As he has done in the past, yesterday Senator (and 2016 Presidential Candidate) Bernie Sanders took to reddit for a live, unscripted Q&A. Anyone and everyone was invited to join the conversation and ask him any questions at all. Because the questions come from voters and citizens and not the media, you really get to see what concerns people and how the candidate will candidly and spontaneously respond.
Because of the length of the “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) and all of the thousands of responses, it has been condensed here by distilling the question and Bernie Sanders’ responses, which are to-the-point. The responses and debates that were triggered by his answers are well worth reading.
The questioning started with someone asking the best way for constituents to communicate their wishes to their elected officials and, specifically, how to voice their opposition to currently pending trade agreements. Bernie’s response:
The responses from Vermont voters confirmed that he is indeed very accessible–some even called interacting with him in the community “unavoidable.”
The next question about electoral reform–including eliminating the electoral college completely–and if he supports “a single transferable voting system for congress that would allow smaller parties to compete.”
The responses to this–and they are well worth the read over on reddit–were much more varied, but supportive of an overhaul of the current electoral system.
The next question was how he felt about US ground military operations in the Middle East “against ISIS or Bashar Asad in Syria.” Again, his response is pointed:
The next question posed to Senator Sanders was about his stance on nuclear power, nuclear energy technology and taxpayer funding.
The next questioner wanted to know what would be first on the to-do list of a President Sanders.
The next questioner wanted to know what his stance is on scientific funding, research labs, NIH and NSF, environmental legislation and science education and literacy in the United States.
On the NSA and wiretapping:
On higher education and tuition:
On getting people involved in the political process:
On whether or not he believes there is such a thing as a “just” war and if he would be willing to commit armed forces into other countries:
The next questioner wanted to know if Bernie had ever 1) changed a stance (flip-flopped) on any issues; 2) how would a President Sanders get around filibusters and obstruction of legislation that would help the middle class:
The next questioner wanted to know his stance on UBI (Universal Basic Income) and his plan for combatting income inequality and poverty in the United States.
On NASA and space exploration:
On unemployment due to automation:
On 1) US relations with Latin America; and 2) does he feel that 6 debates for presidential primaries is enough to cover all the important issues:
On what is the most useful thing to help his campaign other than donating cash:
On grassroots support and education:
On decriminalizing marijuana:
On transgender in the military:
On GMO foods:
At which point the discussion appeared to have ended for Bernie Sanders, but everyone else is still debating his responses. Very interesting indeed. It will be interesting to see if other candidates are willing to go live and unscripted like this as well.
Featured image from reddit.