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Plenty of people smarter than me, and I’d bet one of them can effectively sum-up the US political system.  And politics comes up in the classroom a good amount of course: I try my best to value all opinions and to facilitate worthwhile conversations, and I know I don’t always succeed.  Who better to look for to help than Captain America: Chris Evans, Mark Kassen and Joe Kiani founded A Starting Point: a video-based civic engagement platform created as “a bipartisan channel of communication and connectivity between Americans and their elected officials with the goal of creating a more informed electorate.”

That’s a pretty awesome goal!  And, at least, the site overflows with topics to start some good conversations!

Some notes:

  • I am not trying to advance any political opinion or agenda; I hold A Starting Point to the promise of bipartisanship and, as of the date of this post, that two-sidedness seems to hold true.
  • In April 2018 the UNC Faculty voted to support the University of Chicago Principles on Free Speech, including this statement: “we fully support free speech, freedom of inquiry and viewpoint diversity on campus and the notion that the peaceful expression of ideas should not be stifled even if those idea contradict or otherwise stand in opposition to each other.”

[T]he ideas of different members of the University community will often and quite naturally conflict. But it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. . . To this end, the University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.

  • My wife, the history professor, tells me all the time that those represented as the founders of the United States of America argued all the time, and put the First Amendment first for good reason.


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