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San Diego Civility Conference Arrives During Belligerent Political Season

President Donald Trump, left, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice P...

Photo by Patrick Semansky AP

Above: President Donald Trump, left, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, speaking during the first presidential debate with moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, center, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Carl Luna, organizer of the Conference on Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue, appearing on KPBS Midday Edition, looked ahead to Wednesday's debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris, saying it was an opportunity for the candidates to respect the person on the other side while engaging in a robust discussion of the issues.

RELATED: Pence And Harris Debate Wednesday. Here’s What You Need To Know

Luna, a political science professor at Mesa College, compared the Roman Republic, sickened and weakened by lead in the water pipes, to our own republic, which he believes is being poisoned by social media.

Citing the notably ugly September presidential debate, Luna said that several factors have combined to make political discourse devolve into mud-slinging, conspiracy theories and lies, including Trump's bullying personality, a general sense of distrust and the rise of conspiracy theories fueled by social media.

RELATED: Trump Derails 1st Presidential Debate With Biden, And 5 Other Takeaways

The ninth annual Conference on Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue continues online Wednesday.

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