Working Group for a Working Congress

The problem with civil discourse is that too many people simply find it is easier to take the low road – it certainly doesn’t require any prep time - and, unfortunately, it tends to increase their odds of becoming a sound bite on one of the hundreds of ‘talking head shows’. Regardless of the issue, there will always be people who have different ideas on the best approach. Having differing views certainly isn’t shameful, and there is no guilt associated in expressing one’s own views on a particular issue. 

What there should be is a healthy discourse on the issue using the facts to persuade the other side around to one’s point of view, or you to theirs.  Civil discourse requires listening and responding to the other's view point. Occasionally – though rarely anymore – a real debate occurs and a new path forward is found or a compromise is reached.  But debates and discourse take time, and forethought, research and organizing of arguments and counterarguments, unlike the Shame Game that requires one only to throw the word shame into a sentence - the lazy man’s approach. The Institute works with members of Congress to rise above this Shame Game and achieve a higher level discussion.

To learn how to get involved, contact:

Jane Calderwood

Director of Congressional Programs