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Former Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Former Governor Ed Shafer Speak at Concordia, Discussing Political Civility

Former Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Former Governor Ed Shafer (Credits: North Dakota Monitor)

At Concordia College’s event “With Malice Towards None,” former U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp and former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer, a Democrat and a Republican, respectively, who previously collaborated in state politics for eight years, tackled the issue of America’s growing political polarization.

Earlier that day, they engaged with students and civic leaders, setting the stage for a deeper conversation on overcoming political divisions. The forum illuminated the critical role social media plays in exacerbating these divides, highlighting a concern that the quest for online approval often overshadows the genuine work of governance.

Former Senator Heidi Heitkamp (Credits: CNBC)

Both speakers pinpointed the digital age’s impact on political dialogue, suggesting that the chase for ‘likes’ on social media platforms distracts from meaningful political action.

A common solution proposed by Heitkamp and Schafer to bridge this divide is encouraging broader participation in the political arena. By promoting discussions on bipartisanship, they aim to motivate more individuals to play an active role in the political process.

Former Governor Ed Shafer (Credits: AP News)

Heitkamp passionately expressed the need for quality discourse, lamenting that the current climate repels well-meaning individuals from engaging in politics.

“We have driven good people out of the civil discourse,” she remarked, emphasizing the urgency of reintegrating thoughtful and moderate voices into political conversations.

Both figures championed entering politics with a well-rounded perspective and an openness to different viewpoints, advocating for an environment where informed, constructive dialogue prevails over extremism and divisiveness.

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