How does one person go about holding the power of life and death,
in familiar places and all over the world?
How do you know enough about enough issues, and enough about
how to rely on people who know far more on some of them?
What is it like to try to be a person of integrity in a role where moral
ambiguity and sheer uncertainty are pervasive?
How does one deal with regular failure and partial success, while
sustaining the ego necessary to be the leader of a nation and
of the free world?
What does a candidate for president know about effective ways to
operate the organization of the White House, let alone the vast
These are some of the things a person seeking to be president of the United States has to prepare for. They are at the core of how to be person who is president and how to do the job of president.
Campaigns should probe these matters and encourage candidates and citizens to probe them. Yet campaigns rarely do. We are going to change that.
We want questions like these to be pervasive in the campaign leading to the election of a new president in 2020. We are going to start by making sure that no serious candidate for the office can campaign in southern New Hampshire without answering questions like these. We will put questions like these into the hands of citizens who meet presidential candidates up close, and we will press journalists and debate moderators to ask them.
And – we ourselves will host and broadcast our own forums, to interview candidates one at a time for extended back-and-forth and probing on these types of questions.
We are religious leaders from different faiths and denominations, serving congregations encompassing several hundred households and working in service and educational organizations in and around Nashua, New Hampshire. We have been committed to public service in our local community beyond our congregations. Week in and week out, we are public educators about values, ethical philosophy and deep analysis applied to public life. As the 2020 presidential election approaches, we believe that we have a unique responsibility and a unique opportunity in this state that itself has a unique role in the screening of candidates for president.
We are leaders within a wider interfaith community in Greater Nashua, whose other leaders we collaborate with on a variety of projects. We ourselves, and many of our congregants, are active volunteers and board members of area agencies and civic organizations – soup kitchens, transitional housing, adult education, universities, Rotary Clubs among many others. Our contact network throughout New Hampshire is 8000 people and counting, and they are not only the usual people who follow political campaigns in the early primary season.
Though we the organizers are religious, this initiative is not about a litmus test of faith, any specific faith, or specific faith-driven policies. Nor do we speak only to people of faith or affiliated with religious groups. Our goal is to speak with candidates and the community in the reflective, philosophical, and probing way that all of our faiths model and teach.
To learn more about the project —
or if you are with a campaign and want to
schedule a forum with us!
contact Rabbi Jon Spira-Savett
firstname.lastname@example.org (603) 809-9736