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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ethics in Politics: Questions to the Candidates

Today in the Post there were two excellent sets of questions that should be topics for the Big Debates, one set by Fact Checker Glenn Kessler and the other by Conservative Columnist George Will. I have some other questions that won't be asked and probably shouldn't be because they would be answered with general platitudes. Nevertheless I will be listening to the candidates carefully to understand how they do in deed answer these.  Are there questions you would add or subtract or change?

What is your notion of wealth, image of God, definition of human nature? (see previous blog).

What is the most important issue of your presidency?

What is your religion (or spirituality) and how might it affect your presidency?

What do you consider the highest goal for the nation?

Some say we are ready to move into a New Economy. What would be your preferred economy?

What is the role of government?

What is America's role in the world? Has America always acted in accord with the ideals you set for America?

Everybody advocates freedom.  What do you mean by freedom?

Everybody advocates justice. What do you mean by justice?

Everybody advocates democracy. What do you mean by democracy? What inhibits democracy in America and around the world today?

Everybody advocates a "free market." What does this mean to you? Are there limits?

What is your understanding of the right to bear arms? Are there any limits?

What is your understanding of right of free speech? Are there any limits?

How much do you value science? Do you consult science and its general consensus when making decisions? Do you support scientific exploration? Are there any limits?

How would you take big money out of the influence of government policy?

Do you hold for the separation of church and state? If so, what does this mean to you?

What is the "safety net" for you and government's role in ensuring a safety net?

Does everyone have a right to and responsibility for a job? If so or not, why? 

Would you consider a national service?  Why or why not? If so, what kind?

What are the most important public policies for a sustainable world and humanity?

Which immigrants should be allowed into the nation? Which should not? What will be your immigration policy?

Where should the lines against cruel and unusual punishment be drawn today? Death penalty? Torture?

What are the purposes and limits on military action? Use of drones? Intervention?

America has more people in the criminal justice system than any other nation?  Does this concern you? If so what do you advocate we do?

Despite some gains and some very successful people, African Americans as a group, still affected by years of slavery, Jim Crow, and northern urban segregation, are behind in many quality of life metrics? What do you propose we do about this?

Are there other people that are being excluded from full exercise of their citizenship because they belong to a certain group?  If so, what should be done?

Does it concern you that in the US and throughout the world in so-called free market or capitalist societies, the division between the rich and the poor is getting greater? Is this something you would work on? What ideas do you have?

Can America achieve world piece on its own? What role should we have? What should we do to eliminate the root causes of war?

What are the main values/goals that should drive all our public policy? What are the values that are threatening humankind?