The People’s Questions

I don’t plan on watching the Republicans’ “debate” tonight. Even if I were a Republican I doubt that I could do it without snickering. However, over at Gallup Frank Newport has a good post on the questions that would be asked if the people of the United States were asking the questions. Based on polling data, here are the issues that the American people want to know about:

First question: How do you propose to fix the U.S. economy?

Second question: How do you propose to deal with the people’s record-low confidence in Congress and the elected representatives they send to Washington?

Third question: What do you propose to do about race relations in this country?

Fourth question: What do you propose to do about immigration and individuals living in this country illegally?

Fifth question: What do you propose to do about jobs?

Sixth question: How do you propose to deal with declining moral, family and ethical values in this country?

Seventh question: How do you propose to deal with the federal budget deficit?

Eighth question: What do you propose to do about poverty?

Ninth question: How do you propose to deal with crime and violence?

Tenth question: How do you propose to improve the education our children receive?

Eleventh question: How do you propose to make healthcare more accessible and affordable?

While I think those are all good questions, those aren’t the questions I would ask. I think those are questions they should be asking the governors of their states.

Limiting myself to just four questions, the questions I’d ask are:

  1. Under what circumstances should the U. S. use force against another country?
  2. Under what circumstances should the U. S. enter into treaties with other countries?

and two questions I honestly never thought would need to be asked:

  1. How do you interpret Article II, Section 2, Clause 2

    [The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…

    of the U. S. Constitution?

  2. What does Article II, Section 3, Clause 5

    he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed

    mean to you?


To pile absurdity on top of banality, NPR has asked the candidates what questions they would ask each other. It has been a common observation that the candidate who offers the most optimistic view of America and its future generally goes on to win the general election. Which candidate, depressingly, accomplishes that in the question asked?

6 comments… add one
  • ... Link

    First question: Really? You? [Two questions technically, but the first merely demonstrates contempt, so it’s rhetorical in nature.]

    Second question: What the fuck? What the fucking fuck? [Credit P. J. O’Rourke for this one. Good for pretty much every political occasion.]

    Third question: Exactly how would you execute Cecil the Lion’s killer, and all his relatives, and in fact all dentists, just to be sure?

    Fourth question: Exactly how good WOULD you look in a bikini?

  • ... Link

    Really, I just think the questions should reflect the seriousness of the occasion, and of the people seeking office. I think I’ve hit the bull’s eye!

  • TastyBits Link

    Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyonce would be a primary campaign I could get behind. They would look great in a bikini, and they would bring a lot of great assets with them. I tend to value assets.

    They are go-getters. They have pulled themselves up with little to nothing. Say what you will, but without an Ivy League education, they make the so-called “smart money” look like amateurs.

    Nicki Minaj in 2016.

  • Andy Link

    I won’t watch it either. I suggest everyone read this instead.

  • CStanley Link

    I watched much of it, and it was as painful as I expected.

    I do think that Fox staged this fairly well under the circumstances. The questions seemed aimed at addressing the greatest criticism or weakness of each candidate, from the perspective of various subsets of the GOP. I’d say that fits the purpose of an early primary debate in a situation where winnowing the field is needed.

  • jan Link

    I watched the debates last night — something I will do when the dem debates roll around. For me any nugget gleaned is worth the time spent viewing such political exhibitions. For instance, last night’s event profiled the temperament of this unusually large field of candidates, along with snippets of their domestic and foreign policy leanings. Furthermore, I thought it was kind of entertaining this time, seeing some of the flare-ups as well as individual attempts of people to stand out from the crowd. Per the usual, though, I tend to gravitate to Ben Carson, with his dignified, wry and honest understated performance.

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