Civility: Worth Adopting

by Vince

I remember back when I wasn’t as politically interested some liberals were extremely crass towards Republicans and George W. Bush. This could be the out-of-power move; Republicans seem to be highlighted more these days as cry babies, bitter, and whiners whereas I don’t hear much of the same from the left. In the midst of that discussion, there comes the issue of civility. Will one side stand firmly in their ideological towers and not meet their opposite in the middle (or somewhere slightly on one side or the other)?

Peter Wehner puts together a good piece on the topic of civility. I can’t help but see from time to time a certain GOP faithful say that any type of moderation is a treasonous act towards “the founders” and conservative principles. Maybe, but if no progress is made on such momentus issues as the economy and the governments role, health care for the masses, and a holistic immigration policy, we will still all be in square one. However, I can see that the GOP, which is more and more seen today as the party of “no”, may be choosing to say “no” so to reach for power to implement their plans. To them, being in control may be the better option for governing than piecemeal bipartisanship.

Some may still stand by their mantra of preferring ideologically purist decisions than “watered down” or blended approaches (non-biblical even). A political party is not elected to fully reign from top to bottom. If that were so, it wouldn’t be communism but one step closer towards totalitarianism and subsequently walking away from a checks and balances nation.

Certain political figures from both sides as well the religious figures from plethora of religions too easily defer to marking certain individuals or groups as “enemies”. The common claims are that this is the right way and that (or anything else) is wrong, that it isn’t that complicated if you just read (literally, of course) a few certain holy or made-holy (Constitution) documents or that you are a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ or a communist, secular humanist, illegal, et al (name calling that packs more of a toxic stigma than an intention to actually conversate humanly).

What this all does it tramples on the grey; politics and religion are not black and white. Some may want them to be so that all decisions can easily be made in an ideological bubble but that is not reality. Moreover, discourse is trampled on. Stories are not heard or sought, questions are not asked, stereotypes are reinforced, and tempers are raised. Much of the vitriol, both flagrant and glaring as well as the well guised (‘We need to take America back’) are able to be avoided if we (myself included) take the time (and give the time to others) to explain ourselves. Unfortunately,  this complicates itself when realities and values are on separate planets and are quite confusing.

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