What is Civil Discourse?

Civil discourse is not simply polite conversation, though courtesy and respect are crucial to it. Civil discourse goes beyond politeness. It is conversation with purpose—that is, constructive dialogue. Though they may disagree, participants in civil discourse are committed to hearing each other’s fact-based opinions and dispassionately evaluating those opinions against their own. Participants enter into…

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On American Political Compromise

The headlines proclaim it: compromise in public policy, especially legislative compromise, is now passé.

Are these reports true? If so, how did we get here? Have political compromise and bipartisanship really become little more than relics? The answers, perhaps unsurprisingly, are more complicated than the headlines would have us believe.

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Why were the colonies founded?

Before the United States existed, thirteen separate colonies—settled in different places and for various reasons—were spaced along the eastern coast of North America. As separate communities, their goals were not always aligned; each functioned essentially as its own country, with an independent government and infrastructure. The colonization of North America began in 1585 with the…

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