American democracy: An inflection point
Get out the tweet
Social media’s effect on political participation and civility
In the nonstop flow of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, it’s hard to avoid comments and news about politics, especially in a presidential election year. Many worry the geyser of political rhetoric and uncivil comments might discourage some from participating.
That’s not always the case, says Porismita Borah, an assistant professor in the Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University since 2012. As a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin and at WSU, she researches emerging technology and how it affects politics. She coauthored a study in 2008 that found young people became … » More …
The lasting impact of Tom Foley
Thomas S. Foley was a political gentleman. The Speaker of the House lived and worked from principles that defined his political career: civility, honesty, and integrity. Even though he lost his seat in Congress, Foley’s legacy continues to encourage many others to follow his path, through his namesake institute at Washington State University.
No one on the reelection team was emotionally prepared for Foley’s defeat in 1994. A sitting Speaker had not been defeated since the Civil War era. John Pierce remembers Foley as “sad, stunned about the election results, but not vindictive.” Pierce had been a congressional fellow with Foley before beginning a 24-year … » More …
Civility and Democracy in America: A Reasonable Understanding
Cornell W. Clayton and Richard Elgar
WSU Press, 2012
This collection of essays from WSU professors and other scholars takes a hard look at the historical and contemporary state of civility in the country, probing the complexities and the causes of the current “crisis.”
The articles cover not just history, but religion, architecture, ethics, philosophy, and media studies, as the writers discuss the context of incivility and heated rhetoric surrounding major issues of social movements, civil rights, immigration, and other matters long affecting American democracy.
The collection of essays emerged from a 2011 conference on civility … » More …
I was walking down Pike Street on a beautiful day in July with an Afghan lawyer. We were just discussing the difference between civil and Shariah law when we came upon a couple of young protesters. They were both holding large posters of President Obama with a Hitler mustache. The male of the pair came up to me and insisted, “Wouldn’t you like to get rid of this jerk?”
Perhaps my reaction was exacerbated by having just listened to a group of idealistic scholars from Afghanistan discuss their efforts to build a society out of ideological and economic chaos; regardless, something inside me snapped, and … » More …