Dear President Obama and Former Governor Romney,

As election day nears and we the people cast our votes for leader of the United States of America, I find that neither of you has convinced me, without a doubt, that you are the superior candidate.

And I am ultimately aware that it is me, and others like me, who will be deciding the future for one of you and for all of us in this great nation.  We are a minority, yet we hold the key to this election.

Why do I think this?

Because you are now running neck and neck – as great a race as The Kentucky Derby.  Nose to nose, you thunder to the finish line.   The percentages who are not likely to change their minds are fairly equal.  There are some in each party who will vote for the candidate that represents it regardless of that candidate’s abilities and qualifications.  You will not change their minds.  Polls show that this is equal in amounts of Democrats and Republicans.

So it is the few – the small minority – who will decide, approximately 16%.  I count myself among them and if you wish to get re-elected or elected as the case may be, here is what I would like to know.  Talking with others who are like-minded, they too may choose based on how well you answer a few rough questions.

I want to go straight to healthcare.  This is the issue receiving the most noise.  And here’s the problem.  The entire nation supports some type of reform – some type of coverage for every American.   But in every debate of the last election, the insurance companies were singled out as the cause of the collapse.  Yet, we are being forced to give them MORE money under the current healthcare reform act.

If they were the problem to begin with, why give them more money?  Why force Americans to purchase services from giant corporations who have reported record-breaking incomes – the top ten earning profits in excess of $13.1 Billion in 2011.

And according to The New York Times, “yet the companies continue to press for higher premiums, even though their reserve coffers are flush with profits and shareholders have been rewarded with new dividends.”  They are also forcing the deductible higher and higher, some as high as $2,000.00.

According to Forbes, there is an additional $48 Billion in medicare fraud.

Mr. President, I would like to know why we didn’t force those responsible for this disaster to clean up their own mess or simply replace them with national healthcare.  Couldn’t you give them one year?  If they then fail to provide a plan that will cover everyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions and unreasonable deductibles, then it is due to lack of consideration for the longevity of their service.  We can let them go the way of the cotton gin or the horse-drawn buggy.

If insurance companies can still report such revenues after negotiating with healthcare providers, then certainly one large American Healthcare Organization could do the same.  And add to that the billions in fraud, and we could have the most efficient healthcare in the world.  Mr. President, with all due respect, it is the most capitalist move I have ever witnessed.  I do not understand the socialist moniker being slapped across Obamacare.  It is not socialist.  It is the handing over of revenue by force to independent companies.  That is what we don’t like.  Can you explain this?

Governor Romney, would you please tell us how this differs from the same program you instituted in Massachusetts?  I understand that our president used your program as his model.  So what is it that differs and why are you so against it instead of being flattered that you fathered this idea?

As of yesterday, Gallup Polls shows an increase in job performance for the president to 53% in favor and 42% against.  Housing markets are up, housing prices are up, and the stock market is rising.  Mitt Romney, how can you consider this a failure?

Also, former Governor Romney, can you explain your faith in the numbers of unemployment when they are in excess of 8%, but then call the agency reporting these numbers cheaters when they fall below that percentage?  In fairness, thumping the importance of the 8% and denigrating the agency’s reputation when it is no longer in that range, doesn’t bode well for your own reputation.

However, in support of you, Mitt Romney, I believe your skills at running big business and decision-making are your top qualities.  From the state of Massachusetts to the Olympics in Utah, you have proven to be economically smart.  This alone earns you, Mr. Romney, great points toward gaining many votes.

As for economic recovery though, I think you have been about as clear on your plan as you have been on your tax returns.  Neither seems obvious to anyone.  It is easy to promise that you have a ‘secret’ plan.  Share it with us, please.  Patent your ideas if you are afraid someone will steal them, but put them out on the table for us to dissect.  They may indeed surpass anything the president has done to date, but without your disclosure, how will we judge?

To both of you, what are your intentions concerning the high cost of gas?

There are some in Congress who seem totally out of touch with the importance of our economy on lowering the price of gas.  I have heard suggestions from more than one that we should all buy tiny electric cars.  Really?  Can you educate them or just send them home?

