Seven New Questions to Ask Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

If you’re a newscaster, and have been kept awake by the nagging feeling that there’s more going on in the nation than racist gaffs and emails, but have lost sight of what, this is for you. Apart from immigration, the political discussions have been remarkably short on politics. I’m not sure why. It’s not like the world today is short on, you know, actual issues. Yet for some reason you all seem to be reporting on this election with all the seriousness you would reserve for a reality TV show.

  1. With increased spread of the Zika virus and the previous Ebola outbreak, the spread of infectious diseases is clearly a major global concern. What will you do as president to combat pandemics?
  2. President Obama has established a policy of scientifically studying the effects of government programs, with the stated goal of only continuing ones that work and replacing those that don’t. Do you think this policy has been worthwhile? How would you evaluate the effectiveness of your own laws and programs?
  3. There has been much attention drawn to the problem of police shootings and particularly the disproportionate death of Black citizens at the hands of police. Very little, however, has been done to address this. Do you have a plan to tackle this problem?
  4. In rural areas, many are struggling to find the opportunities that America has traditionally promised. How would you meet the educational and vocational needs of this population?
  5. One of the most pressing concerns of young people today is the rising cost of college. Many feel trapped between jobs that can’t pay their rent and education they cannot afford; others must put off starting families for years while they pay off college debt. How would you address this problem?
  6. Now that gay marriage has become the law of the land, the next big battleground for LGBT rights seems to be transgender people in bathrooms. Do you side with those who would ban them from public restrooms, or those who would let them use whichever one they find most comfortable?
  7. Citizens of Flint, Michigan still struggle to provide their children with clean water. Many cities across the nation have lead pipelines that leave them vulnerable to a similar crisis. What is the most effective way to solve this problem?

Feel free to use these to interview the presidential candidates, their spokespeople, or research prior statements each campaign has made. The latter may be difficult, given the gossip rag tone your peers have collectively taken, but you never know. Occasionally the candidates will drop a crumb of substance, between apologizing for the seventy-eighth time for her private email server and promising to never do it again/using sentence fragments to sort everyone into “evil enemies to all that makes America great” or “sensible person who rightly recognizes my fabulous greatness and proves it by letting me do whatever the hell I want.”

Warning; this line of questioning might be called biased, because one of the candidates will have an easier time giving you straight answers than the other. The correct response is to repeat the question until you get a straight answer. If you don’t get it, it’s because somebody forgot to put on their grown-up pants today this month this election cycle ever.

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