Keeping Things Civil
Every four years, we have a tremendous, Constitutionally guaranteed, opportunity to remind ourselves just how much we hate our neighbor. Twelve to sixteen months of personal attacks and a relentless avalanche of political marketing that has become our presidential election cycle. Instead of being a moment for us to collectively pause, evaluate our progress, and choose a vision for our future, it’s a free-for-all.
The same is true for us this year. We’re passing the twelve month mark in this election cycle and it seems that this is an appropriate moment to remind ourselves of something truly elementary: we’re all people.
Our thoughts and opinions are largely based on our upbringing, environment, and life experiences. A nation of 300+ million people cannot possibly hope to agree on everything, but we should be able to come together, through the appropriate channels, to express viewpoints and agree on a course of action. This ideal, of course, has not really been seen concretely since September 11, 2001.
The beautiful by-product of that deplorable attack was how it united us as a nation. We set aside our political prejudices and focused instead on what brings us together. We collectively make our nation what it is, and all have a stake in making it the best society possible.
We shouldn’t need a massive attack in order to remind us that our political opponents are people who care just as much about the future of our nation as we do. This fall, and indeed beyond November 8th, I challenge you to do the bravest thing any citizen can do in the public life: remain civil.