In his article Answering 20 Questions Liberals Wanted to Ask a Conservative, John Hawkins provides a list of 20 questions submitted to him on Twitter, together with his answers. I’m going to reproduce the questions here with my answers.
1) Do Republicans honestly believe voter fraud is a real issue and not just a blatant excuse to suppress minority vote. Please provide proof.
I don’t think its a big issue. I too would like to see some proof. Hawkins offers some evidence in his reply.
2) Why are conservatives anti-progress?
I am not anti-progress. There are many “progressive” policies that I question, and I think that overall, government is antithetical to progress.
3) If you’re a Christian how do you reconcile Good Samaritan/Sermon of the Mount with Trump denying Arab children safe passage?
As Jesus said, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Being a Christian is about how one relates to others as an individual. I see the need for national governments to protect our societies from those who would take advantage of us and do us harm. Since liberals are generally for the separation of church and state, it seems odd that in this case, you want to conflate them.
4) Why do so many people say Trump isn’t racist? Or say they voted for him despite that and feel OK with it?
I don’t know if Trump is racist. Many of his actions that have been attributed to racism don’t seem to be. For example, the goals of stopping illegal immigration and preventing terrorists from entering the country seem in no way racist to me, though one could argue with how effective his actions to achieve them are. Also, I would guess that he supported these actions simply to get elected, rather than because he is racist.
5) Doesn’t the president alarm you? What do you think about mass resignations and attempts to silence agencies?
I’m waiting to see what he does. So far, bombing Syria is one of the more alarming things he’s done. Mass resignations are understandable. Silencing agencies whose bureaucrats were hired by the previous administration and who are actively opposing the incoming one is an unsurprising move.
6) How do conservatives square a pro-life abortion policy with persistent attacks against the welfare state?
At some point, you have to agree that killing a child is murder. Those who choose to say that that point is earlier than you do are not responsible for creating these children. If children are unwanted, they can be put up for adoption. Opposing the welfare state, which has enormous negative consequences on society, and opposing late term abortions do not seem to be contradictory positions.
7) If conservatives believed in the marketplace of ideas, and observed voter fraud is low, wouldn’t they want everyone to vote?
I do want every legal citizen to vote.
8) Why are they so against an investigation into Russian ties with Donald Trump?
I don’t care about the investigation, but I find the media circus around it, when no evidence has yet been presented, to be ridiculous. It truly is “fake news”.
9) What is up with the obsession some conservatives have with cuckoldry?
Cuck is a shorthand expression for those who have caved to the system. Hawkins smears anyone using the term “cuck” as an alt-right neo-nazi. Calling anyone who uses this term a nazi is definitely virtue signalling. Thus, Hawkins himself is being a cuck.
10) Why don’t conservatives seem to give a damn about climate change?
I care about it a great deal. I object to skeptics being smeared, when the 3 degree increase due to human CO2 emissions is based on scientific models, rather than observations. I also find the idea that governments can solve climate change laughable, and think there is a good chance they will do significant needless harm with their carbon taxes, and that those worst harmed will be the poor.
11) What is the conservative view of Trump’s infrastructure plan? Good, bad, socialism?
It’s probably bad economically. I am an advocate of having the government building infrastructure that is beneficial but otherwise wouldn’t be built (like hydroelectric power plants, bridges, and transit). Borrowing to build infrastructure when you are already in debt isn’t sound, but doing it when interest rates are low is better than waiting until they go up.
12) Where is the line for you? What action could Trump take that would ensure you’d fight against him and his supporters?
Starting a war would do it. I’m already against his plan to increase military spending and upgrade the US nuclear arsenal. Actually, the border fence is one of his spends that I have the least problem with, though hopefully it will be funded with tariffs on Mexico, not with additional debt.
13) Do you still believe Trump’s business conflicts won’t be a problem after seeing the countries included/excluded in the ban?
I have to agree with Hawkins: It’s unclear how these things are connected.
14) Free press is fundamental to democracy. So why do Republican’s only trust media that flatters current administration much like state run media?
Why do Democrats trust media that actively supports the previous administration, and is run by their donors? They (e.g. the Wall Street Journal) are actively trying to censor new media sites on YouTube. Why aren’t Democrat’s concerned with their “fake news” conspiracy theories and suppression of other sources of news which deserve equal protection as free press?
15) Why should we allow Bannon to wield power & influence?
He’s an advisor, not an elected official, so its unclear how much power he wields. Who’s going to stop him having influence? Having influence is not illegal or immoral. If his ideology doesn’t make sense, Trump is free to ignore him. Since Trump was elected by a democratic process, you’re stuck with him listening to who he finds most credible. If you want to influence him, be credible, and stop shouting “Russia” every five minutes.
16) How can a conservative square the funding request for the wall with past demands that spending be offset elsewhere?
It should be funded with tariffs, not by debt. Trump has hinted that he will do this.
17) Does it bother you that tiny number of richest people have the same wealth as bottom half of entire world pop?
18) Why do conservatives assume that Black people’s views on society are a result of brainwashing by the left rather than by our own experience?
19) Is there any point at which the electoral college/popular vote split would become a concern?
It is a concern. Proportional representation may work in the densely populated homogeneous countries in Europe, but it will fail in any large federation. Giving too little or too much power to any one region will cause the federation to fragment, as is currently happening to the EU with the UK leaving. When the popular vote is heavily influenced by a small minority of geographies, they will feel hard done by if the rest of the country goes against them, but if they were allowed to have their way, the rest of the country would feel the same way. If the difference grows to great, you will see a secession movement, like we’ve had in Canada with Quebec, or the UK has with Scotland.
20) Why are you more comfortable with banning foreigners than banning assault weapons?
I’m against banning legal immigrants who are a benefit to my country. A person with evil intentions makes me more uncomfortable than a tool. Guns can be used for both good (defence) and evil (crime). They are not in themselves evil. Automatic weapons are illegal in Canada, and I’m fine with that. I don’t think semi-automatic hunting rifles should be banned. They are necessary if you live outside the cities.