On Tuesday, April 19, The UVU Center for Constitutional Studies (CCS) hosted a discussion between the 2020 Utah Gubernatorial candidates: University of Utah legal Professor Christopher Peterson (D) and Utah Governor Spencer Cox (R). The two political rivals, who faced each other in the 2020 race for Utah governor, discussed the need for more civility in civic debate.
The UVU Center for Constitutional Studies David & Laurea Stirling Endowed Chair Verlan Lewis led the discussion between Peterson and Cox. The two discussed a variety of topics including democratic foundations, civic discussion, and the problems with growing political polarization.
“We’ve got to come together,” Peterson said. “We need to find center grounds to protect our moderates and reasonable voices.”
Governor Cox readily agreed with several of Peterson’s sentiments, despite the fundamental differences in their political ideologies. Cox plead for the audience to recognize the humanity in those we with whom we may disagree.
“The idea that you have to make the other side feel less human or to demonize someone or to hurt someone is what we continue to do in our politics,” Cox said. “I just fundamentally reject this idea.”