“We are focusing on presidential politics, but this is sort of the inspirational, the hopeful part of the conference, saying executive leadership — meaning the presidency — for the common good, it isn’t just for the Republicans, it isn’t just for the Democrats, just for liberals or progressives,” said Jeff Taylor, a Dordt University political science professor who is the event’s organizer. “It’s for everybody.”
A conservative writer from “The Atlantic” magazine delivered a speech about the “inescapable vortex” of partisan identity last night. Tonight, a Washington University religion professor will speak about what he calls the problem of “insularity” among white evangelicals. Thirty academic papers will be presented at the three-day conference, focusing on key questions.
“How can we dialogue? What can we learn from the past and the present in order to work on some sort of common good, even if we can’t always agree on what that means?” Taylor asked rhetorically in explanation.
The conference (find the entire schedule and list of speakers here began Thursday and concludes Saturday. This afternoon, Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh and Brian Carroll, a presidential candidate from the American Solidarity Party, are scheduled to speak in person. Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard will address the conference via a live video connection.
(By Mark Buss, KSOU, Sioux Center)