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The First Biden V. Trump Debate is Tonight , and I Have Questions

Tonight is the first of three debates scheduled between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. As is my custom, I like to comment on these issues.

As regular readers of my blog will note I have commented a lot less on politics of late. The reason is not that I don’t have thoughts or opinions, but rather it is about the culture. Our nation is so divided right now that I don’t think adding to the flame any more gasoline is helpful. Therefore, I have refrained.

Yet, we do have an election coming up, and I have questions for both candidates. Chris Wallace of Fox News is moderating tonight, and he did a fantastic job four years ago (read my review of that debate here and please notice how some things never change), nevertheless, I really would like to be the one asking the questions.

Yep — It Comes Down To Which Old White Guy You Want

So here we go — and we’ll start with the challenger.

Questions for Joe Biden

  1. Mr. Vice President, your record through the years on abortion has changed several times, most recently during the 2020 Democratic Primaries. How would you describe your position on abortion right now?
  2. Famously you had to withdraw from your Presidential Race in 1988 because it was discovered you plagiarized your speeches. What have you learned since then?
  3. You’ve made it clear you would raise taxes. Will these taxes be across the board, or will you exploit the current sentiment among Democratic voters of class envy? Will you seek to institute a wealth tax, and if so, for what income level?
  4. Your opponents label you as a socialist. How do you respond to them?
  5. You’ve criticized the President for nominating a conservative justice for the Supreme Court. Would you pledge right now to nominating a moderate rather than a liberal if you are given the opportunity?
  6. As a part of the Obama campaign, you mocked then candidate Mitt Romney for declaring Russia was the greatest threat to America. In the past four years, you along with other Democrats have suggested Russia is again a huge threat. When were you wrong — then against Romney or have you made too much of Russia now?
  7. Sir, it is one thing to appeal for racial reconciliation and pledge a just and fair administration, but what would you do? In other words, are you in favor of reparations for descendants of slavery in America?
  8. You were instrumental in pushing through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Many point out the weakness and deficiencies in the law. What, if anything, would you do to change or alter it? Are you in favor of a single-payer system?
  9. You have criticized some, or really all, of the President’s comments and statements about COVID-19, but what, substantially, would you have done policy wise that would be different from what the federal government has done? Please be specific.
  10. You and other Democratic candidates criticized President Trump for his immigration policies, particularly child-separation, during the primaries. What is your plan for immigration, and do you support amnesty for illegal aliens currently in the country, and if you could, detail how you explain the fairness of this to those who take the time and follow the law?
  11. Taking Barack Obama off the table, because you worked with him, who is your favorite President in American history and why?

Questions for President Donald J. Trump.

  1. Mr. President, everyone knows before you ran for President you were adamantly pro-abortion. What changed you mind to make you so pro-life, and, sir, have you ever paid for someone to have an abortion?
  2. In the late 1980s you were bankrupt and your business empire was collapsing. You recovered, and apparently turned things around. What did you learn about your failure then, and how might that help you in a second term?
  3. The first thing you did as President was push for a large tax cut which has led to large corporate profits but did not help the average American very much. Would you make any changes to your tax policy in a second term? How would you describe your overall tax policy?
  4. Your opponents label you as a fascist. How do you respond to them?
  5. Do you think it is hypocritical of Congressional Republicans to push through your recent Supreme Court nominee in light of what they did to Merrick Garland and then President Barack Obama? If the answer is no, how would you explain the fairness of this to someone?
  6. Why do you placate dictators and authoritarians so much, especially Vladimir Putin. More specifically, do you stand by your Helsinki press conference where you said you believed Putin over your own intelligence agencies?
  7. One of the perceptions of your administration is that you don’t care for “Blue States” and have even tried to punishment them for leaning Democratic. Is this how you really feel? In the same vain, how would you defend your policies toward Portland and Washington, D. C. where you seem to be instigating more violence and unrest than actually helping anything calm down?
  8. Why is your administration in court right now attempting to take away the pre-existing conditions requirement of the Affordable Care Act? Wouldn’t strengthening or tweaking the original bill be a better course of action, especially considering Republicans have yet, in the twelve years since the ACA was passed, put forth any alternative plan?
  9. What would you do differently if you were given a chance to redo the response your administration had to the COVID-19 pandemic? Do you regret any of the wild statements you’ve made?
  10. One of your signature issues in 2016 was immigration. Do you believe illegal immigration is still a problem? If so, what would you do differently with another four years to solve the problem?
  11. Taking yourself off the table, because of obvious reasons, who is your favorite President in American history and why?

