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Think Out Loud

Necessary Roughness?

Pete Springer/OPB

In the most recent Oregon Humanities journal, a whole issue devoted to civil discourse, Amanda Waldroupe wrote:

“Most people conflate the concept of civility with that of politeness…. The consequence is that we avoid talking directly about a political issue and airing our differences.”

Since meaty but civil conversations about all sorts of contentious topics are at the heart of our show, we thought it would be interesting to delve into the nature of civility itself.

What does civility mean to you? How is it different from politeness? What is your experience discussing politics with people who don’t share your point of view? What are the benefits of civil discourse? What are its limitations? And how does all of this relate to the question of political correctness that was suggested as a show back in July?


  • Michael Simpson: social worker and regular commenter on the Think Out Loud blog (as “MeanMachine2”)
  • Cindy Post Senning: Co-director of the Emily Post Institute
  • Robert Wagner: Web designer and editor of the blog Portland Sucks
civic engagement democracy

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