Civil Discourse: The Way Politics Should Be?

Stock image showing two men arguing about politics, ostensibly.

The Maine Council of Churches is sponsoring a series of discussions around the issue of civil discourse in public and political life. A panel of experts convened recently to discuss this issue addressing questions such as what is civil discourse and what is not; when is negativity uncivil, is it possible to run a civil campaign, and is there a danger of civil discourse being used as an excuse to suppress radical opinions?

Participants included Michael Franz, associate professor of government at Bowdoin College; Rachel Talbot-Ross, president of the Portland Chapter of the NAACP; Heidi Shott, Canon for Communications and Social Justice for the Episcopal Diocese of Maine; Ethan Strimling, former Democratic State Senator; and Dan Shea, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement.

This discussion was recorded by the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby College on September 18, 2014 in Waterville, Maine.