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The Funeral for Decency


The Funeral for Decency

Christopher Brauchli
The asterisk has served us well and protected us from crudeness. Having been relieved of its suffering, it will serve us no longer. Its final illness began many months ago when Donald J. Trump came onto the stage. 


As always, Christopher Brauchli has something to say, and his writing expresses it beautifully.
This is a warning to us, that we should not let the fool in the White House continue to bring out the worst in us. We and our institutions should refuse to go into the gutter with this crude sociopath!


The final crudification of the USA, along with its attendant, more consequential forms of violence and ugliness. Sad.


Civil discourse is a perennial exercise - and like any muscle, the more it is engaged the stronger it is. Change is one of the most dependable aspects of life. Challenge, breathe deep and foray on…

Free and Civil Discourse
Challenges and Imperatives

What is the relationship between free speech and civil discourse? Which voices are heard in what contexts? And what are the implications for inclusive learning environments? This issue explores these questions and more, with a focus on how colleges and universities across the country are navigating current events.

Table of Contents
From the Editor
By Kathryn Peltier Campbell, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Free and Civil Discourse: Challenges and Imperatives
Speech, Spectacle, and Looking Closely for What One Cannot See
By Lynn Pasquerella, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Toward a Democratic Speech Environment
By Christopher M. Tinson and Javiera Benavente, Hampshire College

Bridging the American Political Divide: The Role of Higher Education in Advancing Civil Discourse
By Eduardo M. Ochoa, California State University–Monterey Bay

The Role of Governing Boards in Addressing Campus Tensions
By Susan Whealler Johnston, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges

Free Speech Is Not Enough
By Robert Quinn, New York University

Owning Your Own Mind
By Leslie E. Wong and Alison M. Sanders, San Francisco State University

Practicing Peace on a Weaponized Campus
By Lisa L. Moore, University of Texas at Austin

Campus Practice
This Is Who We Say We Are
By David Maxwell, Drake University

Community Days of Learning: Building Capacity for Challenging Conversations
By Kimberly Cassidy and Ruth Lindeborg, Bryn Mawr College

World Ready: Incorporating Interfaith Learning into General Education
By Esther Boyd, Interfaith Youth Core, and Katie Cruger, Chatham University

A Whole-Institution Approach to Civic Engagement
By Michael J. Sorrell, Paul Quinn College

Presidential Statement
Free Expression, Liberal Education, and Inclusive Excellence
By Lynn Pasquerella, Association of American Colleges and Universities


Never, in the history of the United States of America have We had such an Ugly and Despicable So Called President, who’s crude language and extreme greed has inspired the Republican Party to not only defend his actions, but, also to back his insane reversals of regulations that provide some sense of equality and health protections for all Americans.

The absence of reason, from our former Presidents speaks volumes about them and their parties ultimate goals for America.

It’s looking like if We the People want Decency in our government, We the People will be required to fight for it in any way that we see fit.

Until We the People organize a funeral for “both” parties of the Duopoly, we will continue to revisit this same place that We now find ourselves in.


Given the choice between a decent person with a foul mouth and a colonialist/imperialist with sweet talk, give me the first. Trump is crude and uncouth, the worse case of both choices.

Mind you, Ronald Reagan was all sweetness and light, and folksy affectation when he talked but he was personally responsible for a lot of death, destruction, and anti-democratic action, both in the USA and all around the world, and fired the starting pistol for all the evils the neocons have unleashed upon the world.


the way i see it we are at a crossroad as the illusion bubble of freedom bursts and morality, decency and common sense go down the drain


Thankfully, those two are not typically our only choice.


true. traditionally, we’re permitted a choice between two smooth-talking psychopaths. this time, somehow, the pottymouth slipped into the finalists round. I’m sure it’s a mistake not to be repeated any time soon.


We should rename those two parties, the Republican Psychopath Party, and the Democrat Psychopath Party.

If we did that, do you think 95% of the voting electorate would continue to support those two parties?


I belong to a writer’s group here in Portland, and used to attend the read aloud critique meetup on Tuesday nights.

Two weeks ago, the leader of the group, who is emotionally challenged and plays favorites, decided to let disparaging directed at my criticism slide - a historically frequent occurrence over the last four + years.

This time I tried to suggest that they were violating the rules of the group (criticizing the criticism of others) by saying it was my opinion on the readers work.

A middle aged lady (a professional editor) who had already expressed her opinion on the read piece which was contrarian to mine, insisted on imposing her importance, by repeating herself.

I tried to restate the policy, and she screamed a booming “f**ck you” at me.

Not one person in the group of nine stood up for the rule, or the fact the lady was being bully.

It is an increasing dangerous planet.


Duopoly always as a sad excuse for the most horrific president in our entire history? No thank you!!! I am getting worn out with this so called discussion board with so many Republican trolls here.


Brauchli sez: “Like the printed press, radio and television now make no attempt to shield viewers and listeners from the offending word.”

Not to dissent from the author’s point, but there’s another pressure being brought to bear upon each of these media forms.
Many (most?) internet and social media outlets do not trouble themselves with such niceties of language. And not only are the printed press, radio and television competing against online outlets, they’re competing on the same turf.


Start a new group. If you use meetup.com, reach out to students, use a website, maybe contact some groups that represent the kind of diversity and tolerance you are seeking, you might do better. I wish you well.


Yes and no. I think the ranks of independents would continue to grow until they become a supermajority. But for the deluded who still insist on playing the official game, no change there.

I mean, people are figuring this out. It’s just that because they have no place to go once they reject the duopoly game, they go to “independent” status so it becomes hard to generalize the reasons for the trend.

I fully expect registered independents to top 70 percent within 10 years, assuming we’re still a country by then.


Why put a veneer of “decency” over a corrupt, foul, indecent country like the U.S. of A.? This “indecency”? It’s who we are.


Jesus Fucking Christ! All worked up over the difference between “s**t” and “shit”, calm in the face of “the F-word”, pissing ourselves over “fuck.” Sixteen comments and the original essay bothered by language. Let’s save our outrage and disgust for the ACTIONS of this stupid, greedy, corrupt president, his administration and political party, and look more closely into the suffering and death visited upon the world by his predecessor and that other party of the ruling class that so consistently provides us with candidates we find acceptable or even laudable. Listen to your Steve Earle records:
So fuck the FCC
Fuck the FBI
Fuck the CIA
Livin’ in the motherfuckin’ USA


Kind of makes me wonder whether or not the use of these words is intentional. hoping to distract us from the actions being dresses in these offensive clothes (or lack of said)


Hate him or like him Trump’s openness is actually a refreshing departure from the slick, smooth talking politicians of the past who kissed you on the lips as they plunged the knife into your back.

At least he lets you know he’s going to do it.


Yes, far too many of our people are walking/driving around on “hair-trigger” alert, ready to go off!
We, in the collective sense, are a people who are very overstressed by the demands of our consumer culture, and by the constant use of manipulation using fear. The addiction to “smart phones” has made it exponentially worse. It seems as if people are having more and more difficulty in “face-to-face” interactions, and developing a strong tendency to overreact to anything and everything. These are my observations, for what it’s worth.

I would like to note that political strategists, and other people in sales/marketing/advertising are shamelessly taking advantage of these trends, driving most of the “herd” whichever way they choose to.