Questionaire For Presidential Candidates
 
 

Dudley Weeks, Ph.D.


(Copyright 2007: Domestic and international law prohibits the public use of this article without the written permission of the author. Any reprint must bear the author’s name and notice of legal restrictions.)

Imagine if every presidential hopeful had to fill out a questionnaire or application in order to run for office, and every voter would be required to read the candidates' responses before voting. What should be included in such a document? Here are some questions I suggest might be both pertinent and interesting. They are arranged in random order.

TO ALL PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS: PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS TRUTHFULLY. YOU MUST DO SO ON YOUR OWN WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM ADVISORS, PUBLICISTS, POLITICAL PARTY OPERATIVES, OR POLLSTERS. YOU MAY, HOWEVER, TALK WITH "PEOPLE ON THE STREET", AND YOU ARE URGED TO CONSULT CHILDREN AND YOUTH.
(NOTE: You should not frame any of your answers as a political campaign speech but as a statement of your true beliefs on the content of each question.)

1. What does "By the People, For the People, Of the People" mean to you?
2. Are there any circumstances under which you would ignore or violate individual and group Rights protected by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? If so, be specific as to those circumstances.
3. What do you believe America's role in the world should be?
4. Rank in your own order of importance the environmental challenges facing the world. Explain your ranking, and in doing so, demonstrate whatever level of specific knowledge you have on environmental issues.
5. Explain your views on the role of Diversity in human society. Then share your views on how Diversity should be treated in (a) political systems; (b) economic systems; (c) religion; and (d) personal relationships.
6. Just for practice, write the following sentence 100 times: "I made a mistake." (Note: If you find this assignment to be silly, a waste of time, or offensive, you are encouraged to withdraw your name as a presidential hopeful.)
7. Under what circumstances, if any, would you shade the truth or lie to The People? Be specific.
8. Other than English, what languages do you speak well enough to be able to converse with world leaders in their own language?
9. Why do you think wealth, power and resources are distributed so inequitably in the U.S. and the world? What are your views on the effects of this inequitable distribution? What do you believe should be the criteria, if any, on "who gets what and how much"?
10. What does "terrorism" mean to you? What do you believe are some of the major causes of terrorism?
11. What would you refuse to do in order to be elected President? Be specific. (Note: If you need help in understanding this question, or immediately answer "I would do anything to be elected", you are encouraged to withdraw your name as a presidential hopeful.)
12. Give four examples of what you believe should be protected under the label of "National Security".
13. Under what circumstances would you commit the nation to war? Be specific.
14. Give three examples of what you believe would be an abuse of presidential power.
15. What would be your response to the leader of another nation who says to you, "America tries to keep other nations from developing nuclear weapons, yet you have thousands of nukes, and America is the only nation that has used them, killing hundreds-of-thousands of Japanese civilians at Horoshima and Nagasaki. You and America are being hypocrites."
16. Rank the following in the order of most important to you down to the least important: (a) political party; (b) the economically poorest 20% of Americans; (c) world peace; (d) eradicating poverty; (e) working toward the eradication of racism; (f) working toward the eradication of sexism; (g) capitalism; (h) getting elected. (Note: If you take the easy way out and answer, "all are important", you get points for being diplomatic, but since presidents have to make choices, you are encouraged to withdraw your name as a presidential hopeful.)

[NOTE from Dudley: Another article in the Commentary section of this website is entitled "Voting Comnprehensively". It is more or less related to the article you have just read.]


Dudley Weeks

(Copyright 2007: Domestic and international law prohibits the public use of this article without the written permission of the author. Any reprint must bear the author’s name and notice of legal restrictions.}