Introducing the “TJC Forum”

by James A. Bacon

If you want to engage with other Wahoos to talk about sports, there are websites for that. If you want to connect with Wahoo parents, there are social media platforms for that. If you want to discuss governance at the University of Virginia, however, there is no forum. Some of the most contentious issues of our times — free speech, diversity, the cost of higher education, mental illness, safety, social justice — play out at UVa. We at the Jefferson Council are committed to provide a venue, this blog, where those controversies can be discussed in a civil, mutually respectful manner.

Yes, we have passionate views on those pressing issues, and so do some of our officers and supporters. But we don’t think we have a monopoly on the truth. Our vision is for UVa to be the most exciting university in America to learn, teach and create knowledge. Turning vision into reality requires a diversity of viewpoints and a willingness of students, faculty, staff, and alumni to challenge one another without fear of retribution. As proponents of free speech and open dialogue, we try to live up to our own ideals, not just by tolerating different views, but fostering debate that subjects our own views to critical analysis.

Accordingly, we are introducing the TJC Forum.

Opinion pieces will appear with the “TJC Forum” logo shown above.

We welcome all viewpoints — including those that differ from ours — and will publish them on this blog as long as they meet our editorial standards for civility and clarity of expression. We will reject material that engages in profanity, gratuitous insults or ad hominem attacks.

We also welcome comments on letters, columns and op-eds. We invite critique and counter-critique However, we will delete comments marked by profanity, gratuitous insults or ad hominem attacks.

Let the ideas fly! Let the debates begin!

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walter smith
walter smith
2 months ago

This is a great idea. It would be better if this happened naturally, in person, in class, without hiding behind anonymity or masks, but it’s a start.
It is possible to disagree with people and to not hate them…why, even to still be friends with them!

Will we be suggesting topics or may participants propose them, like an open thread?

Jordan Ball 59
Jordan Ball 59
2 months ago

Wonderful idea. Hope it catches on and there will be a great exchange of beliefs and counter arguments.

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
2 months ago

Agree 100% Jim.

All opinions should be allowed and debated. That is what true intellectual diversity is about, with competing viewpoints.

Dabney2003
Dabney2003
2 months ago

Good idea. On my first read, I presumed it would be a “message board” format… But longer form posts will be good for promoting a better, more thoughtful debate. Thank you Mr. Editor for teeing this up.

Clarity77
Clarity77
2 months ago

Absolutely excellent idea as an instrument to fulfill Jefferson’s vision as to the pursuit of truth. In a current national climate of the perversion and suppression of truth by leftist dominated media purposefully spreading propaganda(i.e. lies), misinformation and disinformation the TJC Forum can work to restore truth in a civil dialogue(not monologue as exemplified by most current UVA sponsored events I have personally attended). Robust and thorough debate with a focus on properly educating at UVA the children and grandchildren entrusted by parents who rightfully expect and pay for what should be the very best education and not politically motivated indoctrination!
As an example of a topic with which to start I would suggest the following study that you will see nowhere in the leftist propaganda media. Bear in mind that this landmark study originated in the most leftist think tank of all in D.C, the Brookings Institute. Check it out. Your reaction and thoughts are always welcome.
Isn’t this just common sense? https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/community-family/children-liberal-parents-suffer-mental-health-issues

walter smith
walter smith
2 months ago
Reply to  Clarity77

If we were really serious about trying to help the “poor” and “marginalized,” the single biggest, most easily measurable thing to do would be to reverse the illegitimacy rate. All sorts of bad social outcomes are tied to not having a father in the home. We know it. Yet we watch the rate climb higher and higher.
Even kids who grow up in relatively affluent families, really dislike divorce, and it does cause problems which may be ameliorated by having more money. BUT, it used to be understood – parents stayed together for the children – in other words, they – the parents – were required to act like…adults! For the children! So I would suggest that No Fault Divorce needs to be rethought, as well.

Clarity77
Clarity77
2 months ago

Absolutely excellent idea as an instrument to fulfill Jefferson’s vision as to the pursuit of truth. In a current national climate of the perversion and suppression of truth by leftist dominated media purposefully spreading propaganda(i.e. lies), misinformation and disinformation the TJC Forum can work to restore truth in a civil dialogue(not monologue as exemplified by most current UVA sponsored events I have personally attended). Robust and thorough debate with a focus on properly educating at UVA the children and grandchildren entrusted by parents who rightfully expect and pay for what should be the very best EDUCATION and not politically motivated indoctrination!
As an example of a topic with which to start I would suggest the following study that you will see nowhere in the leftist propaganda media. Bear in mind that this landmark study originated in the most leftist think tank of all in D.C, the Brookings Institute. Check it out. Your reaction and thoughts are always welcome.
sn’t this just common sense? https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/community-family/children-liberal-parents-suffer-mental-health-issues

Mike Sullivan
Mike Sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Clarity77

I like the forum concept. However, to keep discussion civil, it is important that participants register and be identifiable. In other words, if the username/handle is not the participant’s real name, it should be linked to a profile providing the individual’s identity.