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MARTINSBURG — As television screens and social media timelines are inundated with political opinions spat at opposition ahead of a sure-to-be heated election season, the Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications at Shepherd University reminds the public to prioritize understanding and civility.

David Welch, director, spoke with members of the community early Friday morning during a Martinsburg–Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce event, where he encouraged those in attendance to reach across the aisle and engage with those of differing political views with civility and kindness.

“When opposing viewpoints are respected and legitimized, that greater political discourse can be found,” Welch said. “We put on our uniforms, whether Republican or Democrat, and we group-think and go with what we are wearing, and it’s hard to break out of those uniforms and decide the opposing side has something legitimate to add to the conversation, but it is worth it.”

Source: The Journal