Richard Dreyfuss: Political Differences Are Vital

Tuesday, 15 Feb 2011 06:13 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Kathleen Walter

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Civility breathes life into political discourse in a democracy, and differences of opinion should be celebrated, Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss tells Newsmax.TV. The star of such iconic films as “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” as well as an acclaimed role as a music teacher in “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” has accepted another teaching part through his nonprofit organization, the Dreyfuss Initiative, to promote the teaching of civility and civics in schools.

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“When you interrupt, you can’t know what the person’s thinking,” he said during an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington during the weekend. “When you yell and scream . . . and take things out of context, you are distorting the message.

“Civility is not just manners,” Dreyfuss said. “Civility is really the oxygen that we require if we live in a democracy. And so we have to share space with those with whom we disagree or else why are we calling it a republican democracy. And if we have to do it, then we should celebrate it and not be dragged kicking and screaming into it. We should celebrate the differences in our opinion and not endure them painfully. That’s not how it should be working.”

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