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Reagan was a Union Member – Visiting his Library as an exercise in Civil Politics

Yesterday, in a strangely appropriate thing to do for President’s Day weekend, I visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  When I first got there, I had this idea that I might need to keep a low profile considering my liberal leanings and when I told a docent there that I was from Venice Beach, I [...]

Rush Limbaugh says Civility is the New Censorship

Rush Limbaugh recently talked explicitly about calls for civility in the media, saying that “civility is the new censorship”.  In a sense, he is correct, in that when liberals (myself included) talk about civility, we specifically mean people like Limbaugh, whose livelihood is based on demonization of the opposing political viewpoint.  I have to admit [...]

You can’t put out a Fire with Gasoline – A Reaction to reactions to the Giffords Shooting

For the past few months, I have been working with Matt Motyl and Jon Haidt on a website that promotes research based methods for increasing civility in politics.  The desire to increase civility in politics is not new, having been parodied as the cliche-d dream of PhD Poli Sci students and recently promoted by Jon [...]

Does conflict avoidance underlie disproportionate liberal support of civility?

I recently attended a lecture by Vivian Schiller, the CEO of NPR, where an audience member asked her insights about Roger Ailes’ recent assertion (Ailes is CEO of Fox News) that NPR executives “are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want [...]

The Uncivil Reporting of Civil Elections

I voted on Tuesday.  Like many people on this day, one of the highlights was the opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself and cast my vote, in the hopes that whomever is elected, we’ll work together to solve problems and make the world a better place. I actually had a mail ballot, [...]

Stewart/Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and the Psychology of Moderates

As someone who is interested in promoting civility and reason in politics, I have been really excited over the past few days by Jon Stewart’s announcement of a Rally to Restore Sanity (“Million Moderate March”), coupled with Stephen Colbert’s satirical “March to Keep Fear Alive”.  The below video, where the announcement is made, is well [...]