It is a time honored practice to ask politicians questions, and then have them ignore the question and move onto their talking points. Skilled politicians can do that and make you think they answered your question and that they care. Neither Mr. Trump nor Secretary Clinton have that skillset. Whenever they are asked questions, it is painfully obvious they don’t want to answer it, don’t care about it, and would prefer to move to their pre-planned talking points.
If I were allowed, however, the chance to ask Mr. Trump some questions, and I would be guaranteed that he would have to answer them, these are the questions I would start with. I have posted similar questions for Hillary Clinton on a separate (click here) blog post.
- Many people are bothered by the fact you haven’t released your tax returns. You say it is because you are being audited. It has been reported, and you admitted in the last debate, that you have claimed exemption to refrain from paying federal income taxes. Would you tell us, then, approximately how much money or what percentage of your income, you’ve given to charity for the past five years? For the sake of clarity, your Foundation doesn’t count because it is not a recognized charity.
- Your slogan is “Make America Great Again.” When, in your opinion, did America stop being great? Please be as specific as possible, and what would be the first sign that greatness has returned?
- You have said it might be a good idea for The United States to leave NATO because some of the member nations do you not pay their fair share. If indeed you are serious about that sentiment, do you think the United States should be a “pay for play” military corporation that works for the highest bidder?
- Earlier in your life you were pro-choice, then when you decided to run for President you became pro-life. You’ve also said positive things about Planned Parenthood. Many pro-life people would like to cut the funding for Planned Parenthood because of its strong advocacy for abortion. How do you reconcile the two thoughts–and more to the point, would you share your real position on abortion, and maybe why you decided to become pro-life.
- In your early campaign rhetoric, trade and immigration were your primary policy issues, including the building of a wall on the border with Mexico and a ban on Muslim’s coming into the country. These authoritarian policies combined with your positive comments about dictators like Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin worry many people that you favor a “Strong Man” approach to governance. What can you say to people to reassure them that a President Trump would honor the democratic traditions of dissent, free press, free speech, and the freedom to assemble? Can you give examples of people who have disagreed with you that you didn’t threaten to silence or file a lawsuit?
Of course, I have other questions for Mr. Trump, not the least of which are about Trump University, Trump Airlines, his love affair with Playboy Magazine, his thoughts on Jesus I think are important because he has courted the Christian community so strongly, and I’d also like to know what he plans on doing with North Korea. Nevertheless, these questions are where I would start.