Civics Lesson

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It is a terrible but timely irony that U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise and others were shot during a charity baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia, the intent of which was to foster bipartisan goodwill. Much frothy media speculation has followed the shooting—about whether the United States is on the verge of a second Civil War, for example. Yet there has also been much genuine soul-searching about "how we view, treat and talk about people we disagree with," as New York Times columnist Frank Bruni put it. Scalise himself remains in critical condition, these six days later, symbol of an American political culture in need of a remedial civics lesson.