Ten Questions for Mr. Trump

Here are ten questions I would ask Mr. Trump at tonight’s debate. What would you ask?

1. COVID. The CDC reports 300,000 COVID or COVID related deaths in the US so far this year. You called COVID a hoax. Top doctors say that we need a national mandate for wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID. Why have you not followed doctor’s orders? Why is there still no national standard for testing, tracing and treatment? Why does our military have such a plan, but there is not one for the American people?

2. Health Care. Why is your Administration in court arguing to end coverage for pre-existing conditions under the American Care Act? The nearly 9 million Americans who have had COVID might be denied coverage as a result. Since you oppose the ACA, why have you not produced a health care plan in four years when you had promised one within days of your Administration?

3. Economy. You tout yourself as a successful businessman, but the US economy is worse than four years ago, the unemployment rate stands at 7.9%, the national debt and deficits are the worst ever, more than 100,000 small businesses have closed, and farm bankruptcies are at their highest level since 2011. Your businesses have declared bankruptcy six times, and your tax returns show that your businesses have consistently lost huge sums of money. How do you justify to voters your economic record while in the White House?

4. Russia. Why did you cede US air bases in Syria to Russia? Why have you not condemned Russia for paying bounties to have American soldiers killed in Afghanistan? Why did you let Russian officials into the Oval Office in violation of security protocols? Why have you not argued for strong countermeasures to ongoing Russian interference in US elections? Why do you support Vladimir Putin’s denials of Russian interference in our elections over the consensus view of our intelligence services that it did? Why did you not disclose that you were seeking to build Trump properties in Russia during the 2016 election? Is it the case, as your son Don Jr. has said, that you and/or your companies received significant financing for your business from Russian individuals and/or corporations?

5. Right Wing Extremism. The FBI and DHS report that the violent extremism in the US is predominantly right wing. Right wing extremist groups support you because you have called them “good people,” told them to “stand by,” attacked the Governor of Michigan who could have been kidnapped and assassinated by one of those groups, issued calls to “Liberate Michigan” and “Liberate Virginia.” Why do you ignore the reports from your own officials that the US must crack down on right wing extremism, not the groups that oppose fascism?

6. Military. You have repeatedly attacked our service members and veterans, blaming former Sen. McCain for being captured in Viet Nam, blaming Gold Star families for giving you the coronavirus, reportedly calling war dead “suckers” and “losers,” dismissing severe brain injuries as “headaches” suffered by our troops in retaliation for the US assassination of an Iranian official, calling generals “babies,” and deriding them as war profiteers. How can our troops rally behind a commander-in-chief who is so disrespectful of their service to our nation?

7. A President for All. You have been swift to provide federal emergency aid to Republican governed states when hit with disasters like hurricanes, but have been negligent in your responses to Democrat governed areas like California devastated by wildfires? In COVID relief, Jared Kushner reportedly slow-walked responses to New York, the first state hardest hit by COVID because it was a blue state. How can you be seen as a President for all Americans when you play politics with life and death situations?

8. Taxes. To whom do you owe ½ billion dollars that you personally guaranteed? How will you repay that in four years? Taxpayers have spent millions of dollars to pay for your trips to golf properties and hotels that you own. Foreign governments and individuals seeking access have spent millions at your clubs and hotels and bought homes and apartments from your businesses at highly inflated rates. How do you defend such self-dealing?

9. Family. Why did you separate children from their parents as they were seeking to immigrate into the U.S., and why did the US lose track of where those parents are, meaning the families may never be reunited? Why did Mexico not pay for the border wall as you touted it would? Why have only five miles of new wall been constructed in four years?

10. Science. 98% of scientists agree that we must reduce pollution to reverse extreme weather and prevent oceans from swallowing up our cities? You have called for nuclear bombs to be dropped into hurricanes and to use of bleach to cure COVID, and you have claimed that windmills cause cancer, none of which has scientific basis. Why do you not accept science?

BONUS QUESTIONS

11. Truth. Why have you lied more than 20,000 times in four years as independent, non-partisan fact checkers have documented?

12. Democracy. You have attacked the press, the courts, civil servants, service members, veterans, diplomats, foreign service officers, the elections, Congress, Inspectors General, special counsels, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Federal Reserve Board, scientists at the Center for Disease Control and the National Institutes for Health, including may whom your Administration has hired. At the international level, you have attacked NATO, the European Union, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the International Criminal Court. You have berated our allies in Germany, the UK, Canada, Australia and France, and praised autocratic leaders like Vladimir Putin, Recep Erdogan, Rodrigo Duterte, Viktor Orban, Andrzej Duda. How do you defend attacks on our democracy and your support for nondemocratic regimes?

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C. Dixon Osburn is a noted advocate for domestic and international human rights and security.

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