Is Black Lives Matter good for America? PRO -- I don’t like racism. I feel we should respect everyone and give all people equal opportunity and rights. People shouldn’t be persecuted just because someone doesn’t like something about them. Black people have been treated poorly in America for too long. It’s time for change. Even though most don’t like it, most black Americans are here to stay, and they’ll have to deal with it. It needs to end!
Was the U.S. SC decision legalizing LGBT marriage good? PRO -- I have friends, or friends who have friends, who are openly LGBT, and it doesn’t tarnish my view on them. I still think of then as good people who positively contribute to the community. I still think that they are cool people. I have no problem with LGBT people. What helps me understand this is an analogy of “my sports team is Team A” or “I grew up in Town Z.”
Should Muslims be banned from coming to America? CON -- Muslims aren’t the problem . The problem is those people who use the image of a great religion, culture or civilization as an excuse for why the commit terrible, terrible acts. We are a country of religious freedom. Muslims should not be banned or restricted. It is not right and it feels very contradictory to some of the key, founding values of the United States.
In conclusion, I believe that civil rights must be granted, not restricted or non-existent. There needs to be more legislation that protects the rights of minorities, including Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans, Also, we should use school and all forms of media that kids get their hands on to teach from an early age that acceptance and civil rights are key American values and core human values to fix the problems.
Was the Citizens United Supreme Court decision good for the U.S.? CON -- I do believe, especially after doing research on this decision, that the U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United decision was not a good decision for the U.S. This decision has allowed for corporations to flood the political marketplace and corrupt politicians and election systems. It has allowed corporations and the top 1% to push politicians into saying what they want.
Should voters be required to show photo ID in order to vote? CON -- This kind of requirement, to have voters show a photo identification in order to vote, feels like something that could be used to discriminate and reject any voter based on what they look like. Like I said earlier, we need an enviorment that is friendly and welcoming to minorities, not an enviorment that allows for discrimination and the feeling of alienation.
Should Super PACs be banned from giving money to politicians? PRO -- I would say so. Again, when those with big bucks are allowed to give their money to politicians, those politicians are then swayed to share the views of the donors in order to keep getting funding. This is wrong, and it makes those politicians lees like those who represent the common people of the U.S., but the representatives of those with deep pockets.
Should corporations be banned from corrupting politicians? PRO -- This is what Citizens United allowed. Because of this, it has allowed for the rich and corporations to corrupt politicians and make the politicians their representatives instead of the representatives of the American people. Corporations should not be allowed to continuously do this any longer. We need our elected to represent the people, not the rich or big businesses.
First, it should be easier for U.S. citizens to be able to vote. The Voter’s Rights Act needs to be reintroduced and passed. Second, corporations need to be banned from the political system, same with the rich and Super PACs. We can’t allow denial of the right to vote or corruption in the political system any longer! Third, we need American youth more involved in voting and politics. To achieve that, the voting age should be lowered to 17 ot 16.
Should the minimum wage be increased? PRO -- Right now, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. When I did all of the calculations for one month of needed spending (groceries, gas, rent, etc.), I found that this is not a liveable wage. A more livable wage that may keep the poor not so poor is a minimum wage between $10.10 an hour and $15.00 an hour. Through this, we can begin to actually eliminate poverty in America.
Should Glass-Steagall be reinstated? PRO -- The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 was passed to prohibit commercial banks from engaging in the investment business, this was after the banks lost many people’s money when the Great Depression hit. So, I guess it could be a good thing if this act were to be reinstated. If this act would help eliminate poverty and close the gap between the rich and poor, then I’m all for the act’s revival.
Does lowering the corporate income tax rate create jobs? CON -- This does not seem to be true. The money that corporations and the top one percent holds needs to be heavily taxed and spread among the bottom ninety-nine percent and funding for better food, housing, education, etcetera. If we want to fix poverty, we need to start by getting the money away from the rich and to the working class of America.
Should any federal taxes be increased? NC -- I would only support this if it means more jobs for unemployed Americans. Only if it means better services such as education, housing and nutrition. Only if it means the beginning of the end of American poverty. Only if it means the end of the top 1% having all of the power and money. If it does not mean any of this, or anything like this, then I don’t support the increase of any federal taxes.
Should there be a flat tax on income? CON -- I feel that this would mean that the poor and working classes will lose much of their hard earned money, while the billionaire class doesn’t feel much more than a pinch. The billionaire classes and corporations need to be heavily taxed and the wealth needs to be redistributed into the American economic system. I’d like whatever means the end of American poverty and unemployment.
