Tonight, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off at the first presidential debate. The candidates may be miles apart, but the questions they’ll field will likely remain within the tight boundaries of acceptable discussion, centered around “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity,” and “Securing America.”
Here's an alternative set of questions to help answer what it would look like when our country and our leaders respect and protect rights for all.
On “America's Direction”
The US has a powerful national mythology, rooted in ideas of freedom, democracy and rights. While these ideals have often been trampled, generations of social justice activists have fought to defend them. Our leaders must do the same.
- The US has a long track record of ignoring international law and multilateral agreements when it doesn’t suit our leaders. How will you ensure that we contribute to global peace and cooperation? How will you uphold human rights standards and international agreements at home and abroad?
On “Achieving Prosperity”
We see more and more riches accruing to the few, based on the exploitation of people and our planet. True prosperity guarantees basic rights like education, health, housing and decent work for all.
- Our global economic system is designed to benefit the richest and most powerful. Women still make up the majority of the world’s poor. How will you overhaul our economic policies, nationally and internationally, to shift this imbalance and protect the most marginalized?
- Climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time. Women worldwide are both disproportionately impacted and sources of vital solutions. What changes will you make to shift our economic and environmental policies to ensure major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and ensure an equitable transition to a post-carbon economy?
On “Securing America”
Rising right-wing voices, in the US and beyond, are mobilizing fear, racism and xenophobia to demonize entire populations. Meanwhile, the US military is currently bombing seven Muslim-majority countries. None of this will make the US safer.
- In the name of the so-called “war on terror,” the US has waged war in Iraq and Afghanistan, escalated illegal drone strikes, detained people in violation of international law, and conducted warrantless surveillance, to name a few. What is your plan to end these illegal and rights-violating practices?
- What are your proposals for addressing root causes of violence — like political repression, poverty and marginalization?
November’s vote will set the policy stage and define our opportunities for progressive action. But our vision for social justice — in the US and worldwide — is bigger than any one election. We keep that vision in sight as we ask the questions that hold our leaders accountable for prioritizing peace, rights and justice for all.
We need to keep this conversation going this election and beyond!
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MADRE's alternative #Debates2016 questions: What would it look like if our leaders respect & protect rights for all? http://bit.ly/2dmFdXU