Dave Miller is our guest poster this week at P.E. Here are some thoughtful and insightful questions that he's asking of conservatives and liberals. I hope you give these questions your serious consideration and serious answers.
Thank you, Dave.
2022 -- The year of our midterm elections.
To mark the occasion, I’ve decided to offer up five questions to both conservatives and progressives alike. Questions that will give you a chance, not to vent, but to think. A chance to see how people of other political stripes think about issues facing their respective tribes. And hopefully, if people really think on a few of these, maybe some will grapple with what I see as some of the difficult questions facing our political leaders today.
I’ll start with questions for my conservative friends first, and then follow up with another set for my progressive amigos.
1. Conservatives, especially in the 2020 elections, decried mail-in and expanded no reason absentee voting. Many have called for a return to in person one day voting. In California, there are 13 districts with over 200,000 active voters. In Texas, there are 33 districts with more than 200,000 voters. Similarly, in both Rhode Island and Idaho, there are two districts with more than 200,00 active voters.
If we calculate that the average voter will need 10 minutes to wade through his or her ballot, and those polling locations were open 12 hours, we would need on average, at least 2500 voting machines in each of these districts. Plus staff.
When you extrapolate this across the US, it will mean millions of new voting machines and a massive ramp-up in hiring.Given that elections are in the domain of states, how should we fund this?
2. If we look around the world, the United States is an outlier when it comes to gun violence. Simply put, more people die as a result of gun violence annually in the United States than anywhere else in the world.
What should be done to stop this violence and how can we make it happen?
3. We all know politicians play fast and loose with the truth. Statements like “He misspoke” and “That statement is no longer operative” can, and should drive us crazy. Most would agree that we should excuse public lies when national security is at stake.
But outside of that instance, can you explain when a presidential statement is a lie and tell me whether you believe a president should strive to always publicly tell the truth?
4. Fact: The events of 1/6 happened. On that day US officers were beaten with flags, poles and other instruments. The US Capitol was invaded and defaced. Congressional offices were ransacked. The vice president was threatened as were members of Congress, many of whom feared for their lives.
Was it wrong for people to resort to violence that day as a means of airing their grievances towards the federal government?
5. And of course, my final question is one of my favorites for conservatives: What ideologies would a conservative hold or behaviors would they exhibit that you would consider extremist and/or dangerous? And should those people be expelled from the GOP?
The other day I offered up five questions for conservatives as we head into the 2022 midterm elections.
Today, the shoe is on the other foot as I offer up five, I hope, equally difficult questions for progressives.
1. Immigration has become a huge issue for people living along the southern US border. The numbers of people trying to enter the US outside of normal immigration procedures has grown exponentially.
Do you believe the US has a right to police our border and take whatever steps are necessary to keep people who try to enter the US illegally out?
2. When a family does not have enough money to pay all of its bills, they sit down and make a plan. That plan usually will include cutting expenses and raising, sometimes through another job, additional revenue. Progressives in government are generally good on the side of raising revenue, usually through more taxes.
Are there some federal programs and expenses you believe we can cut to help balance our budget, or do you believe a balanced budget is unnecessary?
3. All across red, rural America, people are losing jobs as our manufacturing and fossil energy sectors contract. This has led to an economic nightmare as health and education services as well as economic activity in these areas dwindle.
What ideas do you have to address the economic concerns of people who live in these areas and fear losing the homestead and way of life that has been part of their family for generations?
4. After the death of George Floyd, cities across America exploded in rage. Portland is a good example of a city that was gripped in violence, but not the only city. Some protestors supporting Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police movements were anything but peaceful. State, local and federal government buildings were attacked and in some cases fire-bombed across the country. Businesses were broken into and looted.
Was it wrong for people to resort to violence in these protests as a means of airing their grievances towards various government and police agencies?
5. Finally, a twist on the question I always ask conservatives: Every movement or group has its extremists, and progressives are no different.What ideologies would a progressive hold or behaviors would they exhibit that you would consider extremist and/or dangerous?
And should those people be expelled from the Democratic Party?