Michael Dukakis

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

As the presidential candidates trade barbs on television, and parents worry about whether the result is "family-friendly" viewing, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the dialogue could be improved if Americans were better educated about history and civics.

L. Patrick ``Pat’’ Devlin was known for years as one of the nation’s top scholars of presidential debates and campaign commercials. Now, Devlin, an emeritus professor of communication studies at the University of Rhode, is about to make URI a center for his archive of presidential television campaign ads.