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How U.S. Presidential Candidates Answer 20 Basic Questions

By David Swanson
http://davidswanson.org/how-u-s-presidential-candidates-answer-20-basic-questions/


1. What would you like the U.S. discretionary budget to look like? With 60% now going to militarism, what percentage would you like that to be?

Mike Gravel: Cut military spending by 50%.

Howie Hawkins: Cut military spending by 50%.

Bernie Sanders: Cut military spending by an unknown amount.

Marianne Williamson: Convert to a peaceful economy over 10 to 20 years.

Andrew Yang: Cut military spending by an unknown amount; move 10% to military-like infrastructure force.

Julian Castro: Website provides no positions on anything other than immigration and relations with Central America.

Tulsi Gabbard: One website provides no positions on anything, another doesn’t say. We can look to her voting record. She has voted against cutting the military budget.

Elizabeth Warren: Website doesn’t say. She has voted for enormous military budgets.

Pete Buttigieg: Website provides no positions on anything.

Beto O’Rourke: Website doesn’t say.

Kamala Harris: Website provides no positions on anything. She has voted for enormous military budgets.

Joe Biden: Isn’t running.

Amy Klobuchar: Website provides no positions on anything. She has voted for enormous military budgets.

Donald Trump: Proposes to move yet more funding from almost everything else into military spending, boosting the latter to roughly 65% of federal discretionary spending across departments, not counting another 7% for Veterans Affairs.

Cory Booker: Website provides no positions on anything. He has voted for enormous military budgets.

Eric Swalwell: Website provides no positions on anything other than guns, healthcare, and education.

Tim Ryan: Doesn’t seem to have a website.

John Delaney: Website provides an array of positions as if 96 percent of humanity and 65 percent of discretionary spending doesn’t exist: no foreign policy, except that he wants mandatory “service” with the military being one option.

Jay Inslee: Website provides no positions on anything other than climate, which position avoids mentioning the military either as a destroyer of climate or a source of funding that could be moved to climate.

Wayne Messam: Website doesn’t say, but promotes hostility toward Russia and China.

John Hickenloper: Website provides no positions on anything.

Kirsten Gillibrand: Website doesn’t say.

Howard Schultz: Website provides no positions on anything other than coffee.

2. What program of economic conversion to peaceful enterprises would you support?

Marianne Williamson hints at this topic.
Howie Hawkins hints at this topic.
Mike Gravel hints at this topic.

Trump: none.

Everybody else is silent.

3. Would you end, continue, or escalate U.S. war making in: Afghanistan? Iraq? Syria? Yemen? Pakistan? Libya? Somalia?

Tulsi Gabbard: One website provides no positions on anything, but she has voted to end the war on Yemen and said she would end the wars on Syria and Afghanistan. Another website says she would end the wars on Yemen and Syria. But she has voted to keep the AUMF in place.
Bernie Sanders: He would end the war on Yemen, and he sort-of seems to suggest that he would end the wars on Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq. He has voted to end the war on Yemen and against keeping the war on Afghanistan going.

Elizabeth Warren: Website doesn’t say. She has voted to end the war on Yemen and against keeping the war on Afghanistan going, and suggested she would end the wars on Afghanistan and Syria.
Mike Gravel: Website seems to effectively communicate the intention to end each of these wars, because he would close all bases, and pursue friendly relations with all countries. However, he would also “make war Constitutional,” as if the Congress can Constitutionally violate the UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
Howie Hawkins: Website seems to effectively communicate the intention to end each of these wars, but — like Gravel’s — doesn’t explicitly say so.
Marianne Williamson: Website seems to suggest she would end all wars, but does not say.

Kirsten Gillibrand: Website doesn’t say, but she’s voted to end the war on Yemen and supported ending the war on Afghanistan.

Andrew Yang: Website doesn’t say.

Julian Castro: Website provides no positions on anything other than immigration and relations with Central America.

Pete Buttigieg: Website provides no positions on anything.

Beto O’Rourke: Website doesn’t say.

Kamala Harris: Website provides no positions on anything.

Joe Biden: Isn’t running.

Amy Klobuchar: Website provides no positions on anything.

Donald Trump: He has escalated wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, and vetoed a bill to end the war on Yemen, and continued wars on Libya, Somalia, and Pakistan.

Cory Booker: Website provides no positions on anything. He’s voted to end war on Yemen.

Eric Swalwell: Website provides no positions on anything other than guns, healthcare, and education.

Tim Ryan: Doesn’t seem to have a website.

John Delaney: Website provides an array of positions as if 96 percent of humanity and 65 percent of discretionary spending doesn’t exist: no foreign policy, except that he wants mandatory “service” with the military being one option.

Jay Inslee: Website provides no positions on anything other than climate, which position avoids mentioning the military either as a destroyer of climate or a source of funding that could be moved to climate.

Wayne Messam: Website doesn’t say, but promotes hostility toward Russia and China.

John Hickenloper: Website provides no positions on anything.

Howard Schultz: Website provides no positions on anything other than coffee.

4. Would you end the exemption for militarism in Kyoto, Paris, and other climate agreements?

– – – crickets – – –

5. Would you sign / ratify any of these treaties: Paris Climate Agreement? Convention on the Rights of the Child? International Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights? International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights optional protocols? Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women? Convention Against Torure optional protocol? International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families? International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance? The Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities? International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries? Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court? Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity? Principles of International Cooperation in the Detection, Arrest, Extradition, and Punishment of Persons Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity? Convention on Cluster Munitions? Land Mines Convention? Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons? Proposed treaties banning the weaponization of space and banning cyber crimes?

