ERROL CASTENS: Dear 2012 hopefuls …

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

Many a man and woman is going to be asking for my vote this year and for many decades to come. (I’m not taking for granted that I will still be living decades from now, but if a coroner’s report gets me purged from elector rolls in Lafayette County, I’ll probably vote in Chicago.)
To save both candidates and yours truly some time in the selection process, I’d like to ask them some questions. Here are a few for federal candidates:
• What does “American exceptionalism” mean?
• What will you do to support the intent of the 10th Amendment?
• What will you do to support the intent of the Second Amendment?
• What will you do to support the intent of the First Amendment – specifically to keep the federal government from infringing on freedom of religion?
• If you’re running for the U.S. Senate, will you vote to confirm only those judicial nominees – at every federal court level – who believe that the Constitution must be interpreted according to original intent of its authors, including the authors of its amendments?
• What will you do to pay down the U.S. debt and establish financial sustainability?
• What will you do to secure U.S. borders and establish a humane and economically sustainable immigration policy?
• What will you do to counter the growing cultural suicide of fatherlessness?
• What currently defined crimes would you decriminalize?
• Which agencies will you vote to merge, downsize or eliminate?
• Will you vigorously oppose federal earmarks?
• Given that being in the seat of power changes nearly everybody’s perspective over time, will you limit yourself to 12 years in Congress, whether House or Senate or both? Will you help enact a constitutional amendment that imposes that limit?
And a few others for state candidates:
• What should the state do or stop doing to counter the growing cultural suicide of fatherlessness?
• What should the state do or stop doing to assure the most return on our collective investment in education?
• What should state government do or stop doing to strengthen free enterprise?
• Which agencies would you vote to merge, downsize or eliminate?
• What currently defined crimes would you decriminalize?
• Given that jail sentences are enormously expensive and are considered a normal cost of business or even a badge of honor among some criminals, what alternative forms of punishment would you support, at least on an experimental basis?
• Will you agree to limit yourself to 12 years in the Legislature, whether House or Senate or both? Will you work to enact a constitutional amendment that imposes that limit?
• Will you support ending the special enhanced retirement system for legislators?
Those’ll do, for a start.
Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens at errol.castens@journalinc.com.