The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Alec Carmichael
I Digress 

Kor Keeps Teaching


Some readers know me intimately enough to guess at my personal political allegiances. Regardless, it should shock no one to learn that I do indeed have strong feelings on the subject of the national election. And yet, the most important thing to me this time around is impressing upon you, our readers, just how critical it is to preserve spaces for civil discourse in the modern political and media landscape. Spaces like this one, in fact.

We're not Facebook, folks, and one of the things that distinguishes us from the din and roar of most media and social media whirlwinds is that we know how to keep it fair, civilized and relatively conscientious.

Here at the Courier, we don't print slander or hate speech. We don't exclude unpopular points of view. We don't have something for everyone, as seems clear, but we do have space for anyone with something to say. This is your forum.

Following the congressional debate in Frazer this past August, we received a letter from the current Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer. We ran the text of her letter in September, but it bears repeating. This is what she said:

"At a time when it seems like politics is anything but cordial, I am filled with hope and impressed by the healthy civil discourse exemplified by this debate. It should be an example for the nation."

Dr. Lukensmeyer went on to underscore the importance of discourse, complimenting the candidates for their decorum (I wish we would have seen more of that during the campaigns), and stressed the mutual interests we all share as Americans:

"These two candidates have demonstrated what American democracy is really about—open dialogue and respect. The only way America can become stronger is by working together which requires us to engage with those who might not share the same principles or values.

Politicians at all levels—national, state, and local—should follow the example of Congressman Zinke and Superintendent Juneau and stand for the kind of civility our democracy deserves."

The combination of civility and discourse has been my own pet cause here in Glasgow, especially during this election season. My votes have been cast, but my hopes moving forward have little to do with competing ideologies or candidates and everything to do with our shared energies and goals. You can read and write about both right here every week. We want your input. Just remember to keep it respectful.


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