Civil Discourse

I have been inundated, as you have no doubt, with political advertisements this election season.  Elections are the ultimate in adult competition, but I have to use the term “adult” loosely.  The question that comes to me often is, “Whatever happened to civil discourse?”  You know, when people with differing views can sit down and discuss their viewpoints with logic and respect.

We live in an age of “gotcha politics”: zingers and pithy one-liners rule the airwaves.  Substantive interaction is replaced by name-calling and character assassination.  So, I have a modest suggestion… I think that we need to have a week dedicated to being civil.  That would mean that those men and women that wish to be elected would be constrained to substantive discussions of the issues.  They would be polite, even kind to each other.  They would acknowledge each other’s gifts and strengths, and they would affably agree to disagree when at an impasse.  I would call it “Civil Discourse Week” and it would come four weeks before any election.

I realize that this is a dream that will most likely never be fulfilled.  But it does not stop me from challenging the reader to enter into this on his or her own.  Let’s be kind… not mean-spirited.  Let’s show each other respect instead of disdain.  And let’s live a “Golden Rule” life and not be so concerned with winning and losing.  Just a thought…

Jim