THE DECLINE OF CIVILITY AND RESPECT

I don’t know about you, but I am very disturbed by a certain trend in America, particularly with respect to politics.  Americans have always thrived on having a healthy discourse among themselves with respect to political issues.  Often, we can disagree but still engage in respectful debate.  Our culture and way of life have encouraged this.  It’s what has made America unique.

Traditionally, there have been widespread disagreements among Americans with respect to virtually every issue, always have been, always will be.  For example, some of us favor big government, others of us prefer more self-reliance.  Some advocate a woman’s right to choose, others the right to life.  There are wide and varied opinions on immigration, trade, foreign policy, and a host of other issues.

However, what has made America great, what has set it apart from every other country, past and present, is that we have always been respectful of each other’s opinions.  Our attitude has been akin to that famous expression, and I paraphrase, “I strongly disagree with your opinion, but I will defend to my death your right to express it.”

However, recently something has changed.  Many of us no longer respect other people’s opinions if they are at variance with ours.  One could argue where, when and with whom this trend began, but the salient point is it is here, it is accelerating, and it is tearing our country apart.

I get it that one-half of the country despises President Trump on a personal level.  Every thing he does and says annoys them.  His tweets, his policies, his personality.  It is a visceral hatred, the likes of which I have never seen before in my lifetime.  It is so extreme that some, like Bill Maher, have even wished for something bad to happen (the stock market to sink in Maher’s case) so that President Trump’s approval rating will decline.  How sick is that?

The Dems have to wake up to the fact that Mr. Trump IS the duly-elected president.  He won fair and square.  I believe he won, because he tapped into the extreme discontent many Americans felt toward the Washington establishment, including politicians, lobbyists, and administrators.

By now, most of us realize that the Mueller Russia conspiracy investigation has no credibility and will go nowhere.  If anything, it has been uncovering Dem misconduct.   So, Dems you are “stuck” with him until at least 2020, if not 2024.  As my good friend, Arlene, is fond of saying “get over it, and move on!”

If you don’t like him or his policies that is your right but work within the system to defeat him in 2020.  Cut out the useless talk of impeachment, foreign interference and foul play.  Figure out why you lost, nominate a better candidate, and develop a plan to win next time.

In accordance with my center-right political perspective I place most of the blame on the left.  A few examples:

  1. Madonna saying she is thinking of “blowing up” the White House.
  2. Peter Fonda, who hasn’t had a hit movie in forever, saying “we should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles.”
  3. Far left demonstrators chanting and harassing Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, when she was attending a movie (ironically, it was mild mannered Fred Rogers’ Won’t You Be My Neighbor).
  4. Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson, being harassed while eating at DC restaurants and, ultimately, having to leave.
  5. Kathy Griffin holding President Trump’s “severed head” aloft on tv.
  6. Business Insider presented an extensive list of conservative-leaning speakers who were either disinvited from speaking on college campuses recently or were severely heckled, including, Ben Shapiro (who only was allowed to speak after threatening legal action), Anita Alvarez, Cook County, IL states attorney, Bassem Eid, a Palestinian whose remarks were nevertheless viewed as too pro-Israel by protesters, and John Brennan, former Director of the CIA.
  7. Commentators labeling the president and anyone who espouses his policies or even voted for him as “Nazis.”  Perhaps, this, which is becoming more common on certain cable news networks, is worst of all as (a) calling the other person a “Nazi” shuts off all further debate, (b) it dehumanizes them, and (c) it encourages violence.  If you engage in an honest debate with someone with whom you disagree you are recognizing he is not a bad person, per se, just that his opinion may be wrong.  If you label him a “Nazi” you are saying he is a bad person per se and his opinion is not worthy of respectful dialogue.  In addition, in my opinion, these comments belittle the actual Holocaust perpetrated by real Nazis that murdered some six million Jews and others.

CONCLUSION

Folks, we are headed down a slippery slope.  Once healthy, respectful debate is short-circuited, violence inevitably follows.  Fringe elements like Peter Fonda do not concern me.  Few people listen to them anyway.  What concerns me is the hyperbole being spewed by elected politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and Kamala Harris.  For example, Harris is railing that President Trump’s anticipated choice of a conservative Supreme Court justice to replace Justice Kennedy will “destroy the constitution.”  Come on!

They should know better.  Where are the moderate Democrat leaders?  Why aren’t they calling for civility?  I think and hope that a majority of Americans are as fed up and concerned as I am.  Furthermore, I hope they will make their voices heard in the one place that it matters most – the ballot box in November.

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