Reporter's Notebook

Question of the Week
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The best reader responses to the latest question we asked in our Politics & Policy Daily newsletter (sign up here).

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Q of the Week: How Would You Celebrate Independence Day as President?

Michelle and Barack Obama at a July 4, 2015 celebration on the South Lawn of the White House Andrew Harnik / AP

On July 4, 2008, former President George W. Bush presided over a naturalization ceremony at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plantation in Virginia. Eight years later, former President Barack Obama gave a speech honoring military families after a performance by artists Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monáe. Independence Day 2017 is coming up on Tuesday—so this week, we asked our Politics & Policy Daily readers how they would celebrate the holiday if they were president. Here’s what they said.

Alex Taylor would take a page out of Bush’s book with a “naturalization ceremony for citizens with an emphasis on military members and their families at an appropriate national park.” For Alex, that would be somewhere like Liberty Island or the Grand Canyon—and everyone would be welcome to attend, with cake and ice cream to follow.

Mary Lung would take the holiday overseas, to U.S. troops serving abroad:

I would spend the entire weekend visiting the forgotten military serving in dangerous areas and treat them to grilled favorites and delicious pies and desserts and sit down and eat with them.  If possible, I’d bring some entertainers with me to let them know they are not forgotten.  

Joe Bookman would throw a history party of sorts, and ask a group of historians like David McCullough and Doris Kearns-Goodwin to speak about what—and who—has made American great.

In that vein, Maria Ayala would hold a ceremony celebrating “American Indians, Mexican Americans (the original owners of the Southwest), and African Americans for contributing lives, sweat, and tears that sent this country forward”—taking a solemn moment to recognize that slavery helped to build the U.S.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

On Monday, Democrats unveiled a new agenda, “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future,” that they hope will help them reclaim a majority in Congress. The plan includes emphasizing better-paying jobs, lowering health-care costs, and cracking down on big business. So this week, we asked Politics & Policy Daily readers what their slogan would be if they were drafting a new plan to appeal to Americans. Here’s what they said.

Americans on both sides of the aisle are “tired of politicians helping their millionaire and billionaire buddies get richer,” writes Adam H. from California, so perhaps the best slogan would be “Working for the Working Class”—something Adam says reflects what all Americans want: “someone who is on their side fighting for them.”

In crafting her slogan, Ita Sanders said she’d focus on something containing an “action phrase”:

The “Better Deal” slogan does not inspire positive movement. Look at what came before: Obama: “Yes we can.”  Trump: “Make America Great Again.” The Democrats’ new slogan needs to be an actual call to positive action. Hillary's “Stronger Together” was descriptive—not actually pro-active.

Maggie Mahar from New York would offer “A Better Future for All Americans: Looking Forward, Not Back.” When President Trump promises to make America great again, she writes, “he seems to be looking back to the ’50s. But for more than half of all Americans (women, minorities, seniors) the ’50s was not a  ‘great’ decade.”