Politics today can be a bitterly partisan pursuit. Whether the deep ideological divisions of many elected officials is a modern-day anomaly fueled by round-the-clock media attention, or business-as-usual blown out of proportion, is up for debate.
What remains unchanged, however, is democracy’s need for civil discourse — the ability to talk with people who have different views, meet people of different backgrounds, and remain respectful of differing perspectives even while disagreeing. Civil dialogue was key to the nation’s democracy with the creation of its founding document more than two centuries ago and remains so for the law-making process of today. When it’s not happening, progress suffers.