Here are three questions Religion in the Balance would ask Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tomorrow night:
1. Define the American dream, for this time in our history. If you use the phrase “pursuit of happiness,” define “happiness.” You may refer to economic prosperity and/or income growth no more than once.
2. Formal offices of power, such as President of the United States, confer great power upon the office-holder, but they also constrain the office-holder from certain kinds of bold action and bold truth-telling. Reflect on the limits of presidential power to make the changes America needs. You may refer to Congress and lobbyists no more than once.
3. What period in American history is most closely analogous to our own time, and therefore has lessons for us today; and, on the other hand, to what extent do we face unprecedented challenges/opportunities (unparallelled in history) that require creative, adaptive learning?