Civility is not about dousing strongly held views. It's about making sure that people are willing to respect other perspectives.
The arts and humanities are vastly more important in troubled times.
A government of, by and for the people is obligated to conduct the nation's business in a manner that respects dissent.
History provides a sense of where we've been and lessons that can be taken forward.
The majority of U.S. high school students don't know within 50 years when the Civil War occurred.
There are words bandied about that are being misused - words like 'socialism,' words like 'communism,' words like 'fascism.
America is very decentralized in how it supports the humanities, unlike European countries where virtually everything stems from the central government.
Public decision-making does not lend itself to certitude.
Politics has high and low moments. Sometimes it brings out the better angels of our nature; sometimes baser instincts.
America somehow thinks that leadership relates to governance, and it certainly does. But society is much bigger than governance, and some of the truly great leadership of our society is outside the governance arena.
If you read literature, you put yourself in somebody else's shoes. You learn from great figures in literature.
No activity I know is more of a confidence builder and at the same time more 'humility training' than wrestling.
Civility is not simply about manners.
I have a long-term interest in the humanities.
Iraqis have held elections and have recently put together their government, all encouraging developments.
Drawing on President Bush's reform plan, which would allow citizens to transfer part of their Social Security contributions into personal accounts, an alteration of the current system is needed to make necessary change.
I am appalled by the notion of cultural wars.
There's probably a little greater case for pessimism than optimism. But I do not rule out optimism.
When I look at Social Security, I consider it the most important social program in the United States, arguably the most successful program in the world.
It is hard to cement any relations with any country based on promises that may not be deliverable.
I think America is going to have to think through whether it wants to uplift the political dialogue or advance an approach that divides and, frankly, can lead to violence.
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