« Top export in trouble: Catherine Rampell on decline of international students in US schools | Main | More than STEM: Natalie Wexler on forming “citizens of a democracy” »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

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.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Become a Fan