The simplest requests can often lead to the most obtuse results.
When my children were extremely young my wife and I tried to persuade them to “use their words,” when they were angry.
This has led to a lifetime of each one of them blaming the other in disputes that often have their root cause in the inability to affectively listen to each other.
Turns out while busy “using their words,” they didn’t listen to each other.
Thus it is with society and I remain firmly convinced American society in 2017 resembles nothing more than two juvenile siblings arguing over who started the fight without ever trying to resolve the inconsequential differences that only theoretically separate them.
After a GOP congressman got shot during practice for a charity baseball event last week Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appeared together and spoke from the floor of the House. Ryan said an attack on one of us was an attack on all of us. Pelosi agreed and both said while she and Ryan have their differences they were part of something larger than themselves.
I found comfort and hope in both statements and tweeted out: “With a discussion of civility in politics one has to embrace the idea of respecting the opinion of others - this starts at the top.”
Within a few minutes I had responses ranging from “Amen,” to “You hate the president and it isn’t his fault it’s the fault of the stupid liberals,” and of course the obligatory, “It’s all the president’s fault and we’re right, you’re wrong.”
The smugness of the last comment and the lunacy of the first one aside, only the guy who said “Amen,” (a very conservative friend of mine by the way), seems to have understood the message.
I wasn’t tweeting about President Trump. I could’ve fit “POTUS” or “Trump” in the same 140-character tweet if I wanted – but I didn’t because that wasn’t my intent.
Civility starts at the top and everyone is at the top of their own food chain. We are responsible for our own choices and how we decide to react to the statements of others.
I’m tired of my smug liberal friends who think the president is completely worthless. Sitting in the press room three days a week – and because I’ve had access to cabinet members – I can report some of what the president is doing makes sense. Look at employment and the stock market. It isn’t all bad news folks. The president himself has even castigated Congress for drawing up a health care plan that is “mean” to some people. Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.
And don't preach to me about tolerance. Being intolerant of people intolerant of you makes you - guess what - intolerant. Ann Coulter can speak anywhere she wants. You don't like it? Don't show up.
And to paraphrase a character from “The Newsroom,” if liberals are so right all the time why do they lose so damn much?
As for my conservative friends – grow up. I’ve never seen a bigger pack of sore winners in my life. You scream at the liberals for not giving the president a fair chance and pretend some of you haven’t been mean spirited, narrow minded and angry – or that the president hasn’t engaged in twitter tirades that would prompt most parents to take away the smart phone from their recalcitrant child. You’re still angry about Hillary Clinton and she isn’t even in public office! You blame the “Mainstream Media” for not reporting the news – you learned about from the “Mainstream Media.”
The hypocrisy on the left is only equaled by the hypocrisy on the right. Both of you need to go to your room for a “Time out.”
Now my liberal friends will think I’ve lost my mind and my conservative friends will illogically say something like “You wouldn’t cry about civility if the liberals were being uncivil.” (Someone actually wrote that).
The bottom line is facts are facts. If you don’t like a fact that disagrees with what you believe - you may be correct that someone is biased – but then again you might be brittle, bitter and incapable of understanding that you’re wrong.
It doesn’t mean someone is liberal or conservative because they don’t agree with you – you could just be unable to recognize facts.
All men are frauds Mencken told us. Some don’t recognize it and others deny it.
Whatever we face we need to remember some founding principles of our Republic: Out of many we are one. United We Stand – Divided We Fall. I may disagree with what you say but defend to death your right to say it. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us – rich or poor, white or black, gay or straight, healthy or infirmed.
We need to respect one another and be far more kind about dissent.
Or as I told the kids on many occasion; “Behave yourselves or I’ll press your face in dough and make gorilla cookies.”