Friendly discussion finds common ground for the common good

Emporia Arts Council was the setting of a friendly discussion among colleagues about conservatism, progressivism and the common good Thursday night.
Emporia State University President Allison Garrett moderated a debate, which sounded much more like a civil conversation than an argument, between Professor Greg Schneider, a scholar of American conservatism, and Professor Charles Brown, a philosopher. The two professors debated the views of progressivism and conservatism in relation to "the common good."
ESU's mission statement is "Changing lives for the common good." As it was pointed out during the forum, people have very different views on what is best for the common good because everyone falls on a different part of the spectrum between conservatism and progressivism.
Professor Schneider proposes that a person is not 100% conservative or progressive, and there are subcategories of each. He hopes that people who attended the forum took home the idea that common ground does exist on very dividing topics.
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Professor Brown agrees, and hopes that other lessons were learned, too.
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There was plenty of joking and laughing both on the stage and among the large crowd. Rather than defending why their own viewpoints were the best views, each professor presented a thought-provoking response to each topic and reasoning as to why they agree or disagreed with one another. 
The point of the evening's conversation was not to necessarily change opinions; in fact, the goal was to find common ground on which conservatives and progressives could stand on in order to beat the polarization and demonizing view of the government.
Professor Schneider's stance was to define conservatism and to describe why it provides an alternative to progressivism in regards to the common good. As an example, he gave his view on climate change.
{wbty_audio audio_id="21522" audio_title="Schneider: Climate example"}
Professor Brown, while not giving a climate change example, also stated his view of progressivism in relation to the common good.
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Both professors agreed during the debate that the common goal of the discussion was to create a platform in which local residents, students and anyone watching could relate to. According to Schneider, conversation about politics often divulge into arguments and shouting matches, but should provoke critical thinking instead.
Professor Brown gave the advice during the debate that the first step in overcoming polarization was to not be married to one's own ideas and to seek people with ideas that are different than their own.