though to the democrats who wrote this and their attempt to sway people to vote for Hillary and other democrats…

  26. Good summary. Republicans don’t like anything that shines a light on where they stand. It is the same reason they aren’t against Citizens United.

  27. Typical leftist tool, trying to distill very complex issues down to 24 lines of hyperbole and innuendo. Takes more than an IQ of 80 to really understand the issues and the disaster the most morally corrupt and dishonest political machine in history would impose upon the US if Shrillary is elected. Hope you like the nuclear war she’ll start with Russia, and may you be farting around in Europe near the front lines when it starts.

  28. Thank you for this post! I immediately shared it, Too many people are losing sight of what is at stake here in this election. I am tired of the bickering about stuff that is not important!

  29. Trump stance on abortion changes with his audience. Oh wait – his position on everything changes, sometimes within the same sentence.

  30. I can certainly understand why people would not want to vote for Trump. I can even understand all the collective anger and lashing out. What I do not understand is why anyone would hitch their wagon whole-heartedly to Hillary Clinton. If you cannot conclude that she has a 30-year track record that demonstrates a demonstrable lack of integrity, then maybe you should start subscribing to more than one news source.

    Certainly, vote for whoever you like, but why publicly endorse a candidate and be associated with their nastiness, lies, and indiscretions. It discredits you. If I owned a large business I would be much more concerned about alienating half of my customer base.

    I am an avid European traveler and have been a big fan of the Rick Steves TV shows, web site and books. However, politics and recreation just do not mix for me. I am done with your political spews and will look for another travel resource.

  31. Republican….all the way…..HRC…in the real world would not be able to get a security clearance. Being force fed by the media on whom I should vote for makes me run the other way. There is way more in her emails than we will probably ever know that jeopardized the lives of those in Benghazi and those still in Afghanistan. If those who vote for her are blind to her dishonesty and still say she is the better alternative I say you haven’t seen anything yet….

  32. This isn’t a blind test, it’s a biased test. Starting with your first question: Climate change. Why don’t you replace “hoax” with” naturally occurring”. Come on Rick you’re not being fair are you? Hoax is what Donald said. I thought you were keeping the candidates out of this. Just like the media, skewing the facts.

  33. Thank you. I think Trump is the clear winner and the best hope for all persons in our great country.

  34. Rick. I am stunned that you ate Lutheran and look the other way when you know Killery is all for ripping apart human babies for planned a parenthood, won’t help you if you call her for it, then lies about your memory of it and still you think she is worthy of your hars earned money to fund herself and her family?!! I thought you were smart, at one time! Too bad, vote for Trump and save face!!

  35. Steve, I agree with Kathy. Stick with your travel stuff. this is wrong on SO MANY levels. I don’t have the time to go into each on, but some have done so above.

    Stick to what you KNOW. This is certainly NOT your strong suit.

  36. This is a good illustration how the baby boomer generation’s leadership has been a disaster for this country. When both sides only see simple absolutes; you end up with Trump and Hillary. Can’t wait to turn the page on this generation of leaders and get some new blood in the process.

  37. Thanks Rick for sharing some common sense.
    Still be afraid, be afraid !!! This country voted twice for a village idiot..

  38. You needed a 26th topic:

    “Will serve Presidency in prison”
    Party #1…NO
    Party #2…YES

  39. I have always said it the House and the Senate “Stupid”, now we are going to add the human wrecking ball to the equation? Wow this will be interesting!

  40. #1 might be looking at some prison time as well….treason for colluding with the enemy (Russia). Inciting murder…suggesting gun owners do,something about Clinton. Then there’s tax evasion, possible rape…sexual harassment. Fraud. If #1 wins, he’ll be spending a fair amount of time in court…because his “university
    ” fraud trail starts up again shortly after the election. Even if he doesn’t win….he’ll be in court.

  41. I really don’t understand why people want to vote for Trump. If he is the same as President, as he is as a candidate, he will be a horrible President.

    I’m voting for Clinton because I think she is the lesser of two evils. She is not perfect. She has her faults but she is not rude, condescending, sexist, or racist.

    I will feel better for the next four years with her as our President than Trump.

  42. First time in my 67 years, voting straught democratic. Watching the vulgarity and insanity of the republican candidate may have permanently turned me into a democrat.

  43. Thank you for exercising your right to free speech. Please don’t let those that want to stop the free exchange of ideas persuade you to ever do any different.

  44. Rick please keep speaking out until Tuesdays election. This is so important. This is a candidate that was just endorsed by a Russian newspaper out of Moscow this morning. I really don’t think half this country realizes how much peril we are in if Donald Trump is elected president.

  45. Whatever happened to free speech.Trump supporters think with a President Clinton the 2nd amendment would be under attack,with Trump supporters it seems the 1st amendment IS under attack

  46. Thanks, Rick for a generally accurate run-down on the Clinton/Trump positions. Like ‘Alan’, I am a middle-of-the-roader, can’t we all get along together safely and sanely sort of voter. Warts and all, this time it has to be ‘Clinton’ (with the plus of breaking a glass ceiling for women.)

    All of us ‘Constitutionalists’ support your right to free speech on the private platform you have worked so diligently to create over time. Anyone who has convictions and a ‘Bully Pulpit’ in an ideal America should be free to use it. I do not disagree with many of your positions and I am interested in hearing them. After the election, for sure, I will still be ‘there’ for your travel advice and for the blogs of your key associates.

    Best regards to Steve Smith!

  47. Thank you, Rick. You are a breath of fresh air. I admire your courage in these troubling times. YOU ROCK.

  48. Amen Sean. Rick, you have a lot of fans who disagree with your political fibs. Your 25 Issues chart was laughable, and America agrees with me. As a religious man who should realize God runs the weather, your climate change stance is funny (especially as I drive my SUV this morning)…and don’t get me started about God and abortion. TWO billion dollars wasn’t enough to get her over the top of a mostly self-funded candidate. And just remember, only one candidate was dirty enough to steal the nomination from poor Bernie…and it wasn’t the President-elect!

  49. It is about the issues. That is why Hillary Clinton lost. Your 25 Issues Chart is, at best, disingenuous. Please quit implying that Americans who disagree with you politically are stupid. That is just name calling. It is also beneath contempt. Shall we now drop the vitriolic political partisanship and discuss travel in Europe.

  50. Rick. Start another blog on politics. Lets leave this one for traveling issues and observations. I thought Bernie was a Joke, I was not sold on Hillary and I did not trust Donald. Today I have to hope for the President-elect to take EVERYONE to a better USA.
    By the way his is not the President of “AMERICA”, he is just the USA’s President-elect. “America” stretches from Argentina and Chile through many countries all the way to Canada and Alaska, and it does not include Hawaii!

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