What Happened To Civility

People announced their intention to run for president in April . . . of 2015.  Many were already jockeying for prime exposure well before that.  For a year and a half, 18 months, we have endured television ads, mail flyers, phone calls and yard signs.  We have been lied to, called names, told to question the current government, courted, teased, bullied, frightened and a myriad of other emotionally taxing tactics.

Somehow, during this time, we (as a collective group) have had our heart-strings yanked out.  Along with our sense of logic, critical thinking, compassion and humanity.  This used to be reserved for the politicians during these times, not the people.  We have lost our basic sense of civility.

It’s one thing to be passionate about your beliefs and how you want your tax dollars spent, these are things that are important to us as an individual.  However, what the people have evolved to is nothing that has been seen before.

If it were an isolated incidence, sure, things happen.  A couple, makes you raise your eyebrow.  This, how this country is behaving however, is worse than a school yard scuffle  combined with the apocalypse.  It’s not just the candidates that should be in detention, the people have sunk below the lowest common denominator  and are on the verge of making politicians look good!

I don’t care what side you’re on, I don’t care what your biggest issue is.  What I do care about is that you, as I do, respect my choices.  Please don’t say respect is earned.  That is not what we are talking about.  You don’t need to respect me as a person, my qualities, my anything, except respect the IDEA that someone may not think the same way you do.  As long as it does not interfere with your daily life and is not breaking a law, just leave it.

It seems as if this is no longer allowed in this country.  If you don’t think like we do, you are:  stupid, crazy, uneducated, gun nut, unbalanced, un-American, not patriotic, pro-immigrant, anti-immigrant, baby killer, anti-woman, redneck, liberal, 1%, anti-2nd amendment, pro-war, anti-military and on and on.  The name calling has been unprecedented, as has the violence, mob mentality and divisiveness.

If there is anything that we should have learned in the last 8 years, is that one person a government does not make.  So many had very high hopes of big and sweeping changes to Washington when Obama took office.  He did make changes, he did make impacts, but Washington is very much the same today as it was 8 years ago.  This is why it is so puzzling that the run for the White House this time around has just brought out the worst in people.  If changes in Washington is really what the people want, the changes need to happen TO Washington.  A single person will never do that unless that single person wants to change this democracy into a totalitarian state or dictatorship.

Why are we throwing eggs at people?  Why are we kicking people?  Why are we punching people?  Spitting on them, destroying property, instigating others, calling names, hitting, bullying, just being violent.  It’s not this disturbing in the rest of the animal kingdom, their packs or herds or families don’t treat each other the way we have been treating one another.  This has become the most divisive period than ever before and everyone is quick to point out those differences and not allow anyone else to do the same.  People have ended friendships, stopped talking to family and ‘unfriended’ them.

Discussion is no longer possible because no one is considered a neutral fact fountain.  The amount of misinformation, skewed numbers and flat-out lies that have been disseminated make it impossible.  Normally, you could be informed and have a hardy debate, but when you are debating two different topics that are the same, you are not going to get anywhere.  When there is no consensus on facts and that the source is valid, you could have two people disagreeing that grass is green.  This infuriates people for some reason and logic disappears.

Once we got to this point, that is when civility left.  It ran down the road and never looked back.  The question is, can we get it back or have we gone over the event horizon already?

 

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