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October 17, 2012

Have political campaigns always been so contentious?

Colonial Williamsburg presents its latest American Ideas interactive webcast, “Civil Discourse” from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 on Colonial Williamsburg’s “Connect” website

The webcast is hosted by Julie Silverbrook, from the non-profit Constitutional Sources Project Her guests include President George Washington, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg’s Ron Carnegie; President Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg’s Bill Barker; Emily Sydnor, Ph.D. candidate in American politics at the University of Virginia; and Quentin Kidd, professor of political science and director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

The discussion will focus on compromise, polarization, negative advertising and inflammatory rhetoric and will include a look at the influence ideology has on governance. Video clips will examine the history of negative political ads and the influence of the press on elections. Audio clips from Colonial Williamsburg podcasts with three sitting governors and one former Secretary of Defense will provide additional context.

Viewers can join the panel discussion by sending questions before or during the webcast at or during the program via Twitter at\connectcw or through the live chat room at

The Connect webcast is part of a series of Colonial Williamsburg live webcasts debating our nation’s most basic values and how they shape our republic and is one of many programs that support Colonial Williamsburg’s efforts as a center for history, citizenship and democracy

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280