Questions that must be asked of all 2016 Republican Candidates
Everyone demands answers from politicians but nobody asks the right questions. Sure, we all like to hear vague policy descriptions, bumper sticker rhetoric, and manufactured soundbites. They make us feel good.
We know. You want to repeal and replace Obamacare. You want to secure the border first. You want to fight for the middle class. We hear your simple stances on the laundry list of issues and we debate them in shallow fashion.
More depth is required. There are certain problems in this country which are the biggest obstacles we face as a nation. These problems are systematic and are spreading through our society like a terminal disease. They prevent actual discussion of and actual solutions for actual issues. These questions and others must be addressed for us to go forward.
These are the questions I’d ask of every single 2016 Republican Candidate:
1. There’s fundamental change occurring in this country which is changing the very fabric of America. A culture of grievance-mongering is taking storm and is appeased at every single turn, carving a swath of social and personal destruction as it tears through our society. There was a time where things would happen and people would be unmoved. The Perpetual Outrage Brigade leaves no stone unturned and no suspect untouched. Everything is a manufactured issue or worse.
From often-violent protesting over anything and everything, to whining about how toys are labeled in big box stores, to destroying lives of scientists for wearing the wrong shirts, to grievances about sports team names, to tearing down careers and businesses because they happened to say or do the wrong thing in the eyes of the deciders, and a whole host of other instances that fall under this umbrella, it feels like every hour there’s something new that is more ridiculous and tedious than the last, and it is being massaged into our society as normal.
We now have a culture of sadistic voyeurism and self-imposed self-importance which magnifies everything and everyone and compels people to join the cause celebre lest they feel shunned or to offer their unsolicited opinion on the litany of nonsense. Local “issues” become global “issues” and we must have “awareness” for everything. Individuality, self-expression, and religious liberty are trampled. What would you say about this? Is this merely a sign of the times due to unprecedented access we have to everyone’s lives? How can the American people be free in such a society when they’re stifled by this? Is there a way to return to normalcy in this country?
2. We always hear that every presidential election is the biggest one of our lifetime. The 2008 election was the temporal junction point for our country’s history and the 2012 election arguably sealed our fate. A massive election with very real concerns was reduced into bickering over Big Bird, binders, bayonets, and birth control. As Barack Obama put it, it’s about making a big election about small things. This is to get the politically uninitiated involved and feeling like they’re making a big difference. This is to avoid debate over substantive policy and record and to denigrate and demonize the opposition. It is done by deploying the leftists’ loyalist army — — the media. It’s a playbook that works. How do you plan on getting America to approach 2016 as a big election about big things? Going forward, how do you circumvent the blockade from the media and agenda-drivers?
3. How can you ensure that the last 8 years are a social, cultural, political, and global aberration and not the new normal where everything is politicized, corrupted and scandalous, including every single office in the executive branch? We’re living in a bizarro world. At any other time in history, a candidate under criminal FBI investigation and one who has severely compromised national security would cease to be candidate and would be in prison and yet, we feel like not only nothing will happen but that they’ll coast because of the state of our society.
We feel like our traditions, expectations, common practice, and standing in the world are broken forever. Will a simple change in leadership address these problems? With our failings both at home and abroad, how can we ensure that our star hasn’t fallen for good? Once we start down this path, can we go back to our innocence? Millions of Americans and allies around the world will have it in the back of their minds that such a disaster happened once before and it can happen again.
4. How do you plan on breaking the Blue Wall, most notably Pennsylvania which advanced data shows is incredibly winnable if the proper ground efforts are put in place to register potential users in vulnerable districts and precincts? Winning the presidency is impossible without doing this.
These questions are, in my mind, the most pertinent questions and must be addressed by every single 2016 GOP Candidate.