By Jedediah Bila
This week, I decided to mix things up a bit. Although I love my typical Q & A columns because they afford me the chance to address questions from my readers, I wanted to hear more from them. In other words, I wanted this column to center around their opinions, not mine.
So, I decided to pose three questions to my readers. I posted them on my Facebook page, my Facebook “Like” page, and Twitter, as well as emailed them to my website subscribers. Within twenty-four hours, I had received hundreds of responses.
I will now present the three questions I asked, followed by a summary of the results and a sample of quotes from my readers. I’ll close with some brief commentary.
1. If you could pick one person to interview President Obama, who would it be and why?
Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck were the top picks. Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin, and I (my readers may be a tad biased) weren’t far behind. Others who received quite a few votes included Megyn Kelly, John Stossel, Bret Baier, and Dennis Prager. I’ll let some quotes from my readers fill in the “why”:
“I would LOVE to see Rush Limbaugh interview President Obama! He’s well-informed to ask the appropriate questions. He doesn’t sugarcoat situations. He doesn’t accept the fluff responses in place of real answers. President Obama NEEDS someone to put him on the spot for real answers. We’re past the popularity contest of elections. Now it’s time to man-up and be responsible for his position. Stop pointing fingers and making excuses for the problems. Stop trying to manipulate, control, and change what’s already working. Focus on true priorities that benefit the AMERICAN society as a whole!”
“John Stossel. He is relaxed, but at the same time would ask very challenging questions. He really understands the free market and the importance of controlling government overreach.”
“Dig up William F. Buckley!” (That one was too good not to list!)
“Glenn Beck. He has a tough, no-nonsense approach and won’t settle for ‘answers’ that don’t answer the questions.”
“I would like to see Mark Levin interview the President. He is a trained constitutional lawyer with high intellect, sharp wit, and the tenacity of a Pit Bull.”
2. What’s the #1 issue on your mind as you gear up for the November elections?
The economy/jobs took the lead, with protecting the Constitution, repealing and replacing Obama’s health care law, preventing cap-and-trade legislation, diminishing wasteful spending, and cutting back entitlement programs not far behind. Other popular issues included securing our borders, winning the war on terror, controlling the national debt, and restoring political integrity. Here’s a sample of what my readers had to say:
“Stop runaway, rampant, wasteful, totally non-productive, crony-pockets-filling federal spending.”
“Are the American people as a whole awake enough to sever old party allegiances and vote for the candidates essential to the survival and restoration of our once great country?”
“The economy. This is at the 10,000 foot level and encompasses reduced government (spending AND size), balanced budgets, jobs (includes expansion of all energy-related jobs from encouraging exploration to extraction and sales), containment of unions (they are a monopoly of labor, support over-compensated union management and extraordinary benefits that will become a burden to the taxpayer), reclaim effective education of our children, tort reform, to name a few of the pressing items.”
“The U.S. Constitution. Only those who believe in it and support it should be allowed to SERVE in office.”
“Economics – Keynes vs Hayek. It also embodies security because I have long thought that the next war would be fought and won (or lost) on the basis of economics.”
3. If you had to write down your choice for President in 2012 right here and now, who would it be and why?
Sarah Palin led the way by a significant margin. Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, Mike Pence, and Newt Gingrich were in the next batch of favorites. Ron Paul and Paul Ryan weren’t far behind. Here are some quotes from my readers as to why they chose who they did:
“My choice is Sarah Palin. She is intelligent, a good solid conservative, appears not to back down to anyone, she is like a phoenix. Every time they try to bring her down, she continues to rise from the ashes. I see her to be very Reaganesque. Clearly she is a threat to the progressives or they would not continue to demonize her.”
“Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. He said what needed to be done in no uncertain terms and is doing them, no matter the political pressure. He is standing up to special interests and progressives and doing what needs to be done for his state.”
“Paul Ryan would be an excellent choice. He’s tough and dead-on when it comes to facts about the economy and health care costs. And he’s a true leader.”
“Newt Gingrich has a great understanding of our history and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. He could win a debate against Obama with his eyes closed.”
“Mitt Romney – He understands business, he has executive experience, he understands that America is at war with radical Islam, he can tell the difference between America’s friends and her enemies, and he understands American exceptionalism.”
So, there you have it. And there were so many more fantastic quotes and interesting responses. Do you see a pattern? I do.
One thing was very clear to me as I tallied up the results. Despite differences of opinion with respect to who should interview Obama or who should be elected President in 2012, one personality trait appealed to my readers almost across the board. And that was guts.
A vast majority of the responses that came in with respect to questions one and three involved the desire for a strong interviewer and a strong president (and I don’t mean the ass-kicking type). They want their president – and the person interviewing him or her – to be able to take the heat. They want to see plenty of leadership and courage. They want to hear difficult questions from the media and want a president who can offer solid, principled responses and stand by his or her beliefs in the face of critique.
I couldn’t agree more.
I also wasn’t the least bit surprised to discover that the priority issues of my readers encompass a rejection of the big-government ideology that drives President Obama’s agenda.
Thank you to my readers for sharing your thoughts with me.
November, HERE WE COME!
Email your questions to Jedediah here. If you would like to, please include your city/state.