Mike Gravel: He lists a few of these he would support and suggests that there would be others.

Howie Hawkins: Website only says: “a recommitment to the recently abandoned arms treaties and to vigorous new negotiations for further reductions toward complete nuclear disarmament.”

Beto O’Rourke: Supports Paris agreement.
Jay Inslee: Website provides no positions on anything other than climate. Has supported the Paris agreement.

Bernie Sanders: Website doesn’t say. Has supported the Paris agreement.

Tulsi Gabbard: Website provides no positions on anything, or doesn’t say. Has supported the Paris agreement.

Elizabeth Warren: Website doesn’t say. Has supported the Paris agreement.
Marianne Williamson: Website doesn’t say.

Andrew Yang: Website doesn’t say.

Julian Castro: Website provides no positions on anything other than immigration and relations with Central America.

Pete Buttigieg: Website provides no positions on anything.

Kamala Harris: Website provides no positions on anything.

Joe Biden: Isn’t running.

Amy Klobuchar: Website provides no positions on anything.

Donald Trump: No.

Cory Booker: Website provides no positions on anything.

Eric Swalwell: Website provides no positions on anything other than guns, healthcare, and education.

Tim Ryan: Doesn’t seem to have a website.

John Delaney: Website provides an array of positions as if 96 percent of humanity and 65 percent of discretionary spending doesn’t exist: no foreign policy, except that he wants mandatory “service” with the military being one option.

Wayne Messam: Website doesn’t say.

John Hickenloper: Website provides no positions on anything.

Kirsten Gillibrand: Website doesn’t say.

Howard Schultz: Website provides no positions on anything other than coffee.

6. Would you halt or continue expenditures on the production and so-called modernization of nuclear weapons?

Mike Gravel: He would get rid of all nukes.

Howie Hawkins: He would get rid of all nukes.

Beto O’Rourke: Website mentions “nuclear disarmament.”

Bernie Sanders: Website doesn’t say.

Tulsi Gabbard: Website provides no positions on anything, or doesn’t say. But she has voted to fund new nukes.

Elizabeth Warren: Website doesn’t say.
Marianne Williamson: Website doesn’t say.

Andrew Yang: Website doesn’t say.

Julian Castro: Website provides no positions on anything other than immigration and relations with Central America.
Jay Inslee: Website provides no positions on anything other than climate.

Pete Buttigieg: Website provides no positions on anything.

Kamala Harris: Website provides no positions on anything.

Joe Biden: Isn’t running.

Amy Klobuchar: Website provides no positions on anything.

Donald Trump: Continue.

Cory Booker: Website provides no positions on anything.

Eric Swalwell: Website provides no positions on anything other than guns, healthcare, and education.

Tim Ryan: Doesn’t seem to have a website.

John Delaney: Website provides an array of positions as if 96 percent of humanity and 65 percent of discretionary spending doesn’t exist: no foreign policy, except that he wants mandatory “service” with the military being one option.

Wayne Messam: Website doesn’t say.

John Hickenloper: Website provides no positions on anything.

Kirsten Gillibrand: Website doesn’t say.

Howard Schultz: Website provides no positions on anything other than coffee.

7. Would you end weapons sales and the provision of military training to any governments? Which?

Mike Gravel would end weapons sales and bring all troops home.
Howie Hawkins would convert weapons dealers into “nonprofit public enterprises.”

Trump: none.

Everybody else is silent.

8. Would you close any foreign bases? Which?

Mike Gravel would close them all.
Howie Hawkins seems to suggest he would close at least some of them.

Trump: no.

Everybody else is silent.

9. Would you halt or continue the practice of murder by missiles from drones?

Every website is silent. Candidates who have said in the past that they would use drones to murder include: Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and Donald Trump.

10. Do you recognize the ban on war, with exceptions, contained in the United Nations Charter? And the ban on threatening war?

– – – crickets – – –

11. Do you recognize the ban on war, without exceptions, contained in the Kellogg-Briand Pact?

– – – crickets – – –

12. Will you end discriminatory bans on immigrants?

Mike Gravel: Yes.

Howie Hawkins: Yes.

Julian Castro: Yes.

Kirsten Gillibrand: Yes.

Bernie Sanders: Yes.

Marianne Williamson: Yes.
Tulsi Gabbard: Yes.

Donald Trump: No.

Andrew Yang: Not clear.

Beto O’Rourke: Not clear.

John Delaney: Not clear.

Wayne Messam: Not clear.

Everybody else is silent.

13. Should actual, non-military, no-strings-attached foreign aid be eliminated, reduced, maintained, or increased? How much?

– – – crickets – – –

14. 84% of South Koreans want the war ended immediately. Should the United States block that?

Mike Gravel: No.
Tulsi Gabbard: No.

Everybody else is silent.

15. Should NATO be maintained or abolished?

– – – crickets – – –

The House voted on a bill to “support NATO” in January 2019, but Rep. Gabbard did not vote.

16. Should the CIA be maintained or abolished?

– – – crickets – – –

17. Should the ROTC be maintained or abolished?

– – – crickets – – –

18. Should domestic police forces be trained by, collaborate with, and be armed by militaries?

– – – crickets – – –

19. Should the U.S. military pay sports leagues, secretly or openly, to celebrate militarism?

– – – crickets – – –

20. How large should the U.S. military’s advertising budget be, and how much should the U.S. government spend promoting the concepts of nonviolent dispute resolution and the abolition of war?

– – – crickets – – –

--

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Help support DavidSwanson.org, WarIsACrime.org, and TalkNationRadio.org by clicking here: http://davidswanson.org/donate.

Sign up for these emails at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/articles-from-david-swanson.


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