Three News Stories the Candidates Should Discuss at Tonight’s GOP Debate

Good luck with that, Donald.

Good luck with that, Donald.

Tonight, as has been a Thursday tradition for over 10,000 years, Republican presidential candidates will gather in Florida to yell over each other and make thinly veiled references to their own genitalia. (I’ll be live-tweeting the debate from @civicskunkworks starting at 5:30 Seattle time.) But what else will they discuss, after all the insulting nicknames have been shouted? Here are three big, current news stories that CNN’s moderators should bring up to the candidates.

Topic 1: Our deteriorating discourse.

Everyone is talking today about the white Trump supporter who sucker-punched an African-American man at a rally. The man, John McGraw, later told Inside Edition that he punched the protester because”…we don’t know if he’s ISIS. We don’t know who he is, but we know he’s not acting like an American, cussing me…” McGraw also said the man “deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization.”

Questions for all the candidates: Is a candidate responsible for his supporters? Is it okay to punch another human being without provocation? Do you reject McGraw’s actions and statements? Has the discourse become too divisive? If so, what will you do about it?

Topic 2: Global warming.

Earlier this month, global temperatures reached what Slate referred to as a “Terrifying Milestone.”

As of Thursday morning, it appears that average temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere have breached the 2 degrees Celsius above “normal” mark for the first time in recorded history, and likely the first time since human civilization began thousands of years ago.* That mark has long been held (somewhat arbitrarily) as the point above which climate change may begin to become “dangerous” to humanity. It’s now arrived—though very briefly—much more quickly than anticipated.

Questions for all the candidates: Is global warming real? If so, what should we do about it? If not, how do you explain this milestone? What else is going on? Man-made or not, do you agree that the species is in danger?

Topic 3: Sickened West Virginia lawmakers.

Yesterday, Gawker reported that West Virginia legislators passed a law legalizing raw milk. To celebrate, many of the lawmakers drank raw milk. And then many of those lawmakers became violently ill.

Questions for all the candidates: This is pretty funny, right? Would you say it’s ironic? If so, is it ironic in the true sense of the word, or more in an Alanis Morissette kind of way? Tell me again how all government regulations are bad?

Comments

comments

Paul Constant
Paul Constant has written about politics, books, and film for Newsweek, The Progressive, the Utne Reader, and alternative weeklies around the country.