Like it or not it appears increasingly likely our top choices for president of the United States will be phlegmatic old men, both bent on burnishing their respective image as the only person who can save our republic.
With that in mind, here are 20 questions each candidate—Joe Biden and Donald Trump—should be required to answer, without equivocation or bluster, either during a televised debate or during a vetting by the combined editorial boards of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the answers to be published by both newspapers:
What is America’s greatest international challenge?
What is America’s greatest domestic challenge?
What is America’s global role, if any?
Are there any treaties or global organizations you would pull back from or any you would like to enter or foster?
Which foreign leaders, past and present, do you admire and why?
Which of our presidents do you admire and why?
What if any censorship should public libraries have on the books and periodicals they house?
What role should the federal government have over the distribution of water among the states?
Should we change any policy in regard to federal lands, parks, monuments?
Should there be any limitations on development along coastlines threatened by flooding?
What do you believe are the root causes for illegal migration to America and how would you correct those issues?
What obligations, if any does the United States have toward Taiwan?
Are there any federal departments you would eliminate or sharply curtail their functions, institutions such as the FDA, CDC, OSHA, FBI, FTC, IRS?
Are there any new departments or services you would initiate?
Do you support the principle of separation of church and state?
What concerns do you have about the environment in America and the world and, if any, what are the best ways to mitigate them?
What is your assessment of race relations in America, and if needed, how would you improve it?
Do you support the Affordable Care Act? If not, how specifically would you guarantee health care?
Explain in detail your position on reproductive rights, the role of government, judges, doctors in determining a woman’s options during pregnancy?
Should the Constitution be amended to require mandatory retirement at 75 of all elected federal politicians, appointed federal judges and federal/military positions requiring Senate confirmation?