The Center for the Study of Liberty partnered with Kathryn Kennison and the E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center at Ball State University to host a dinner discussion about the state of American public discourse.
With seventeen guests in attendance, Center executive director Jennifer K. Thompson lead a conversation about the concept of civility. What is civility and what value does it have for us? Is there a tension between civility and standing up to injustice? Participants were invited to consider whether we should strive for moderation or common ground in our politics, and offer ideas about how we can hold our convictions with firmness while still engaging those we disagree with in a productive and respectful manner.
The tone of current public discourse has left many feeling that an insurmountable gap exists between themselves and their ideological opposites. Through brief pre-readings and this discussion, our guests sought to understand if civility is too much to ask for, it if actually might be an anecdote to partisanship, and whether there is virtue in seeking "common ground."
6:00 PM – Opening Reception
6:30 PM – Welcome, introductions, and dinner
7:00 PM – Opening comments by leader
7:15 PM – Discussion
8:45 PM – Closing