NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Sorry. I know this sounds elitist. The average man-on-the-street shouldn’t be asking questions during a Presidential debate.
We’d ask questions that are in our own self-interest – so called, coffee table issues. You can imagine the topics.
“I’ve been out of work a long time… what are you doing to help the job market?”
“Health care costs are out of control… what’s your plan to bring them down?”
“I can’t afford to send my kids to college. Is higher education out-of-reach for them?”
“Taxes are too high and too complicated. How will you simplify and cut them?”
Those are all non-partisan questions. A democrat or a republicans worth their chops should both be able to state their policy preferences and defend their points. But if the field of questions comes from undecided average-Joes, the more complicated policy issues are unlikely to come up.
Do you think we’ll get a question about intelligence failures in Libya tonight? Is there someone in the 50-person studio audience who reads Foreign Policy magazine who can engage the Presidential candidates on that?
Does anyone know the implications o fIsraelr eturning to its 1967 boarders, or the right-of-return debate for the Palestinians?
Or the factions fighting for control of Syria?
Or the issues behind re-setting our relationship with Russia?
NATO expansion into Eastern Europe? Or if the military alliance no longer serves a vital mission?
Of course, all those examples are in the foreign policy arena which will be the topic of the final debate next week. My point remains unchanged. The common man isn’t an expert on the tax code, Dodd-Frank banking regulations, oil drilling and the environment, trade policy or the federal deficit.
Tonight we’ll debate about how politics affects me. Truth is, the President doesn’t control much that directly impacts voters. But he influences dozens of things that indirectly affect people. Those questions are likely to be unasked tonight.