With economic reforms, higher taxes on the 1% and tax breaks on the 99%, the gap between rich and poor should close. Let’s end American poverty, unemployment, hunger, and all other negatives for good! Wouldn’t it be great to say one day, that there is no top 1% and no bottom 99% in America? Instead, we should get to say all Americans are part of the Great 100%! We need equal distribution of wealth and pay equity! Great, right?
Should the U.S. send ground troops to fight ISIS? CON -- The U.S. get’s into too many fights too often. Sure, I agree that ISIS needs to be stopped. Instead, let’s send nutritional, financial and medical aid to those who are caught between the crossfire of ISIS, their enemies and those trying to stop ISIS. Every time we fight some war, we get someone mad and then it continues to tarnish America’s already tarnished reputation.
Should the U.S. continue its use of drone strikes abroad? CON -- I don’t believe that this is helping us or anyone else. From what I have heard, there are many in Southwest Asia who hate the drone strikes because their friends, family and colleagues are accidentally taken down, and the U.S. does nothing about it except for throwing money at them. No, this also continues to tarnish America’s already tarnished reputation.
Should torturous interrogation techniques legal? CON -- Another thing that America does that tarnishes the country’s already tarnished reputation. We say we don’t torture and that we don’t allow it and isn’t it illegal under the United Nations? Anyways, the U.S. still does this. I don’t believe that torture is a reasonable or ethical way to get information. The eigth amendment clearly illegalizes it...so get rid of torture!
Should military funding be cut? Half of the federal government’s spending is wasted on a military program that is so strong that no country would dare attack us. We spend trillions of dollars on the military...to what? To threaten and intimidate and kill anyone who questions the U.S.? I bet, if funding for the military was cut tonight, it would still be able to sustain itself for up to one hundred years without needing more funding. Defund it now!
Should felons who’ve completed their sentences be able to vote? PRO -- The U.S. has one percent of the world’s population and twenty five percent of the world’s imprisoned. A big chunk of non-voters are those who have committed felonies, and in turn, been stripped of many citizen rights, including suffrage. The right to vote should be a right and not a privilege. A right that belongs to all Americans over 16-18, no matter what.
Should the death penalty be allowed? CON -- Don’t most religions, philosophies, cultures, and laws basically say “thou shalt not kill”? When are we going to see that killing our fellow human beings is wrong, no matter what. Everyone needs the chance to reform and rehabilitate. You know what’s hilarious and very hypocritical? It’s that most who are against abortion are for the death penalty. Funny, and scary, isn’t it?
Should the prison system instead help reenter inmates into soc.? PRO -- The convicted could learn from their mistakes. So, I believe, that instead of wasting so much money on prisons and locking people up, have boarding schools that retrain inmates and prepare them for their eventual reentry into society. We need this, because we can’t just stand by as the same people keep being locked up again because they were ignored.
So, here is what we do with the military and the justice system. One, we give aid to those caught in the crossfire in the war against ISIS and some aid for the fighters against ISIS. Two, we completely cut out drone strikes, torture, cut military funding by maybe seventy five percent or more (and redistribute it to more necessary things) and allow for felons to vote. Three, cut out the death penalty and redesign the prison system.
Is China an economic or military threat to the U.S.? CON -- I do not feel like China is an economic or military threat to the U.S. because the U.S. has the strongest military and is the richest country in the world. We need just step away from China and stop letting them control things we do. We also need to use more American-made products than Chinese-made. We should benefit our economy more than the Chinese economy.
Is the TPP Trade Agreement good for the U.S.? CON -- The Trans-Pacific Pacific Trade Agreement is an open trade policy between countries that have Pacific coasts. Since there is already a World Trade Organization, I guess the TPPTA just seems like something that is a little unnecessary. Why do we need all these overlapping trade agreements? Why not just have one so not everything is so confusing?
Should the U.S. maintain its embargo against Cuba? CON -- We’re being stupid and paranoid by holding a grudge like this. Fidel Castro and the Bay of Pigs was half a century ago. Open trade and travel policies with Cuba could be greatly politically, economically and socio-economically beneficial to the U.S. We may not know it yet, but opening to Cuba may be a key factor in turning this confused, tattered country around.
Should the U.S. close Guantanamo and return it to Cuba? PRO -- Yes, we need to stop wasting money on all of these prisons and spend money on more important things. Also, our one hundred year lease on the bay has expired. Why didn’t we give it up when we should have? I think, the next president must close the Guantanamo Bay Maximum Security Prison and return the bay to the government of Cuba, the rightful owners.
Is the nuclear arms deal with Iran good for America? PRO -- Sure, it’s good. No one should have nukes, not even the U.S. But is it good enough? We promised something to Ukraine that we didn’t give in return. So, unless we we’re to practically give Iran a blood oath, how could Iran possibly agree to any arms deal we throw at them, especially if they knew that we did not respect our word with the Ukraine when they were invaded in 2015.
