What Is Civility When Disagreeing?

“Civility is not simply or principally about manners. It doesn’t require that vigorous advocacy be avoided…. What civility requires is a willingness to consider respectfully the views of others, with an understanding that we are all connected and rely on one another.” — Former congressman Jim Leach (R-Iowa), in an op-ed, quoted in “Can a new ‘civility institute’ calm political rancor?

Obviously, in a country of more than 300 million people, many of whom have access to the Internet, examples of extremism, hypocrisy and dishonesty are virtually endless, and will never disappear. But one does hope that among political and journalistic professionals, and among enlightened members of the public, the atmosphere can improve.

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