Last week, ScottAdams, of Dilbert fame, made some suggestions to the press on what they should be asking the presidential candidates instead of the inane questions that are being asked now.

He suggests three topics: Who would they pick for their advisors (cabinet and vice president), what would be in their proposed budget, and who would they pick for their Supreme court nominees.

Of course, none of these questions will be asked, and even if they are asked, one expects politicians to change their mind once they are in office.

Yet his questions and his readers suggestions do bring up a very real problem: Failure of the media to cover what is really important to people.

Obama said that the last debate was full of “gotcha” questions, and he is right. My opinion is that the questions didn’t go far enough. Obama’s campaign has gotten a free ride from an adoring press, who just now has noticed a lot of his friends are radicals.

Yet the “gocha” questions don’t get to the real question.

For example, on religion, the question is not about Reverend White’s liberation theology, but if Obama ever bothered to help the church’s outreach ministries to the homeless and HIV patients.  Did he join the church because it’s trendy, or because of it’s liberation theology, or because of it’s music, or because of it’s fellowship with other Chicago movers and shakers, or did he join the church because it taught him how to serve God in his daily life?

If Obama joined the church for it’s liberation theology, it has policy implications. If he joined it for the fellowship, it has implications on his integrity, since one can be judged for those one choses to associate with. If he joined it because the worship service and the majority of the sermons helped him in his spiritual walk, then that has other implications.

One could ask the same thing from Mrs. Clinton, who has several religious choices in her life (her church, an independent bible study group, and various left wing religious organizations). I feel it is important that Mrs. Clinton gets her religious input from several different sources, and I prefer someone who appreciates Jim Wallace than Reverend Wright, but that’s just me.

Similarly, when Obama or Mrs. Clinton talk about gun control, we don’t need a “gotcha” quotation from years ago (which is being thrown in Obama’s face) but discussions on crime and laws, such as how can a federal law keep guns out of criminals hands when many guns are sold on the street?

Finally, below the radar is the question of the Supreme Court.

A lot of Christians get angry when they are finding their ability to merely acknowledge the deity in the public square is forbidden, and boy scouts are being pushed out of meeting in pubic buildings because they stress the generic conservative Christian sexual ethos, while the same municipalities and universities are going out of their way to fund footbaths and gyms to serve Muslim populations.

But behind a lot of this anger is not against Islam per se (personally, I think we need to go back to single sex gyms with modest clothing) as much as the impression that Muslims being accommodated in the public square, whereas the conservative Christians are not.

Appointing activist judges to essentially make laws is a major cause of the culture wars, especially in view that some courts no longer recognize the common law tradition behind heterosexual marriage. Marriage is already under seige by easy divorce (so that the innocent party has no rights, and making the marriage contract so meaningless that many just live together). What is the next big thing is not gay marriage but polygamy: and if you don’t think this affects you, then just look at the statistics of polygamous wives and children being brought up on welfare…not just in Utah but in the UK…These decisions have deep societal implications that only a free discussion of the public and slow local changes to see how changing laws can affect society as a whole, and of course, the ability to change the law back if it is found to be untenable. (When a court decides something is a “right”, it is hard for the public to change this law).

So yes, I think that someone should ask the candidates to pledge if they will appoint court justices who hold a literal or activist view of the constitution.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. 

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