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The Discussion

Different Vision for Cities Promotes the Common Good

March 18, 2011 Prof. C. W. Westfall Categories: Cities and the Common Good

By Prof. Carroll William Westfall, The Francesco Montana Chair in Architecture

For more than 50 years government policies, architects, and developers have been building and rebuilding cities that serve the private interests of individuals at the expense of the common good sought by many others living in communities. Sprawl, highways, the segregation of uses and of economic classes, and the use of vast tracks of land for single uses wastes resources and isolates individuals from one another and from an active communal life.…

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The Truth about Political Polarization

February 22, 2011 David Campbell Categories: Government and the Common Good

By David Campbell, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Political Science and
Director, Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy

It has become commonplace, even clichéd, to speak of Americans as politically polarized. But this is not quite right—at least if, by polarized, we mean that Americans are in two warring political camps separated by a gaping ideological chasm. The American public is not polarized; American political leaders are.…

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The New Frontier

February 11, 2011 Sandra M. Gustafson Categories: Government and the Common Good

By Sandra M. Gustafson, associate professor of English in the College of Arts and Letters

The stories we tell matter, and the startling success of True Grit reminds us why. Released on December 22, 2010, the Coen brothers’ remake of the film that won John Wayne his only Oscar clearly touched a national nerve with its stark depiction of the violence that unfolds when a teenage girl teams up with a U.S. Marshall to avenge her father’s murder on the Arkansas frontier. That nerve was then set jangling by the carnage at a shopping center in Tucson in which Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was badly wounded, along with a number of other victims of a disturbed young man with a gun. In the months before the shooting, Giffords commented on the frontier spirit of her district, which includes Tombstone, site of the storied gunfight at the O.K. corral that took place in 1881, less than a decade after the main events portrayed in Charles Portis’s novel.…

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