Unclassified Info: Hard questions for the candidates

For a long time, I have wanted to weigh in on the race for the White House. But rather than express my singular, liberal viewpoint, I thought it would be more valuable to let a melting pot of individuals have their say.

I've noticed a lot of discontent from many sides as people look for answers from their candidates. In my opinion, there are important issues to be addressed that seem to go completely ignored. Gauging by what friends in my social network are posting, they agree.

With that in mind, I asked the following: “If you were given the opportunity to ask one meaningful question to either candidate, what would it be? What topic is being underserved by the posturing of your candidate or the one you oppose?”

In truth, I had expected people to ask heated questions of the opposing party. But much to my surprise and delight, the overwhelming majority of responses were bipartisan questions aimed fairly at both sides.

I have long believed if we take away the rhetoric, both sides of this race are fundamentally asking the same questions. When we get off our soap boxes, there seems to be less dividing us. The answers to my question seem to validate my belief.

On the flip side, it also proves that neither side is getting the answers it deserves.

So if you are out there, Mr. President and Mr. Romney, and you feel inclined, the people below have some things they'd like to know.

Kevin in Eagle Rock asks, “Do you think it is possible for a candidate to represent the common man in the current privately funded election system, and if so, how?”

Kelvin in Fairfield asks: “Somewhere between now and the election, can you articulate a positive vision of what you want to do in the next four years?”

Henry in Perris asks: “I would like for either candidate to share his plan for keeping the U.S. an economic global leader while being socially and environmentally responsible. Can we see that plan now?”

Beck in El Cajon wants to know: “When are you planning to stop the mud-slinging and start addressing some of our more serious problems? Are you trying to take our attention away from the bigger issues, such as our economy and medical benefits? I have yet to hear either side explain in depth their vision or provide some clear, sensible, logical and concrete evidence to back it up.”

Elizabeth in Ventura says: “Provide a clear economic plan now for the next four years that would include job creation and keeping or bringing back jobs to the U.S. — a plan that would instill confidence in the corporations that are sitting on trillions of dollars to reinvest in our country once again and inspire confidence in the American people as a whole.”

Jennifer in Cincinnati asks, “Do you notice that the planet is burning up? How will you like D.C. in the summer?”

As far as Gary from Glendale is concerned, I have the following question for President Obama: “Pretend that I was in a bar with 30 other people and we were all just murdered by a man with an assault rifle. How would you tell my children and all the other victims' families that such dangerous weapons must be protected under the 2nd Amendment?”

I also have a question for Mr. Romney: “It is my understanding that your tax rate is approximately 14%. Mine is 34%. For the sake of argument, let's assume my net income is more critical to my well-being than that of a millionaire with multiple homes, thus the 20% taken from me hinders my ability to enjoy both saving money and vacationing with my children. Would you mind explaining to my children why our tax rates are different, and why that is good for them?”

GARY HUERTA is a Glendale resident and author. He is currently working on his second novel and the second half of his life. Gary may be reached at gh@garyhuerta.com.

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