Start asking questions of civic proportions

Every other week, we send a list of Questions of Civic Proportions to our email list. These questions focus on the original art of community—learning in pursuit of knowledge that makes us “better or happier people.”

We also enjoy random acts of quoting Cicero. Sometimes Madison. And Einstein, and Thomas Jefferson, and… 🤓

 

What you can expect to find in your inbox

  • A a new QCP issue by email every other Sunday morning
  • That includes questions to transform headlines into civic dialogue
  • And connects a mission-focused community committed to learning together

 

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers."

—Voltaire

Past Issues

December 2019

 

Can you Imagine a Better Time to be Alive? Frederick Douglass Can Help Us Find Our Way Through 2020.

 

“What a time to be alive!” Comedian Nicole Byer turns to this phrase during episodes of Netlfix’s show “Nailed It.” She watches total failure creep up on amateur bakers brave enough to compete on the show…

 

Like everyone else, I’m trying to distract myself from the headlines.

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Did You See the Magic at your Thanksgiving Gathering? It’s the Cure for Loneliness.

 

When a big holiday meal goes well, we all start to see the magic in a hundred small things. 

 

Perhaps your holiday crew avoided political confrontations this year. Or you palyed board games without someone getting their feelings hurt…

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November 2019

 

Is Democracy a Call-to-Arms or Something Else?

 

Leoanrd Cohen kept coming at me this week. I’m not his biggest fan, but I’ve figured out that he has something to teach us, something that’s important to hear right now. 

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What is Impeachment For?

 

There’s one story you couldn’t escape this week—the vote on an impeachment inquiry. There was booing at the World Series game too. Sometimes it’s easier than others to get a good measure of public opinion… 

 

How many times has someone asked you if you’re for impeachment in the last three months?

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October 2019

 

What Can We Learn from Thinking in Time, Even for Just a Minute?

 

I haven’t been able to get my bearings on events in northern Syria this week. There’s a book I keep within reach for moments like these. One of the most pragmatic skills of all lies in the study of history and politics.

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Can We Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing?

 

The news was exhausting before any of us had heard of the whistleblower’s complaint. Or the text messages. All political news seems to lead back to the idea that the Senate will never remove President Trump from office. 

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September 2019

 

What Happens When We Stop Looking for Answers?

 

This week, Greta Thunberg reminded me of a question I once carried to the National Academy for Civics and Government… What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

 

Robert Putnam blamed television and urban sprawl. When we spend our time commuting or binge-watching, we don’t have time to talk to our neighbors. While most of us know some of our neighbors, few of us interact with them in any meaningful way.

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August 2019

 

What can we learn from those questions that keep calling us back to them?

 

We mark a new school year in countless ways… In some of those distant places, we remember a question or an assignment that opened up our mind to discovering something new. The best questions make a lasting impression.

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What Book Would You Add to a President’s Reading List?

 

One item shows up on every list of habits of “successful people.” They read! So, did you have a successful summer? Do you have a stack of books to prove it?

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July 2019

 

Can we strengthen democracy by talking about what’s missing from our news?

 

There’s an all-star crew behind today’s note. A late-night comedian, a journalism professor, and a former anchor of CBS’s Face the Nation all hit the airwaves with a common theme. An informed citizenry requires more than a simple retelling of the day’s events.

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What can our fight against tyranny in the past do for us today?

 

We seem to think tyranny is an idea from our past. We kicked it out when we kicked the king out. Madison warned us about the tyranny of the majority but then he fixed it for us. Tyranny isn’t our problem anymore.

 

Except that our understanding of tyranny might have everything to do with how well we practice democracy today.

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June 2019

The Power of a Photo has New Limits but We Can Help

 

When you step into the arena, you risk everything. No one can tell you what happens next. The work of leading a cause requires a resilience that doesn’t get much air time.

 

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Time to start telling the truth about the hardest work of democratic life

 

When you step into the arena, you risk everything. No one can tell you what happens next. The work of leading a cause requires a resilience that doesn’t get much air time.

 

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What are the stories that carry us forward and give us strength?

 

John Dickerson made a simple statement last week. It sounded like a public service announcement: There are narratives about who we are in the U.S. that have nothing to do with who the President is.

 

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More Past Issues

Read the whole archive here