Perspectives

Civil Discourse Is Not Dead in Politics Says Former Legislator


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Some of you love politics… But, don’t you get really tired of all the partisan wrangling, name-calling and finger pointing by our politicians?

The two parties usually can’t agree on the day of the week and the nastiness of their verbal exchanges is at an all-time high.

One result of this political vitriol is that little gets done in Congress and in many state legislatures and our trust in public figures is plummeting.

However, one retired politician is trying to erase the nastiness and re-establish CIVILITY in our public debate.

Ted Celeste is a former state representative from Ohio. He served in the Ohio General Assembly from 2007 to 2012. But, he’s now director of State Programs for the National Institute for Civil Discourse – a non-partisan center for advocacy, research and policy.

He leads the next generation project and travels the country doing legislative training called “Building Trust through Civil Discourse.” He has traveled to 22 different states trying to train state legislators and their staffs how to work toward consensus through civility.

He says that the political nastiness we hear today is counterproductive to getting things done and he points to Congress as a living example. Congress often is in gridlock based on overt partisanship or political verbal warfare.

Celeste says it doesn’t have to be that way.

While in office, he had a strong reputation of being able to reach across the partisan aisle to get legislation passed. He is now trying to pass along his tips to others in the hopes that we can be able to traverse the political divide we are now experiencing.