Unless you are making – by hand – everything that you eat, wear, live in, heat with and own, the cost of it is directly related to the price of fuel.  Farmers need diesel for their tractors, propane for their heaters, and gasoline for the trucks taking their products to market.  Ever seen an electric car pulling a trailer of corn or cattle?  Furniture cannot be delivered to the stores in an electric car.  Nor can enough wheat be delivered to the bread bakers, and bread to the grocers.  Everything is priced in some way based on the manufacturing and delivery costs.  Hotels, restaurants, tourism, wineries, mail delivery, garbage removal, sanitation – everything from toilet paper to electronics – is effected by the price of gas.  Electricity has gone up over the last year by as much as 20%.  As we pay more and more for products and services, we are left with less and less purchasing power.  This is how many of us perceive the issue.  How would each of you solve it?  Would either of you be in favor of an American Oil Company that is not part of OPEC?  What if that company was given sole rights to the wilderness in Alaska?  What if that would bring the price down to $1.50 per gallon, as it should be a non-profit?

If we were not hostage to OPEC and the oil from the Arab Nations, would our policies change?

As for social issues, would each of you address the marriage equality act and the importance of separating Church and State?  As a Christian, I believe in the right of every Church to decide for themselves the rules of marriage within the confines of their temple, synagogue, and church.  They should not be forced to marry anyone.  That being said, I also do not believe that religion should dictate to government and that equal rights for the pursuit of happiness are guaranteed in our Constitution.  To say otherwise, is against the foundation of this country.  Our first lady, Michelle Obama, has spoken for the president when she stated clearly in her speech for the Democratic Convention that she and her husband both believed in the rights of everyone to choose freely who they loved and married.  But I would like to hear it from you, Mr. President and from you, Governor Romney.  Where do you stand on the issue of marriage equality?

And speaking of equality, where do you both stand on the issue of healthcare for women?  There has been a lot of backlash following the unfortunate comments made by a couple of Republicans – most notably Todd Akin – on the confusion many men have about how a women gets pregnant, how that pregnancy is handled, and who should decide.  This is likely where you, Mr. President, are getting a bump among women – 49% to Mr. Romney’s 43%.  Governor Romney, explain for us how you differ from many within your party and how you perceive Roe vs. Wade.

And speaking of rights, the right to bear arms has been attacked by many Democrats.  The NRA supports Republican candidates due to this issue.  Where do you really stand on this Mr. President?  Do you intend to infringe on the right to own and bear arms?  I believe you, Mitt Romney, have already confirmed your support.  But you haven’t been upfront about your support for unions and as an attack on the right of workers to unionize has been popularized among many Republicans, I would like to hear where you stand on that issue.

I would also like to know how you each rationalize the tax code and the proposed limitation of deductions.  What is left to challenge that doesn’t hit the middle class right in the gut?

The next debate is at Hofstra University.  You both say that higher education is a must for our youth – the ones we are bestowing a huge deficit to.  But how will they afford this education?  Over the past decade, tuition to universities and colleges has doubled and in some cases tripled.  While the poor qualify for grants and scholarships and the rich are not unduly effected, the middle class is finding that they haven’t been able to keep up with the growing cost of higher education.  What are you each proposing to do about this?  Are there any programs you would support that would pay for the education of our youth provided they study fields of particular interest to America – energy, foreign languages, teaching, engineering, technology, medicine, economics, etc.?  Governor Romney, the Mormon Church educates its youth in exchange for their missions.  Would you support such a program for the nation?

The most contradicting issue of the Obama presidency has been the promise of peace and the continuation of war.  And although we have left Iraq – with the exception of a small troop left to guard the embassy in Baghdad – and killed Osama bin Laden, no small achievement, we are still involved in Afghanistan, Libya, and Pakistan, while the Sudanese and Syrian conflicts are sucking us in as clearly as Iran has been baiting us with its promise of nuclear capabilities.  Egypt, Turkey, Israel all face uncertainty and India is straddling a tight fence with its neighbors.  Greece, Italy, Spain, and Zimbabwe are facing economic uncertainty and growth has slowed for the European Union, Canada, and the United States.  Global unrest vibrates.  What are your international policies – or proposed policies – for the next four years in the face of these trying times?

An electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) could disrupt our space satellite from its ability to transmit, disabling the internet, our computerized equipment, communication, and basically – life as we know it.  Newt Gingrich made a firm case for the necessity to protect the satellite.  Mr. President, what are you doing toward this effort?  Mr. Romney, if you are elected, what are your intentions regarding satellite security?

And the final question that I would like to know the answer to from each of you would be how you intend to stop the nastiness between the parties once you are elected or re-elected.  The determination to undermine the president simply because he is of the opposite party must end.  Ultimately, if the president succeeds, America succeeds.  If he fails, we all fail.

All.  Not just the Democrats or just the Republicans.

All Americans.

How will you reach across the aisle?  How will you listen?  How will you respond?  How will you represent all Americans and our interests once you have the complete faith of our great nation in the palm of your hand?

To my readers, what would you like to know that I haven’t asked? Please leave your comments in the form of a question to the candidates.