The Unanswered Questions of the Second Presidential Debate


Illustration by Taylor Penner-Ash

Megumi Rierson, staff writer

Illustration by Taylor Penner-Ash
Illustration by Taylor Penner-Ash

The second presidential debate that aired last Sunday featured a smorgasbord of substantive policy discussions and comments by both candidates that will be cited heavily in the forthcoming history books on the implosion of American democracy. The debate was loosely structured as a town hall, where everyday Americans positioned like decorative ferns were given a chance to get a real sense of the political process by formulating questions on policy issues that the candidates intentionally misinterpreted, pivoted away from or ignored, just as the founding fathers intended.

The moderators of the debate knew that the average voter cannot be trusted to produce ratings-worthy content, so questions were solicited over social media to ensure that the debate stayed away from the trivial issues of health care reform and climate change and instead, focused on questions that would allow the candidates to shriek incoherently over each other for as long as possible. The Wire has obtained access to the unanswered questions submitted by Whitman students via social media.


  1. If elected, how will you ensure that philosophy majors are useful in the new economy?
  2. What is your three-pronged plan for the small lake that forms in the winter on Ankeny by the fish sculpture?
  3. How soon after your election would I get to stop paying Whitman?
  4. What is your stance on trigger warnings?
  5. Is there an app that turns off notifications specifically for your fundraising emails?
  6. Can you get me a signed poster of the girls from Broad City?
  7. How will you address the systemic inequalities inherent in and perpetuated by the GoPrint system?
  8. When did the bookstore sweatshirts get so goddamn expensive?
  9. Would you like to be on my Power and Privilege panel?
  10. What kind of animal rights legislation will you introduce to address the recent uptick in Whitman students’ Instagrammable pet ownership?
  11. When are your office hours?
  12. How will you ensure that all ethnically ambiguous students are given equal opportunity to be plastered on Whitman promotional materials?
  13. Why don’t they take flex when I go wine tasting?
  14. Are you writing in Michelle Obama on your ballot too?
  15. When will snapchat geotags be free for all Americans?
  16. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing white males today?
  17. Have you thought about having a poetry slam for your next debate?
  18. How does the relentless passage of time and the persistence of our fleeting mortality render most of your posturing insignificant?
  19. What exactly is an endowment and where can I get one?
  20. Why haven’t you followed me back?