By Courtney Doucet
The Baylor in Washington Program and the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise will host a lecture by Dr. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), on Wednesday, March 27 at 5 p.m. in Room 240 of the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. Brooks will lecture on topics from his newest book, “Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America From the Culture of Contempt.” The lecture is free and open to the public.
The book is Brooks’s latest commentary on the social climate of the U.S. His website calls “Love Your Enemies” a “roadmap to the happiness that comes when we choose to love one another, despite our differences.” In a recent interview with C-SPAN about the book, Brooks said, “The problem with we have in America today is increasingly we see people on the other side of the political aisle as our enemies. We are more polarized than we have been since the Civil War. If we actually love the people who are in our midst and we treat people with warm-heartedness instead of contempt we will find out they are not our enemies after all.”
In addition to being the current AEI president, Brooks is an author, social scientist, musician and political commentator. He also hosts a podcast called The Arthur Brooks Show. Brooks previously visited the Baylor campus in 2015 when he gave the lecture “Capitalism without Attachment: Creating a Prosperous Society without Losing Our Souls.” His return marks the second time he has spoken at Baylor.
“This event has been a several year process,” said Palmer Brigham, senior professional writing and rhetoric major and member of the Baylor AEI Executive Council, who assisted in orchestrating the event. Brigham, who interned with the AEI during her time in the Baylor Washington in D.C. program, believes Brooks’s visit to campus will be influential to students and timely, considering the political climate on and off campus.
“A lot of what he talks about in his new book ‘Love Your Enemies’ is the political climate today, but not necessarily how you have to stand your ground and fight for a side, but rather learn to hear other people’s opinions and engage with that. I think our ideas become better when we engage with people different from ourselves,” Brigham said. “A huge pillar of AEI is the competition of ideas. Something really important to AEI is that they don’t allow their speakers to not have a question-and-answer time at the end because they don’t believe in people being able to just lobby for a cause. AEI believes that ideas are best when they are challenged.”
The AEI is a think tank founded in 1938 and based in Washington, D.C. The AEI is a nonpartisan organization that emphasizes bipartisan engagement.