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I couldn’t help rolling my eyes at this well intentioned definition of civility:
Civility is about more than just politeness, although politeness is a necessary first step. It is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements. It is political in the sense that it is a necessary prerequisite for civic action. But it is political, too, in the sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s is ignored.
And civility begins with us.
Good grief. There was a time when I would embrace this definition of civility; now I can only shake my head in disappointment because it is so alien to our current politics.
While Democrats call for civility, they bang on the doors of the Supreme Court, accost legislators in front of their homes and in elevators, shoot at them at bi-partisan baseball practices, and brutally attack them at their homes. The delusion that the Democrats speak from is mind-boggling. Hillary Clinton made this statement:
Clinton told CNN’s Christine Amanpour that one cannot be civil with a political party that ‘wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.’
‘That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again,’ Clinton asserted. ‘But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.’
I’m not a psychologist, but this comment is not only delusional; I assert that it is a classic state of projection: everything that Clinton said was a spot on description of the Progressives; they want to destroy everything that this country stands for. And that she thinks that civility can be turned back on like a light switch if the Democrats were to win the election is ridiculous, even frightening.
So here’s my take on civility in politics: it will not be practiced by the Democrats–period. They not only do not understand the concept; they don’t care about honoring it. The word “civility” is a whip to beat up the Republicans about what they are not doing: the Republicans are not caving in to Democrat demands; they are not being bullied by intimidation tactics; and they are refusing to legitimize the expectations of the other side. The Democrats will also play the victims of the incivility they demonstrate: it’s Donald Trump’s fault; it’s Mitch McConnell’s fault; it’s Susan Collins’ fault. All of these people and many others justify the incivility of the Left. I think we have to assume that for the foreseeable future, especially if the Republicans come out ahead in the mid-terms, the Democrats will not only continue to be uncivil, but they may very well escalate into violence.
So what can the Republicans do? Forge ahead with their plans. Continue to hammer repeatedly on the Justice Department for the information legislators are entitled to receive. Run political ads that highlight the appalling behavior, not only of protestors, but of the Democrats, too. Start to act like Conservatives by continuing efforts to cut back regulations. Refuse to support legislation that expands entitlement programs and the power and size of the federal government. Discern when Democrats should be ignored and when they should be called out. Speak out in support of Trump’s programs, such as building the wall and the new NAFTA agreement. Put your petty grievances aside for the good of the country. Demonstrate to everyone that the unity of the Republican Party is not an illusion, but the new reality.
It’s time to notify the country, not just Trump supporters but independents and disgruntled Democrats, too, that the New Republican party is here to stay.
Civility may be a casualty of the Democrat party, but the country can continue to move forward successfully, without their blessing.
It’s our time.