For Both Candidates
1. Polls consistently show a large majority of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction and want real change: this could include both conservatives who are upset with gay marriage and progressives who want a public option for health insurance. Bearing this in mind, what are the top three policy changes you will make to get a majority "right direction" poll by the end of your term?
2. Each of you has accused either your opponent or supporters of your opponent of having bigoted views. How do you each define "bigotry"?
3. North Korea appears to be approaching the capability of launching a nuclear missile that could reach some parts of the United States. What is your diplomatic and military strategy for precluding this possibility, and is there a "deal" you could envision with China (which bankrolls the North) if it would verifiably force the Kim-Jung Un to abandon this effort without our military intervention?
4. You have argued that the official unemployment statistics are rigged, citing data that over 90 million Americans over 16 are out of work and likewise 50+% of black youth. But millions of those black youth you count are still in high school or college, and the vast and growing majority of that 90 million figure are either over 65 and retired, attending high school or college full time, disabled, or at home caring for their children. Is it your view that all those folks should be forced to go back to work instead, and why and how would you do that?
5. You have said, even in the same speeches sometimes, that the US economy is in a disaster, and Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates low for the political purpose of helping President Obama. But if the economy is the mess you say it is, why would the Fed need any political reason to keep rates low until the economy gets better? Do you really think the Fed should be raising rates into the teeth of a bad economy?
6. Underneath the official employment figures, the fact is that the percent of folks in the workforce in their 40s and 50s has increased sharply since the Great recession, and the traditional argument of your party is that the solution is a bunch of job training programs for new tech jobs. But the facts show these programs just aren't working for whatever reason. Why shouldn't we try to bring back the manufacturing and mining jobs man of these people already know how to do? Or how would you change the approach to something that works?
7. Our nations' biggest banks are now even bigger than before the financial collapse of the last decade, and it seems the CEO's still don't know what games are being played with consumers by their employees, if we are to believe the head of Wells Fargo, the latest to get fines paid by their shareholders for cheating their own unsuspecting customers? Do you think it's time to recognize these banks are "too big to run" and just proceed to break them up one way or the other?
ISIS, Terrorist Threats and Russia
8. You say you have a secret plan to defeat ISIS and you have appealed to a "silent majority" of Americans to trust you with that mission. Another candidate, Richard Nixon, also appealed to a silent majority to back his secret plan to end the Vietnam War in 1968 - but that war ended is a US retreat a full seven years later? How are you different from Nixon - he said he would listen to his generals, too?
9. If Russia further invades Ukraine, should NATO be involved in Ukraine's defense? Would the answer be any different if Russia invaded Estonia to protect 'Russian interests" in the Baltic States? Wouldn't that be crossing the NATO "red line" that the US has already subscribed to Regardless of how much Estonia is paying us? Do you or your companies owe money to or have partnerships with any Russian entities?
10. Since mass terrorism today can literally be spread by even just one person with the right equipment and the willingness to die, isn't your proposal to ban visas from any country impacted by terrorism a demonstrably ineffective approach to guarding the Homeland that is both over-kill and under-kill at the same time?
11. One of your disagreement with President Obama has been your advice to establish a "No-fly Zone" in Syria, which would also have to be worked out with Russia, and also be a part of any "Safe Zone" Mr. Trump wants to establish somewhere in the region to shelter Syrian refugees in lieu of passing them on the Europe and the US. How then does your strategy for defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq actually differ from Mr. Trump's?
12. Why do you think it was smart to let all the forces of terror in the Mideast know that if you are President you will never put US combat troops into Iraq or Syria to defend American interests? Not even to reverse a siege of an Embassy?
13. Do we have the right command structure for organizing and directing the US defense against cyber warfare attacks on our businesses, government and infrastructure - given our demonstrated vulnerability, how would you change our
On Social Justice
14. Do you still believe that the logical cause of increased incidence rape in the military is the fact of female presence and mixing of the sexes in the field? And do you think the same holds true for college campuses and dormitories?
15. Do you agree with the sports authorities that have withdrawn their championship games from North Carolina in reaction to that state's so-called Bathroom Law? Do you agree with that Law?
16. Why does your plan for paid parental leave not cover adoptive parents of newborns - don't they have the same caregiving needs, and don't your anti-abortion supporters believe such adoptions should be strongly encouraged?
17. Polls show many of Mr. Trump's supporters sincerely believe that discrimination against white Americans is a bad if not worse a problem as discrimination against racial minorities. Do you think these folks are part of the group you consider "deplorable" bigots or racists? And what can you say to them to convince them you understand their concerns enough to consider voting for you?
18. You are clearly against the idea of a "Wall" on the entire Mexican border and a path to citizenship for the undocumented already here. But what exactly is your plan to prevent illegal immigration and visa overstays?
19) You are holding Secretary Clinton personally responsible for the e-mail efforts of one unpaid volunteer in her 2008 campaign who was fired in terms of raising the issue Barack Obama's citizenship. By that same standard, should you not also be held to answer for the much more widely broadcast expressions of your many talk radio supporters who have repeatedly branded President Obama a Muslim, a secret agent of ISIS, a terrorist, an ISIS sympathizer or worse?
20) You have an almost unprecedented problem of trustworthiness among the voters for a Presidential candidate. Do you think it would help address that feeling that you sometimes seem to "play it cute" with the full truth if you were to acknowledge, as you never have to date, that your use not just of personal e-mail for public business but also a secret, private server was also a mistake you regret?