The Columns

W&L’s Mudd Center Presents the Mock Con Debate: The Ethics of Citizenship

— by on February 3rd, 2016

To kick off Washington and Lee University’s 2016 Mock Convention, The Roger Mudd Center for Ethics at W&L will host a debate on “The Ethics of Citizenship” on Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel. Mock Con will be Feb. 12–13.

William Galston, the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, will debate Peter Wehner, senior fellow at The Ethics and Public Policy Center. The debate will be moderated by Angela Smith, director of the Roger Mudd Center and the Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics at W&L.

The debate is free and open to the public. It will be broadcast live online.

The debate will address a variety of topics concerning the ethics of citizenship, particularly as they pertain to the 2016 presidential campaign. These topics include: issues surrounding current levels of political partisanship and polarization, debates over campaign finance reform, the role of civility in political discourse, the relation between religion and politics, the justification of civil disobedience and the role of journalism in a democracy.

Galston is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. A former policy advisor to President Bill Clinton and presidential candidates Al Gore and Walter Mondale, Galston is an expert on domestic policy, political campaigns and elections.

He is the author of eight books and more than 100 articles in the fields of political theory, public policy and American politics. His most recent books are “Public Matters” (2005), “The Practice of Liberal Pluralism” (2004) and “Liberal Pluralism” (2002). He co-authored “” (2010) with Wehner.

He writes a weekly column for the Wall Street Journal, and has also appeared on all the principal television networks and is a frequent commentator on NPR. A winner of the American Political Science Association’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award, Galston was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004.

Wehner writes widely on political, cultural, religious and national security issues. He has authored articles for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, the Weekly Standard, Commentary and Christianity Today. In 2015, he was named a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and posts regularly to Commentary magazine’s blog “Contentions.”

He has also appeared as a commentator on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and C-SPAN, as well as national talk radio programs. In 2011, Forbes magazine featured Wehner on a short list of conservatism’s leading “educators and practitioners of first principles.” Wehner is co-author of “” (2010) and “” (2010).

Wehner served in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations prior to becoming deputy director of speechwriting for President George W. Bush. In 2002, he headed the Office of Strategic Initiatives, where he generated policy ideas, reached out to public intellectuals, published op-eds and essays, and provided counsel on a range of domestic and international issues. He also was a senior adviser to the Romney-Ryan 2012 presidential campaign.