Incivility on College Campuses
CNN is reporting that Karl Rove was seriously heckled while delivering a speech at the University of Iowa. Members of the crowd apparently mocked him and repeatedly interrupted his speech. Since the university was paying $40,000 to listen to him, one might be tempted to think that these were some seriously expensive interruptions.
There is a growing incivility in our society. I think that this is partly what makes Barak Obama’s campaign so compelling. He seems largely able to be civil in the midst of a rather dirty business. It’s also what make a film like Purple State of Mind pretty darn compelling. Simply: two people/parties can disagree with one another on pretty darn important (even foundational issues) and do so in a way that honors both the personhood of the other person and the content of that other person’s opinion.
I think its worthy trying to recapture a sense of meaningful dialog between deeply divided and different people/parties that allows both to maintain their particularity and yet to understand the other more deeply. In a pluralistic society its the only healthy way forward.