Civility and Political Discourse after the Tucson Shooting

obama-giffords

Walter Moss: President Obama has often been criticized for being too ready to compromise or for not displaying enough political passion for just causes. No doubt, he has not always perfectly calibrated the right mix of passion and compromise. But there is also no doubt, at least in my mind, that he is correct in calling for more civility in politics.

W. H. Auden, Humor, and the Politics of Today

w. h. auden

Walter Moss: Just a few months after coming to America, the homosexual Auden, who knew what it was like to feel like an outsider, penned one of his many poems that displayed his sympathy for sufferers. Sometimes known as “Refugee Blues,” it dealt with German Jews who were unable to receive permission to remain in the United States, and its haunting lines remain a permanent reminder of the need for political compassion.

Fly Away, Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

John Summers: As the armies of tolerance celebrate To Kill a Mockingbird–it’s the 50 anniversary this month—one is put in mind of a maxim by W.H. Auden: “You do not read a book,” Auden said. “A book reads you.”

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