On Point: A Nation Engaged: Power & the Presidency

Airs Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 7 p.m. As the Trump presidency approaches its 100th day, NPR News is launching a new round of the collaborative project A Nation Engaged, to help foster conversation on the topic of Power & the Presidency with this framing question:

How powerful should any American president be?"

During the week leading up to the 100th day (April 29), four NPR Member stations will pose this question to live audiences with panel discussions and town-hall style events in four presidential libraries around the country. We're pleased to have WABE and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, KCUR and the Harry S Truman Library and Museum, Iowa Public Radio and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, and KCLU and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute hosting these events.

Then, on Thursday, April 27, On Point will take that conversation national with a one-hour Special program focused on key themes that emerge in those events. Host Tom Ashbrook of WBUR will play excerpts from the local conversations and pose these issues to the national radio audience.

  • Many presidents have claimed a mandate to change the way Washington does business. What does this mean to you? How far should a president go in disrupting the work of government? On issues such as immigration, what is the proper balance between the executive branch and the courts?
  • How should members of Congress balance allegiance to a president of their own political party with their Constitutional role as a check on the Executive Branch? Should the press be a check on the presidency? Is the press being more critical of this president than past presidents?
  • You might also consider tying your conversation to the theme of Power & the Presidency by inviting a presidential historian to be one of your guests that week. Or, if your station is near a presidential birthplace, landmark, or historic home, consider having someone from their staff or advisory council on air.