Civil Discourse

Choose from the links below, listen for at least 30 minutes, and post your responses to what you hear.

How do you feel about the direction of our civil discourse in this country?

The first link will take you to C-Span, to a moderated discussion by the respected Tavis Smiley. The second will take you to Democracy Now, a radio and internet program hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. All three of these hosts are important figures in the Independent Media (media not supported by corporate advertising). Independent Media is a forum for free speech and multiple points of view.

Is There a Brighter Future for the Next Generation?

Obama Calls for “Civil and Honest Public Discourse”


9 thoughts on “Civil Discourse

  1. From what I was able to see of the C-Span video it appears that there are indeed people in this country that can engage in civil discourse with each other and actually get things done. This video proves that it is possible to discuss “big” issues in the U.S. without turing them into shouting matches, or trying to slander the person you are talking to (many times it seems like the two people discussing are pitted against each other and are opponents not just talking). The only way that we will ever get things done in the world is to listen to others views and be patient. If we can’t openly discuss issues with people because we think we are right, then we have lost already. I am happy to see that there are indeed still those who can talk to each other.

  2. I completly agree with Sam Sands. I think that the most important way that “America can return to its greatness” is to listen. Members of opposing parties need to listen to each other’s opinions with an open mind in order to get things done. We need to be open to new ideas and hear different views without arguing. It is okay to disagree, but in a polite and respectful way. The C Span video made it clear that listening is the way to a brighter future.

  3. Citizens engaged in civil discourse with Obama as he spoke about Gabrielle Giffords. Civil discourse is used to raise spirit and unite people towards a common goal or feeling. Through civil discourse, patriotism is raised. Obama also used civil discourse to pay homage to Giffords. Civil discourse should be used to band people together. So, i think that civil discouse is going in a good direction. At least, it has a good message and meaning and its goal is a positive one. With the use of civil discourse, we can improve our society and country as a whole.

  4. I agree with Katie when she says that civil discourse should unite people. The way that the people handled the sensitive topics addressed in the first 30 minutes of the C-Span video is definitely a good sign. The issue of China is a very big debate in the country, and the way that it was handled was unbiased and straightforward. The way that the conversation was held helps people form and make their own opinions rather than being influenced too greatly from opinionated sources.

  5. I think it is a very good sign that on the C-Span video, the presented topics were approached with concern and a collective understanding of how important it is for these issues to be solved. People are realizing that the efficient way to work out issues is by having constructive arguments and not turning them into fights where each person is trying to one-up the other. The direction of civil discourse in America is clearly headed up because all of our issues is being solved with patience.

  6. The C-Span video shows us that issues can be worked out without yelling and arguing. When people argue nothing can get done because they are pitted against each other and then pride gets and insulting your opponent gets in the way of achieving a solution to a certain issue. I think that civil discourse can help people reach compromises in a polite way.

  7. I feel like most of the time when I think about politics I think about two groups arguing against each other instead of working together towards a common goal. The video showed the importance of being open to different ideas and how listening to opposing views will benefit the country. I also like what the video said about Martin Luther King not being anti-American, but rather anti-injustice. This makes a lot of sense because America is about many different view points but the foundation of the country is justice and equality and that is something that has diminished with current civil discourse.

  8. I feel that the civil discourse in the United States has taken a turn for the worse. Although communication is supposed to be a large part in the government, democrats and republicans disagree on many subjects. Civil discourse in this situation is ineffective because these groups fight about issues and only sometimes make compromises. For our country to become more effective in the future, civil discourse will have to be used in a positive manner.

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