My ten questions for our 2012 presidential candidates

Author: Saidas M. “Sai” Ranade is a Houston, Texas-based engineer, author and standup comedian. This article explains why Dr Ranade continues to be “a party of one” at restaurants. For more information about the author please visit:

I am a single, middle-aged, employed (at least for now), Indo-American, Buddhist-leaning Hindu and a left-leaning politically independent professional living in Texas. And, as far as President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are concerned I do not exist!  When it comes to my vote in the presidential elections this time or the past four times, it has not mattered.   Why is Texas not a battleground state? Have they not seen the show “Friday night lights?” Why is it not a “swing state?” Have they not met the couple that lives next door?  I am so tired of being “NOT COUNTED” by the US political system that just to matter, I am now even willing to pretend to be a young unemployed Latin woman from Ohio or an old Jewish man from Florida.

Growing up as a child in India, I was inspired by the leadership of JFK, the idea of Peace Corps and man’s landing on the moon. I have been in the US for over 30 years and have led a fulfilling life. Both President Obama and Governor Romney have undertaken a difficult journey for a very important assignment. I respect that. However lately, there are some aspects of politics that simply do not make any sense to me.

In about a week’s time (October 3, 2012) we will have the opportunity to view the first televised debate between the two candidates running for the president of United States. Some questions are complex with no simple answers. It will be interesting to see how the candidates respond to those questions. Here are my ten questions I would like the moderators to ask the two candidates:

  1. Many small businesses are evading taxes by hiding the “cash only” transactions. Unaccounted for cash is a primary funding source for human, drug and weapons trafficking. What will you do to solve this problem of accounting for all cash transactions?
  2. Once upon a time “Made in the USA” meant something. That perception is changing dramatically. What actions will you take to ensure and guard the rights of the consumers?
  3. I am a professional and I would like to cross-train so I can be prepared for future economic challenges. I want to learn to use a software application but its license is over $3,000.  I will get a student’s license only if I enroll at a University. What will you do to make cross-training opportunities more affordable to professionals like me?
  4. President Obama, printing more money cannot be the solution to all problems. I do not see any major roads being built or a new network of railways or information infrastructure projects in the area where I live. So, what happened to the stimulus money?
  5. Governor Romney, you gave 30 % of your personal income to charities but you are opposed to taxes. It implies that you do not trust the Government but trust a religious organization to allocate and distribute your money. Yet you are running to be the President of the United States.  The United States as of this writing is not a theocracy. Please explain.
  6. Governor Romney, without taxes who would build and maintain infrastructure such as roads, who will provide funding for large scale medical  and space research, who will provide security for the nation?
  7. It is believed that the Taliban have bombed and destroyed girls’ schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. If that is a fact please explain why we are trying to negotiate with the Taliban?
  8. President Obama you said you will close Guantanamo Bay prison. I am not sure why trying these detainees in the US would pose a problem. Please explain.
  9. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive. They do not have the same rights as the men. Why does United States still do business with Saudi Arabia?
  10. Israel keeps building settlements in the Palestinian territories.  What can the United States do about that?

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