Among the leaks current and former intelligence officials supplied to the Washington Post and other media outlets was one that claimed a phone call between President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull went very poorly. The anonymous official who had collected information on the phone call before spreading it to journalists said the call was testy, cut short, and ended abruptly.
It’s hard to verify what really happened, but the reports of the phone call inspired Simon Longstaff of Australia’s Ethics Centre to do something.
“Shouting at and then ‘hanging up’ on an antagonist is symbolic of a deeper problem – the inability to engage constructively with those with whom we disagree. We are all for passionate debate and principled disagreement. However, we can see nothing to commend a civic or political culture where people hurl insults, abuse and threaten (and undertake) worse because of a difference in beliefs or opinion,” said Longstaff. Concerned about “a new form of totalitarianism seeks to silence all who challenge one form of crystalline ideological purity – or another,” he decided to bring together people from across the ideological spectrum to show how to debate issues civilly.
The event will take place on Saturday, April 1, at the New York Public Library, beginning at 12:30 p.m. There will be six, one-hour conversations about the current state of politics. Among the panelists are Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway, senior contributor Tom Nichols, and senior contributor David Marcus.
THE STATE OF THE UNION – WATERGATE OR WITCH-HUNT?
WITH: JOHN W. DEAN, HENDRIK HERTZBERG, AND JOHN PODHORETZ
When the Nixon administration fell into a chasm of disgrace, many people felt that not only the Republican Party had been tarnished, but the presidency itself. Yet, the ‘ship of state’ remained on an even keel. People took comfort in the fact that the other two bastions of the republic – the legislature and judiciary – maintained their dignity and did their job. But how do things stand today?
THE PROBLEM OF STRANGERS
WITH: JAMIL DAKWAR, SANA MUSTAFA, YAEL EISENSTAT, OZ SULTAN, AND CHADWICK MOORE
Walls. Bans. Raids. The hardening of America’s borders is an essential part of President Trump’s program to make America great again. But will this make the United States a safer and more prosperous nation? At a time when the world is experiencing the largest movement of migrants and refugees since WWII, should we have a care for others and not just for our own?
WITH: THOMAS M. NICHOLS, ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, ELMIRA BAYRASLI, WALTER RUSSELL MEAD, AND JAMES KETTERER
For more than half a century, the United States has shouldered a disproportionate share of global security burdens and championed free trade and liberal democracy in the expectation of boosting prosperity at home and abroad. As China rises and Russia reasserts its place in the world, can America control its destiny?
RACE, RELIGION, AND IMMIGRATION
WITH: LEE C. BOLLINGER, JELANI COBB, PAOLA MENDOZA, DERRYCK GREEN, AND JHOSHAN JOTHILINGAM
Diversity is a strength in some societies. In others, it is a source of unresolved tension that can erupt into fear, hatred, and violence. This panel will be a conversation about how we define ourselves as individuals, communities, and nations, and whether diversity in race, religion, and politics establish or undermine the foundation of a strong society.
FAKE NEWS, FREE SPEECH, AND THE MEDIA
WITH: SALMAN RUSHDIE, LEON BOTSTEIN, LACHLAN MARKAY, M.Z. HEMINGWAY, AND MATTHEW CONTINETTI
All democracies have one thing in common – a need for legitimacy, which is ultimately derived from the free and informed consent of the people. Some argue journalism only matters when practiced in the public interest by those who care for and seek the truth. Others see the media merely as a tool for exercising influence and believe criticism amounts to treason.
THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS: BETTER POLITICS FOR A BETTER FUTURE
WITH: MICHAEL SKOLNIK, ERIN SCHRODE, ADI SATHI, BRANDON WASHINGTON, DAVID MARCUS, AND SIMON LONGSTAFF
Join us for an illuminating hypothetical discussion as we bring together some of the brightest minds of the next generation of leaders and place them in the crucible of an imagined future that will test their thinking about the world vision they want to work towards.
The full-day program will be held on April 1 from 12:30-9PM at the main branch of The New York Public Library. The participants — experts, activists, journalists, former White House staffers, and advisors — come together from both sides of the aisle to model the art of “principled disagreement” as they will talk freely and honestly about: loss of trust in the institutions that guard our Constitution, how we feel about strangers and their impact on our lives, where we stand on global security and safety at home and abroad, whether diversity is a glue or dividing line, and free speech, liberty and the public interest. For more information and to buy tickets: www.shadesofredandblue.com