Candidates get 20 questions

It will not be long before we are in the midst of political debates in which we get to find out the answers to important questions like who wears boxers and who wears briefs (I am curious to hear what Hillary would answer), who smoked pot in college, and just how religious are you? There will be no end to the questions that have nothing to do with our future, but instead focus on what is in our nation’s rear view mirror.

It amazes me how much Americans allow our debates to turn into detailed finger pointing for answers rather than candidates actually answering the questions posed. Short of showing the public a running tabulation of the number of times a candidate fails to answer the question posed to him/her, we will be subjected to candidates doing everything they can to keep from making any statement that qualifies as a detailed and honest answer.

I am also not interested in hearing candidates tell me what they have done while serving in the Senate, Governor’s mansion, or as Secretary of State. None of that matters to me. What does matter are their answers to twenty questions I would like to see posed to each of our presidential hopefuls. The candidate who can answer these questions the best is the person I want to see as our next president.

  1. Given our current supplies of oil at home and with greater investment being made into solar and wind power, what do we stand to gain by continuing to fight a costly war in the Middle East?
  2. Explain to the American people why you believe the minimum wage should or should not be raised to $15.00 an hour to reflect a “living wage.”
  3. Which of the following do you feel is the greatest concern to our country and which is the least important: the economy, terrorism, China, Russia, or education?
  4. Which specific policies will you implement to improve the opportunities for those who live in poverty that will also ween them from their dependence on government assistance?
  5. What plan do you have that will provide better medical care for our veterans and does that plan include breaking up the VA and offering our vets other sources for their medical care?
  6. Explain what areas in our government have the greatest amount of waste and which one are in need of greater funding.
  7. Do you see Vladimir Putin as a threat to European security and should the United States increase its involvement in the Ukraine or should we remove ourselves all together and let the EU handle it?
  8. What kind of terrorism poses the greatest risk to Americans: the spread of ISIS, al-Qaeda’s desire to strike the U.S. again, or home grown groups?
  9. Is it time for the federal government to step in and fund public works projects such as fresh water pipelines, canals, and the construction of more fresh water storage facilities to help ease the drought stricken west or do you believe these states are on their own to solve this problem?
  10. Alcohol and tobacco kill far more Americans every year than marijuana and yet they are legal in all 50 states. Do you support the legalization of marijuana and if not, shouldn’t we then criminalize alcohol and tobacco?
  11. For the last 30 years or more, the focus in education has been to get as many American students prepared for college as possible. However, during this time, the cost of a college education has skyrocketed and is now far less affordable than it was in the 1980’s. How will you make college more affordable to our high school graduates and is it time to consider using our high schools to better prepare students for alternatives to a college education?
  12. China has almost a billion more people than the United States, giving them a built in source of cheap labor, and far less restrictive environmental regulations. With this in mind, how can the United States keep up with China economically?
  13. The American public has grown tired of the political gridlock in Washington D.C. What specific policy proposals do you feel confident can be supported by both political parties and what will you do differently to promote greater bipartisanship?
  14. Given the many tensions and problems that exist throughout the world, can you tell the American people what are the greatest international concerns we face and how do you intend to address them?
  15. Millennials have grown up in a post 9/11 world in which many have seen their parents lose their jobs, houses, and savings while we have fought one war after another. What can you tell millenials that will restore their faith in our government being able to meet their needs?
  16. Almost half of every tax dollar ends up being spent on some form of the military. How can we lower this amount and still maintain the strongest military in the world while freeing up more tax dollars for underfunded programs?
  17. There seems to be greater racial tension in our nation today than at any time since the civil rights movement. What do you see as its major root causes and how do you intend to correct this?
  18. There seem to be a number of world leaders who do not have a good relationship with our current president. How has this impacted our country and how will you go about repairing those relationships?
  19. Other than tightening up our border, what should the United States be doing to stem the flow of illegal immigration? Should we be more concerned about the level of violence and poverty in Mexico than we are with what is going on in other parts of the world?
  20. The American Dream is no longer what it once was. How do you intend to restore it so Americans of all races, genders, religions, and economic backgrounds can once again believe it is attainable?

Again, all I want is a candidate who can answer these questions without referring to what their opponents will do if elected. Let your opponent answer questions rather than telling us his/her answers and show the public you have the strength and conviction to tell us what you think without worrying about you party’s platform.

Unfortunately, we won’t see this because we live in a nation where a politician’s first responsibility is do what it takes to get elected while their second is to make sure to get reelected. Unfortunately, honest answers to legitimate questions just get in their way.