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Questions for Hillary Clinton

In my latest Pittsburgh Tribune-Review column I put some questions to Hillary Clinton.  A slice:

You often laud your years of experience in Washington as one of the major advantages you have over your political opponent. Yet you have also said that, because you are a woman, “you cannot imagine anyone being more of an outsider” than you would be if you become the first woman president in U.S. history.

How do you reconcile your assurances that your many years in Washington have supplied you with enormous amounts of valuable governing experience with your insistence that you are a Washington “outsider”?

You rightly ridicule Donald Trump for claiming that imports damage the American economy while, as a profit-seeking businessman, importing into America much of what his companies sell here. So how do you explain, for example, your Giorgio Armani jacket? Aren’t you – a buyer of imports – also a hypocrite for campaigning against imports?

Speaking of trade, you say that if domestic pharmaceutical prices rise too high, you would arrange for “emergency importation” of drugs. Why is it OK to rely on foreign competition to keep drug prices in check but not to keep the prices of clothing, furniture and food in check?

If imports keep domestic prices in check, why should we Americans have to wait for the president to issue an emergency order before we’re allowed to buy less costly imported pharmaceuticals?

In 2005 as a U.S. senator, you introduced the Flag Protection Act, which would have, had it been enacted, made burning the American flag illegal. Each violator of this legislation would have been subject to one year in prison and a fine of $100,000. How do you justify caging and fining someone merely for burning a striped and starred cloth? It’s true that many people are offended by flag burning. But an open and free society requires freedom of peaceful expression — and freedom of peaceful expression inevitably offends many people. Do you believe that merely being offended by someone else’s peaceful actions is sufficient reason for the state to protect sensitive souls from having to experience such offense? Do you think that freedom of expression is so unimportant that we Americans can discard it and remain a free people?


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