As a recovering journalist, I know that working journalists love nothing more than other people telling them how to do their jobs, especially folks who never covered that particular beat. I was never a political reporter, so maybe I shouldn’t be writing this. After all, I don’t have the level of expertise it takes to pitch tons of soft-ball questions to continue my access to a politician and the occasional hard ball designed to make me look cool in front of the other reporters. Or something something something Russia.
The thing is, politicians pretend to be public servants but rarely act like either a servant or a member of the public. There is also a certain breed running around screaming about elitists–and then jumping in a limo or first-class to make their next meeting. So I’ve come up with a list of questions all politicians should be asked. I’ll be honest, I first came up with these because of Donald Trump. And this list is a hell of a lot more fun if you imagine Trump successfully answering ANY of them. But the questions should work for any politician of either party–particularly incumbents.
Ideally, we’d replace political debates with a version of “The Price Is Right,” but until then, let’s stick with these questions. The catch? The politician being questioned can’t turn to a spokesperson for help.
- What does a meal for a family of four cost?
- If you have a family, have you ever made a meal for your family?
- Have you ever made a meal for yourself?
- Do you know how to make a sandwich? If so, describe your favorite sandwich, the ingredients, and your process.
- How much does a loaf of bread cost?
- How much does a gallon of milk cost?
- Who does your grocery shopping?
- Where is that grocery shopping done?
- What is your daily caloric intake–ballpark figure?
- As a government employee, should you eat according to federal dietary guidelines?
- Have you ever walked into a pharmacy to pick up a prescription?
- Did you pay for that prescription or was it covered completely by insurance?
- What does a gallon of gas cost?
- How much does it cost to fill up your car?
- Have you ever pumped your own gas?
- When was the last time you pumped your own gas?
- How often does your family shop for clothes?
- Where does your family shop for clothes?
- Any idea how much you spend on clothes in a given year?
- How many pairs of jeans do you own? What brand?
- Have you ever been inside a Dollar General, Family Dollar, or other discount store?
- Where was your last family vacation? How long did that vacation last?
- What’s the highest level of education you achieved?
- How as college paid for? Loans, scholarships, out of pocket? All of the above?
- If you have children, do you plan on sending them to college? Would you be okay if they decided not to?
I’m sure we could all come up with about a hundred of these questions. Feel free to add them in the comment section. Note that they’re fairly narrow and related to economics and class. Let’s steer clear of religion, sexuality, or anything clearly smacking of partisanship.