Jim Cunningham: Bring back civility in debates | TheUnion.com
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Jim Cunningham: Bring back civility in debates

I recently watched a video debate at The Open Book between William F. Buckley and James Baldwin that took place at Cambridge in around 1965.

Although it is not my favorite manner of discourse, I was struck with the intellectual honesty and nuance brought to the debate by both men. Even though they didn’t appear to like each other or agree on much, there were no personal attacks, no public shaming, no ‘alternative facts,’ and no political correctness. The subject was not dumbed down by rehearsed talking points or exaggerated, sensational claims.

I learned something by listening to both men. What would it take to be able to open up our public and private conversations in a way that we could express ourselves and listen to each other in a civil way?



Jim Cunningham

Nevada City


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