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Can We Talk? Reviving Civility in Public Discourse


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One of the bedrocks of the American democracy is our commitment to free speech - the robust, open exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives. Furthermore, the creation of our two-party system was implemented to protect America from entering into another monarchy, ensuring no single mindset could dominate the American consciousness. The Founding Fathers imagined that the inherent tension between these differing ideas would ultimately make our country stronger and more resilient.

More than 200 years later, it can be argued that Americans find themselves more divided than united. Republicans and Democrats - both on the hill and in neighborhoods around the country - find themselves unable to collaborate and find common ground in efforts to address pressing issues facing our nation. The advent of technology and social media furthers those divisions, allowing each side to reach only their supporters and ignore others, oftentimes creating a stalemate. As a consequence, a 2017 Pew Research Center poll found that trust in the national government reached a historic low of 18 percent. Can we bridge this divide?

Join us for a bipartisan conversation on how we can restore civility in American politics and public discourse.

This forum is the inaugural Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Lecture Series event, created in collaboration with the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona, to provide a lasting memorial to Chief Justice Moyer’s dedication to the administration of justice and public understanding of the law.

Mickey Edwards, Former U.S. Congressman, Oklahoma
Dan Glickman, Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; Executive Director, Congressional Program, The Aspen Institute
Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, Ph.D., Executive Director, National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona