Former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and former U.S. Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, both called for increased civility in politics and government on Friday during a virtual discussion hosted by Utah Valley University.

The discussion, which was part of the Center for the Study of Ethics’ Appomattox Project, a “multi-year effort designed to focus on the ethical dimensions of civic discourse, public policy, and democratic society,” explored “American political culture and the need to strengthen our fragile public square,” as stated by Karen Hale, co-chair of the Community Advisory Board overseeing the project.

Though they belong to different parties, Hale praised McAdams and Herbert, a Republican, as “two political leaders known for their commitment to bridge-building and to civic dialogue.”

UVU President Astrid Tuminez, who moderated Friday’s discussion, asked the duo for their reaction to “this evolution of hyper-partisanship” in American politics over the past decade.

“I do think it’s bad today,” said McAdams, who lost his bid for re-election in November 2020. “And in my service in Congress over the last two years, it was really bad.”

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