Should there be an independent Palestinian state? It seems right now, Palestinians live in fear and persecution because of the current anti-Palestine Israeli regime. The nation of Palestine should be revived. We shouldn’t have destroyed a nation just so a group of people can have their own nation to do a victory dance about, no offense to anyone - I’m Ashkenazi Jewish on my dad’s mom’s dad’s side.
Do we have an obligation to keep our word and protect Ukraine? PRO -- When the USSR fell apart, the Ukraine came away with half of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. Russia, England and America made a deal to exchange the nukes for protection. When Russia invaded the Crimea, it was England and America’s obligation to go after Russia and protect the Ukraine. This failure to keep our word will hurt future possible arms deals.
Alright, here’s what we do with foreign policy. Not sure what we do about China and the TPP, but they aren’t what’s important right now. First, we open up trade and travel with Cuba and return to them Guantanamo Bay after closing the prison. Then, we solidify an arms deal with Iran while working on a plan for a Palestinian state. Finally, we work on repaying the Ukraine for not respecting our word when they were invaded by Russia.
Should the U.S. authorize the Keystone XL pipeline plan? CON -- No way, not another thing that is just going to benefit a rich oil company. Also, we need to start promoting more renewable energy resources To do this, we should cut down on polluting/non-renewable resources, like oil and coal, and make it the more expensive option than renewable options, like solar or wind energy. This is how we start cleaning up the polluted Earth.
Is human activity primarily responsible for global climate change? PRO -- I used to not be so sure, but I am now. I don’t think volcanoes or other things could get the climate changing this fast. Also, the amount of pollution in the air and other places is so much, and the climate has changed so much, how can we not be the primary reason for the global climate change? The sea levels have risen...the temperatures have risen...
I believe that we must take steps now to combat this global climate change. First, we must start cutting down on non-renewable resources and make those the most expensive option. Second, we must introduce more renewable resources, like solar power, hydro/water power and wind power, and make these more easily accessible to everyone. And during all of this, we must clean up the pollution that is choking the planet as we speak.
Should colleges and universities use affirmative action for admissions? PRO -- If the purpose of this is to prevent the discrimination of minorities in college admissions, then use it should be used. We need to eliminate discrimination as much as possible and in as many places possible.
Should public colleges and universities tuition free? PRO -- Education should be a right, not a privilege. Students are not made of money! Education shouldn’t be something that is “on sale.”
Should education funding be a big federal priority? PRO -- Education is what will lead each generation to greatness. We stress it so much by giving free education for pre-k to high school. Why not just fund it all?
Education is simple. Keep affirmative action. Make public colleges and tuition free and add federal funding to education. What federal funding should focus on is education, housing, good food, and other non-military things that are important to the people.
Should genetically modified (GMO) foods have mandatory labeling? PRO -- Oh yeah, no argument. I want to know what I’m ingesting! I don’t believe that corporations like Monsanto should have basically have the right to decide what I or others can or can’t see or eat. I want to be able to make safe, smart and healthy eating choices. I live on a farm where we produce and eat non-GMO food, and it tastes way better than GMO food.
Should abortion be legal? PRO -- as free, independent human beings, we should be allowed to do with what we want with our bodies. So, if a woman feels she wants to go through with an abortion, what right do I have to say yes or no? I don’t have any right! We should all have the right to control our own bodies. It is not right or freedom when someone else controls the bodies of other people, telling them what they do with it.
Should recreational marijuana be legal? PRO -- I honestly don’t care about this topic so much, and since I don’t know much about it, I don’t really have an opinion about it. However, I do know, that tobacco and alcohol causes way more deaths than marijuana does. Marijuana has no known deaths caused by the plant/drug. So, it can’t be all bad, right?
Should Planned Parenthood receive federal funding? It’s another one of those things that I feel that is a choice that people make for themselves and that I have no business telling them what or what not to do. Federal funding should be focused on these more important things like education, housing and planned parenthood. It’s about the choice of the people and what the people think are important enough for federal funding.
With personal liberties issues, it’s not so simple with big corporations or religious politicians getting in the way. I think GMO vs. non-GMO labeling would pass, and eventually GMO foods may be outlawed altogether in America. Abortion and recreational marijuana may come a bit slow, but it would also be legalized. Finally, Planned Parenthood definitely would get federal funding like housing, education and healthy foods programs.
