Where did civility go?

As I look back over this last election cycle…and really, some before that…I wonder. When did we reach the point of thinking that we could say anything to anybody any way we liked?

We haven’t always agreed with each other, and that’s okay. It would be an incredibly boring world if we did! But we used to be able to disagree civilly…without attacking each other.

But all one has to do is to listen (as we all unfortunately had to) during this last election cycle to the candidate ads. I’m not sure I heard any that didn’t attack an individual or imply an attack on their integrity.

Yes, I know that we’ve had horrible–and vicious–attacks in the past. I remember some of the ads when Kennedy was running for office. But after the election, people seemed willing to work together for the good of all–and I sure am not hearing that now. Instead, what I’m hearing is negative agendas. “I’m not for anything…but my agenda is to undo everything that’s been done in the past two years”…or “My agenda is to make sure that Obama doesn’t get anything passed.”

We can’t accomplish anything for the good of the community if our focus is only on what we’re against…

Disagreement is fine with me. That’s how we find out where potential problems are. But incivility is not. It stagnates us…builds barriers and walls instead of bridges…divides us into “us” and “them”…

Are there not things we can agree on? Places we can find common ground? Willingness to find ways to work together?

If not, I fear for what our future holds.


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