Brunswick welcomed Alexander Heffner — host of the PBS television show “The Open Mind” — to Baker Theater for a discussion with Upper School students and faculty about the meaning of civil discourse.
First broadcast in 1956, “The Open Mind” explores challenges of the digital age, American politics, and emerging issues — and represents a thoughtful excursion into the world of ideas across politics, media, technology, the arts, and all realms of civic life.
Heffner, a graduate of Phillips Academy and Harvard, has covered the American political landscape since the 2008 presidential campaign — and his writing has been published in many mainstream news sources, including Time, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.
Heffner’s remarks focused on defining and understanding the crisis of instability in the country’s discourse — and proposing some prescriptions as to how it might be resolved.
He encouraged students to be active participants in the solution by bringing their strength of character to politics, to media, to business — whatever their passions may be.
“We can’t be complacent,” he said. “The values you’ve learned here, I presume, are the ones that you want to dictate the course of history. And you have to play a role — each and every one of you.”