"Do you believe that Barrack Obama being President will make it easier or harder for another minority to be elected?"There are a large number of underlying presumptions that could be connected to this question. Which is why most people and politicians in particular, won't answer in a straight forward way. "Make it harder" or "make it easier" isn't all they would say. They will qualify the answer.
Assuming that the question will receive an honest answer, the value will be in learning about the presumptions in the mind of the person answering . If they answer in a way that is generally positive about the president, we will gain insight into that persons world view.
If they answer that Obama would make it harder than we know at least two things: 1. The speaker knows B.O. did a bad job, and 2. He thinks voters will remember that an affirmative action president was a bad idea.
The one thing we wouldn't know is if the person answering was a racist. Unless of course they made an explicit remark to that effect. The answer its self gives some insight into the presumptions or world view if you will of the person answering. The interpretation of those answers gives insight into the presumptions of the person asking the question.
Here are some questions from the debate last night. What do think the underlying presumptions of the people asking them are?
“what’s your biggest weakness?”
"Is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?"
"Well, do you hate your job?"
"Does your opposition to it (current budget deal) show that you’re not the kind of problem-solver American voters want?"Lumping the totality of the questions together there seems to be an assumption that 1. Republicans are bad, 2. The person being asked the question is bad because... That is why when Cruz was asked that last question he responded:
CRUZ: You know, let me say something at the outset. The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media.
This is not a cage match. And, you look at the questions — “Donald Trump, are you a comic-book villain?” “Ben Carson, can you do math?” “John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?” “Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?” “Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?”
How about talking about the substantive issues the people care about?
QUINTANILLA: (inaudible) do we get credit (inaudible)?
CRUZ: And Carl — Carl, I’m not finished yet.
CRUZ: The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, “Which of you is more handsome and why?”
(LAUGHTER)It's reasonable to ask candidates hard questions. None of the questions asked were unfair. Not one. Asking why HP's stock tanked after Carly Fiorina ran the company was fair game, as were all the other questions.
The monitors had a set of presumptions behind their questions.
The candidates knew it, and did their best to deal with it.
Cruz knew that the audience had their own presumption, or at least a suspicion that they were being fed a scripted exchange. He capitalized on that assumption. Smart Americans don't trust the government, or the media or politicians.
It also got him out of answering what he would do about the budget.