For all those Neanderthals who haven’t been able to grasp the rules of the New Era of Civil Discourse, the University of Arizona has announced that it’s launching the National Institute on Civil Discourse to point you in the right direction. The center will reportedly “support research and policy generation and a set of innovative programs advocating for civility in public discourse, while encouraging vigorous public debate, civic engagement, and civic leadership.”
While the institute’s website says it was inspired by the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, it does add that “the tragedy was not linked in any way to contemporary public discourse.”
According to the website, the center’s purpose is based in part on the principle that the “process of publicly and civilly defending our ideas before others, and respecting others’ right to do likewise, improves the chances that diverse ideas inform our own opinions, and increases the likelihood that decisions are fully vetted.”
No word on when the institute will officially open, but the board is already reported to include former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush as honorary chairmen, and Sandra Day O’Connor and Tom DeLay as co-chairs.