Ask the Candidates 2012

Ask the Candidates 2012

National Day of Action: On October 17, Ask the Candidates About Atrocity Prevention

President Obama and Governor Romney will soon face off in the October 22 Foreign Policy Debate, moderated by Bob Schieffer, the host of Face the Nation on CBS. The world is waiting to hear what the two presidential candidates will highlight as their most critical foreign policy concerns. In the midst of global mass atrocities and conflicts - in Sudan, Syria, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more - we need to make sure that atrocities prevention is one of those priorities.

So let’s make our voices heard! On Wednesday, October 17, students across the country will contact Mr. Schieffer via email and Twitter to respectfully ask that he press the candidates to articulate their plans for atrocity prevention. But we’re not just going to send emails that can easily be deleted. We’re taking it to the streets: your messages will be hand-delivered to Mr. Schieffer’s office by STAND students!

Take 2 quick actions to ask the candidates about their plans for atrocity prevention. Even better: get 10 other people (friends, family, members of your organization, random classmates) to do the same!

Step 1: Tweet @bobschieffer

Throughout the day on October 17, Tweet the following or similar text:

.@bobschieffer In #debates, plz ask: "As prez, how will you strengthen US govts capacity to prevent atrocities before they occur?" #genprev

Step 2: Send An Email or Fax, and We’ll Deliver It!

It’s simple: On or before Wednesday, October 17, copy and paste the text below in an email to (be sure to personalize the top three lines with your name, phone number, and city/state). Of course, feel free to edit the text as you see fit. We’ll print out the emails we receive and deliver them to Bob Schieffer’s office in Washington, DC. Even better: write a handwritten note, scan it, and email it to or fax it to 202-833-1479! Of course, handwritten letters can be shorter than the sample text below.

FROM: [your name here]
PHONE #: [your phone number here]
LOCATION: [your city and state here]

Dear Mr. Schieffer,

Thank you for your role in moderating this year’s third presidential debate. We are confident that your leadership, guidance, and critical inquiry will ensure a constructive debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

As we move towards the debate, I wanted to raise a particular issue of concern, which I feel merits addressing during your moderated discussion. Over the past decade, numerous conflicts, including those in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, and Syria, have been characterized by large-scale atrocities against civilians. Once mass atrocities begin, options for effective intervention are often limited. We know, however, that prevention is possible. Presidents Bush and Obama have applied preventative tools to diverse cases, including Kenya’s post-election violence, South Sudan’s independence referendum, and post-election tensions in Kyrgyzstan. Last April, President Obama announced the creation of an Atrocities Prevention Board, which will serve as a clearinghouse for high-level coordination on early warning, institutional training, and policy leadership.

Moving forward, it is important that the next administration build upon this progress. With that in mind, I would be grateful if you asked the following question:

As president, what would you do to strengthen the U.S. government’s capacity to prevent genocide and other mass atrocities before they occur?

Thank you for your consideration. 

STAND | 202.643.7238 | 1800 Wyoming Ave NW, Third Floor | Washington, DC 20036

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