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Thu., March 8, 2012

Civility still important

I believe that civility in politics is important to a healthy democracy. Civility should not be viewed as cowardice or a lack of conviction but as a respectful pact to agree to disagree.

I grew up in a family where politics was often and passionately discussed. My father would sit at our kitchen table with neighbors and friends and discuss the virtues and shortcomings of both political parties. There were many heated exchanges. But the tone of these discussions was always respectful and ended in a handshake or a slap on the back. Unfortunately, those days are gone.

Now our discourse is something far less thoughtful and open-minded. It has become dangerous and unproductive. Add in no commitment to telling the truth, and many damaging rumors become our focus.

Our democracy is centered on a two-party system that, thus far, has served us well. In recent polls, most Americans agree that coarseness and a lack of respect between Democrats and Republicans is unacceptable.

No need to check your passion at the door, but please permit those with opposing ideas to speak freely as well.

Rose Kelly Rhoades


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