The American Lyceum

Lyceum Debates

Productive not Destructive.

Policies not Politics.


Such are the effects of mob law; and such are the scenes, becoming more and more frequent in this land … What has this to do with the perpetuation of our political institutions? I answer:
It has much to do with it.

Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum address, 1838

Today, civil society in the United States is under siege by mob violence. Politics is spoiled by hyperpartisan polarization. Media in is being ruined by tribalism and clickbait.

These forces have turned political debates into a cage match. We can do better, and we must.


Scores of public leaders have signed up to participate in Lyceum Debates. See the full list.

Lyceum Format

Three voices get three minutes to offer three solutions to one problem – that is the Lyceum debate format. They question one another. All with civility.

We must rebuild the institution of debate if American democracy is to survive. You can help. Support the 501(c)(3) today.


The American Lyceum was founded by two economists with over half a century of combined work on federal policy, one from the Hoover Institution and one from the Brookings Institution. Meet Tim Kane and Bob Litan