BIGLY DEBATE ANALYSIS: WHAT WE LEARNED

Last night was the final POTUS debate of this cycle, thus meaning this is the last post on presidential debates from the Greenbean for at least three years. Here is what we can learn from last night’s debate in the desert.

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First, we learned that Chris Wallace won the debate. Is there any doubt that he was by far the best moderator in recent history? I recommend that Chris Wallace moderate every debate from this time forth until he dies. Please don’t die, Chris Wallace.

Second, we learned a new word–Bigly, and I learned that I am fascinated by it. Apparently, it is an actual word, even if Mr. Trump is not using it correctly. I confess I didn’t know it was a word. Some have argued that what Mr. Trump is saying is “Big League” and it comes out in this compressed way. Maybe in a Mandela Effect alternate reality, but not in this one. In this universe, he is saying bigly. It motivates me to want to preach bigly this Sunday.

Third, we learned that Secretary Clinton invokes the incredibly small number of health-of-mother cases when challenged on the brutal and savage practice of partial-birth abortion. Shame on her.

Fourth, we learned Mr. Trump’s strongest case for our vote is his Supreme Court argument. Secretary Clinton’s call for judicial activism is frightening. I am not against activism–I am all for getting rid of the big money in politics and making certain that powerful special interests are kept in check–but this should be done through the legislative branch.

Fifth, we learned that Mr. Trump can dish it out, but he can’t take it. When Secretary Clinton ribbed him about dodging taxes, he interrupted her to call her a, “nasty woman.”

Sixth, we learned that Secretary Clinton has no answer for the leaked videos about Democratic operatives serving as agitators at Trump rallies, particularly in Chicago. This confirms what Bernie Sanders learned (and George H.W. Bush) — the Clinton’s play dirty pool.

Seventh, and most importantly I think, we learned that Mr. Trump is not prepared to accept the results of the election. I find this shocking, horrifying, and deeply disturbing. It proves, to me, once and for all, that Mr. Trump cares more about himself, his reputation, and his brand than he does about the American people. Bigly.

 

DONALD TRUMP, PLEASE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS

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.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

5 RANDOM THINGS

RandoM Thing # 1

As a writer, I’m always thinking about dialogue. Listening to the POTUS debate on Monday night I decided that Mr. Trump speaks IN ALL CAPS–EVERYTHING HE SAYS IS ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME, BELIEVE ME! In contrast Secretary Clinton speaks in italics. Most of her words are special, thought-out, planned, rehearsed, and designed as asides.

Random Thing #2

An often overlooked aspect to making excellent excellent guacamole is red onions. That gives the guack the perfect sweetness to bring out the full bouquet of flavor.

Random Thing #3

Our church has way too many ice cream scoops in the drawer. I think we have more ice cream scoopers than we have deacons. I don’t know how the order works–do we have a lot of ice cream scoopers because we are Baptist, or are we Baptist because we have so many ice cream scoopers? You decide.

Random Thing #4

During the Colin Kaepernick brouhaha I came across this picture. I don’t quite know what it means. I find it fascinating. Perhaps a bit enlightening. And troubling.

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Random Thing #5

81csga13xdl-_sl1500_1I have developed in my head a book–one of those self-help how to live books–based on the titles of Duran Duran songs. Each chapter is a song title, and then I explicate the trendy topic of the times. Examples.

  1. “New Moon On Monday” a chapter about the importance of seeing every day as a fresh beginning. We have to forget what is behind us and move forward. Every Monday is a new start.
  2. “Ordinary World” a chapter about how the world has changed, and many of us long for what we might think of ordinary.
  3. “Girls on Film” the dangers of pornography and the hyper-sexualizing of women. This would be the feminist chapter.
  4. “Wild Boys” about tapping into our wild side, our rebellious side to maintain sanity in a world that wants to categorize and control us. “They tried to tame us, looks like the’ll try again.”

You get the point. If any of you publishers are interested, hit me.

So there are your five random things for today.