With the Maryland filing deadline fast approaching for those who are (or are considering) seeking public office in the 2018 election cycle (February 27, 2018 to be precise), this blog is once again considering what questionnaires (if any) to send out to various campaigns. Of course, the issue mix ranges depending on a number of factors (for example: whether the candidate is seeking a Federal, State, or Local office).
While we can discuss specific policy proposals all day long ($15/hr federal minimum wage, Medicare for All, etc…), I like to return to exploring “first principles” to understand how candidates think about underlying issues.
That said, these are the questions I find foremost on my mind in 2018, in no particular order:
1) Do you consider the increased concentration of economic wealth in the United States to be corrosive to our democracy? If yes, how should this issue be addressed? If not, why not?
2) What are your thoughts on social democracy?
3) Racial discrimination continues to plague our nation. This is evident in our workforce (hiring practices, income disparities, opportunities for advancement, etc…), in the administration of our criminal justice system, in systemic efforts to disenfranchise voters based on race, in the relative dearth of substantive environmental protections for communities where people of color constitute a large percentage of the population, and in other facets of American life. What steps can and should be taken to address these issues?
4) Thinking about the principles of liberty and equality, and this can apply to any given challenge (fiscal, social, etc…), how can they both be promoted to ensure that the “unalienable rights” of all Americans are protected?
5) Let’s assume that something called “class warfare” exists. If so, who has been winning? For how long? And in whose interest is it to continue the war?
6) Considering the UN’s sustainable development goals which refer to gender equality as a “fundamental human right,” how is America performing when it comes to promoting gender equality and what specific steps can and should be taken to secure true gender equality in the United States?
7) Many LGBTQIA Americans have expressed concerns that the current Administration (and those who view the world similarly) are dedicated to rolling back recent legal protections fought for, and recognized, in this country. What steps can and should be taken to safeguard the rights of LGBTQIA citizens to participate fully in the “pursuit of happiness” stated in our Declaration of Independence?
Will this be the basis of the questionnaire? Who may receive it? Who may respond to it of their own volition? Stay tuned, as more will follow...