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Listening our best hope this election season, Linfield prof tells Deseret News

The Salt Lake Deseret News published a thoughtful editorial by English Professor David Sumner about the importance of listening, rather than arguing, during this campaign season.

“I am disheartened by the current contentious rhetoric of campaigns as folks attack people’s characters rather than their reasons, arguing from the gut instead of the head,” Sumner wrote.

“Our best hope for gaining deeper understanding and insight about each other and the world is to listen so carefully and openly that we can grasp and restate another’s beliefs in a way that he or she will accept as fair and accurate,” he says.

“If politicians genuinely attempted to understand the other’s arguments rather than just seeking an opening for attack, they might not agree in the end, but they would increase understanding and get more of the people’s work done.

“We would live in a very different — a much better — country,” he says.

Deseret News editorial

English studies at Linfield College