Should more gun control laws be enacted? I want to feel safe wherever I go. The second amendment does not actually give everyone the right to carry a firearm, it mainly allows for states to raise a militia if necessary. I don’t like how many shootings have happened recently, and it has made me afraid of firearms, honestly. Gun control should also be for law enforcement officers, they are guilty of gun violence as well!
Should the federal government study gun violence? Study it and against it! Especially the gun violence coming from law enforcement officers. I want to live in a country where I know that the government has its peoples’ backs in all issues, especially in those incidents that threaten the lives of the citizenry. America should be a country where we feel free and safe to go where we please in this great, beautiful and diverse country.
Should people on the no-fly/terror watch lists be able to buy guns? CON -- Definitely not.Those who shouldn’t have guns because the are potentially a threat should not be allowed to have a firearm. End of story, no question, no debate and no argument. Whether there are arguments about the connotations of the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution or not. Guns should be heavily restricted.
Firearms need to be restricted and taken out of the hands of many people. With recent gun violence incidents from regular citizens and law enforcement officers, America is becoming a dangerous place for guns. Police shouldn’t use guns and should be punished harshly for their brutality. If America is really going to be a safe place to live, we need to get guns off of the streets, out of the hands of extremists and the unstable.
Should all Americans be entitled to health care? PRO -- Not only should every American be given the right to health care, it should be good quality and free. Americans should not have to pay to get better. Many people have died because they did not have enough money to go to the doctor when they were sick or have enough money to get the medicine they needed. All Americans should be able to be happy and healthy.
Is Obamacare good for America? PRO -- Sure, it’s alright. It’s what many had to do since they didn’t have health care. However, the Affordable Care Act could be much better. Instead, what we need is a national health care system that is of great quality and is free. We should not have to pay to get better. We can’t let fellow Americans die just because they didn’t have enough money to go to the hospital.
Should marijuana be a medical option? PRO -- First of all, marijuana has no recorded record of causing any deaths. Ever. Second, it does seem to have some possible medical aspects, like something similar to a sedative. Honestly, I don’t care about marijuana that much. I don’t feel like that the legalization of it will affect me, either positively or negatively.
Should euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide be legal? NC -- Suicide is immoral, right? However, what if you’re in such a bad state that it would be impossible to go on? This is an issue that I’m not really concerned with. I’d say, as long as it’s not a situation that’s because of depression, anger, being bullied, etcetera. I don’t know exactly...it’s not something I know that much about, or would care to research.
Health care will be improved. What we need is an American healthcare system that is available for all citizens, not just those who have money. This new health care system will be 1) a health care system of great quality, 2) a free health care service that is federally funded and 3) a health care system that will be universally accepted in all hospitals. Also, medical marijuana will be legalized, euthanasia/physician-assisted suicide will not.
Should the fed. government use raids to enforce immigration laws? CON -- I think not because this helps to continue to tarnish an already tarnished American reputation. Also, people wouldn't want to come, live, work and send their children to school (or go to school) here if they didn’t feel safe in any part of the process of becoming U.S. citizens. We need to make immigrants feel welcome, not alienated. People come to this country because we call ourselves the land of opportunity and freedom.
Should checking employee immigration status be mandatory for employers? CON -- I don’t know...I think this would cause many to be nervous or unsafe to work here in the U.S. Many immigrants come to find work because we advertise our country as having wonderful work opportunities that their home country may not have. They come because originally, the U.S. was the “land of opportunity and freedom.”
Should the U.S. continue to build a wall along the southern border? CON -- First, this takes many of our hard earned taxpayer dollars. Second, it would make it look as if the U.S. doesn’t want people to move here. We would experience a decrease in immigrants coming to the U.S. Again, we call our country the land of opportunity and freedom. We call our country “America the Beautiful” and say that this is “where dreams are made.”
Should undocumented immigrants in the U.S. be able to become citizens? PRO -- We say that America is the land of opportunity, freedom and liberty. People come here, whether legally or illegally, for those reasons! So, why don’t we make it easier for them? Why don’t make it easier for everyone to experience their own verison of the “American Dream?” If we can’t do that, we don’t deserve such positive slogans. So, let them in and be Americans.
Should the U.S. allow Syrian refugees into the country? PRO -- These are human beings who deserve shelter from the violence in Southwest Asia. Also, we have so much space in the U.S! And we preach about how much we want to help everyone! So, let’s get these Southwest Asian refugees, especially those from Syria, a new stable home to live in.
I think immigration would come a bit easier than some issues. We continue to allow Syrian refugees in to the U.S. Then, we’d cut raids and find other ways to enforce immigration laws. Also, the employee immigration status check is cut and the U.S.-Mexico border wall is defunded and torn down. Finally, the naturalization process becomes easier for all immigrants.