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01/09/2019

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Ahmad Khamissi Fard

Most days there is shooting either in schools or elsewhere, perhaps if you knock at a neighbor's door, you'll face a gun before you can see your neighbor. The first solution many Americans suggest is to curb the sale of weapons which are sold so freely in abundance. The second remedy is perhaps creating more jobs, and devise regulations for any organization deem to work against the correct economic path, which leads and can create still more poor people.

Mackenna Peters

Mercieca argues that the national conversation about free speech versus civility in political discourse is a distraction from the root of our problem. She names an inability of citizens to spot and avoid propoganda, as well as the lack of education in the realm of productive conversation as the true culprit. Her point that modern propaganda is harder to avoid because it comes from the citizenry rather than the government is strong and it explains why the issue of free speech is so often raised. Someone will write an article or some other piece of media that is polarizing, poorly sourced, and destructive to the conversation, someone else will point this out, the original poster will defend themself by claiming the right to free speech as a private citizen, and any productive discourse is killed off before it can begin. Mercieca also emphasizes a lack of preparedness on the part of citizens to participate in an argumentative interaction that communicates the views of both sides effectively. She cites a decline in membership of different civil groups that facilitate small scale interaction with democracy and the conversation that it necessitates. In addition to this factor, I look to the overemphasis our education system places on STEM, and how the liberal arts and communications fields are dismissed, robbing many students of the skills and systems knowledge required to operate in public discourse effectively.

Elizabeth West

What text?

maria hamdan

As Jennifer Mercieca mentions in this article, she explains that "Our political discourse is broken". I'm thinking that we need to focus on freedom of speech more because everyone needs freedom of speech, it's a free world, you can do and say whatever you want. I agree with Mercieca because she explains that "America's public sphere is broken" which is true.

Josselin Sandoval

Mercieca argues that Americans “treat one another as partisans first and as citizens second”. Mercieca is arguing that people in the United States no longer treat people with proper human decency, they now treat people based on what political party or ideas they support. If you don't agree with someones political party you are now their biggest enemy. In making this comment, Mercieca warns that the media and government prefer that we view ourselves as partisans rather than citizens. She writes that "there is no media organization that we all trust to tell us what we need to know to make good decisions, and there is no government institution that we all trust to uphold the rule of law." Many new sources provide bias opinions that always cater to one certain political party or group of people. The same with the government and certain officials always target certain groups. As long as we view ourselves as partisans first and citizens second, the division within the United States will never disappear.

Diamond I

Although i should know better by now, I cannot help thinking that politics is always going to be biased. The citizens of America will never be able to communicate and solve a issues even when the side they are on is not in charge. While the government rarely admit as much, they often take their citizens for granted. We do play a part in spreading propaganda and who knows maybe we will cause another catastrophe, but if we learn to educate ourselves and see these issues in not just our own point of view but in the persons who on the opposite side of us point of view we could overcome this division between us. The government controls mostly everything that happens and like you said we play a part in spreading it not even realizing that is what we are doing. Those unfamiliar with the school of thought may be interested to know that it basically boils down to educating yourself. Do not just keep a cycle going that you have no idea whether or not it is useful for you or your community. You don' want to bring others down and nor would you even want the community to bring you down. Communication is the simplest technique. We use it every single day, so we have to be able to understand both sides of the story. Judge appropriately, Do not allow propaganda to make you vulnerable in any way. Do not distrust the democratic ways. I wont sit here and say all of the things the democrats and republicans put us through will make us trust them so easily although they have played a huge part in breaking down this country but you have help make this world better as well as trust them in some ways.

Matthew Bickel

The system of democracy, as Mercieca argues, is a complete and utter disaster and could have been from the start. These talks of civility and hope have all diminished according to Mercieca. The media machines have done little to aid and instead fueled the split and unrest among Americans. These machines talk of conspiracies and one sided arguments while audiences grovel in the biased flow of media. However if there is to be a single piece of intelligent discourse amongst a topic, it will either become lost or attacked from a side that disapproves of the argument. This is what Mercieca sees and disputes, the lack of insight and responsible citenzenry will lead to the failure of democracy not the government. As she mentions, Americans are so easily polarized that clearly fake or biased propaganda, even during the recent elections, completely swayed and altered the people’s minds without difficulty. Yet, even without foreign interference, Mercieca points to the fact that we talk as propagandists as well instead of talking to each as fellow Americans. The understanding between each other has been lost and this could be the political tragedy that is coming to a breaking point.

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