Election 2016 Round Table Discussion: Donald Trump has recently been under attack for open mic comments made in 2005. Hillary Clinton has been attacked for defending a rapist early in her law career and comments made in speeches to Wall Street firms. Does this really matter? Should the debates focus solely on policy issues rather than character issues? Would third party participation in the debates help to better manage the dialogue?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Character issues always matter when electing leaders, especially those in the federal government, but they are not as important as policy issues. The government is made up of humans who are fallible and have a wide variety of shortcomings. Character plays a role with voters because most voters at least subconsciously need to “like” a candidate enough to vote for that candidate. But voters should focus more on what policies the candidate will advocate for because those policies will more directly affect voters than will the fact that the person for whom they voted is a womanizer, or an alcoholic, or said some nasty things about someone years ago.

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Election 2016 Round Table Discussion: Regardless of the outcome of the election, has the Republican Party been irreparably damaged by the Trump candidacy and its effect of alienating members of the party?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I think the GOP will be quite a long time recovering from Trump’s candidacy, win or lose.  Decades of catering to ever more outlying groups is coming home to roost, as the “big tent” is turning into a straitjacket.  There’s no more room for compromise or modernization since the far right goes into screaming hissy fits at the mere suggestion that the opposite side might have a good idea.  Similarly, the various factions go to war with each other over the smallest points of conservative doctrine, much akin to an old-time church going to war within itself with members trying to out-pious each other. Continue reading

Election 2016 Round Table Discussion: With the economy and jobs being two of the hottest interrelated issues of the 2016 campaign, what will be the solutions to bolstering a stagnant economy and returning Americans to work?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-The solutions to bolstering a stagnant economy and returning Americans to work lie in the reestablishment of a number of institutions and policy approaches that will strengthen the economy and return Americans to work.

With the number of businesses, companies, corporations and organizations leaving America in record numbers and corporate tax rates remaining at high levels, the demand for lower waged workers, and lower priced products and services have driven significant numbers of companies and jobs overseas. In addition, jobs have disappeared or have been significantly diminished to the point that entire industrialized sectors of the American economy have been driven out of existence. Continue reading