by BENJAMIN KNOLL
As a Government professor at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, one of the main themes I teach my students is to avoid the temptation to engage in "bumper sticker politics." What I mean by this is that students who acquire a quality liberal arts education (such as the one Centre provides) have the tools at their disposal to be able to debate and discuss important civic issues with a certain degree of sophistication that is often lacking in the wider public discourse. In other words, students should try, as Ezra Klein recently put it, to "extract the smart conversation" from the otherwise "not smart" back-and-forth of the campaign dialogue.
The discussion of important political issues, I teach my students, deserves something more than a catchy slogan or 10 second soundbite that serves only to simplify what are, in reality, very complicated, multifaceted issues that often have multiple "right" answers, depending on one's perspective, priorities, and interests... [MORE]