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Ridgefield Program Tackles Civility In Politics

Journalist and historian Todd Brewster will moderate a "Civility in Politics" discussion Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Ridgefield Library.
Journalist and historian Todd Brewster will moderate a "Civility in Politics" discussion Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Ridgefield Library. Photo Credit: Contributed

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Love talking politics but want to avoid arguments?

A Civility in Politics discussion will address the current political climate and divisiveness on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ridgefield Library. The library and League of Women Voters of Ridgefield are sponsoring the event.

Veteran journalist, historian and author Todd Brewster will moderate the discussion.

Other participants will include First Selectman Rudy Marconi, Easton, Redding and District 9 Superintendent of Schools Tom McMorran, Newtown First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra, Connecticut Republican Party Chairman JR Romano and No Labels Chief Strategist Ryan Clancy.

"I think anyone who has an interest in our nation's civic life will find the discussion constructive and thoughtful," Brewster told Daily Voice.

"The panelists represent a balance of interests -- politicians, political activists, an educator, a journalist -- and I am hoping that together we will not only shed light on the problem but also on what is at stake if we do not reverse this trend."

"A pitch for civility isn't just about asserting the value of good manners. It's about asserting the value of compromise and a shared commitment to finding solutions that we all can live with," continued Brewster.

He has worked in television, print, and digital media and is best known for his work with the late Peter Jennings, of ABC.

From the early 1990s to the early 2000s, Brewster was Senior Producer of ABC News, where he worked on long-form documentaries.

He co-authored with Jennings two best-selling books, "The Century" and "In Search of America."

Before that, Brewster was a writer and editor at Time, Inc. where he reported on national politics and, in the early 1990s, on the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

Since leaving ABC, he has been a member of the history faculty at West Point and has taught First Amendment law at Wesleyan University.

"The panelists and I will discuss the coarsening of our public dialogue -- how it happened, why it happened, and what we can do about it," Brewster said of the upcoming event.

"While the decline of civility has been apparent in our political conversation and in the polarization of our political parties, this trend has been going on for some time now and it appears to know no boundaries."

But not everyone disagrees, Brewster continued.

"Some of us do get along and we should not lose sight of that," he said. "But we live in times when both sides of the political argument appear to be more loyal to their private interests than they are to finding common solutions."

" We need to recognize that we cannot simply let this decline of civility persist. We need energy and commitment from people on both sides, from people who are courageous enough to say that this must stop."

Click here or call (203) 438-2282 to register for this event.

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