In only a few weeks we will finally no longer hear “I am [insert name] and I approve this message” – regardless of political affiliation, you have to be looking forward to regaining control of your TV from, candidates, PACS ,Super PACs and special interest groups or individuals.
There was a time when even in the heat of a campaign civility between candidates and their minions was the norm not the exception. An old friend, (and in truth we disagreed on many issues but really respected and more important liked each other), former Rep. Joe Knollenberg told me, take away the cameras and microphones and we do really like each other and do work together. Think about who the first person to reach Ted Kennedy was when he collapsed at the Inaugural Luncheon in 2009. A Conservative Mormon from Utah and a Liberal Catholic from Massachusetts. they fought like mad on the Senate floor but had one of the greatest friendships in Senate history.
Why have we lost that ability to be civil and respect each other’s views, whether we agree with them or not. Have ideologues totally captured our political system? And I mean both right and left since both extremes are guilty.
While I have views on candidates and certainly will let you know them over the next few weeks, I am extremely concerned about the tenor of the political debate in the media and more important how we are treating each other where we disagree. The Presidential and Vice Presidential debates may have sounded rancorous but in fact, there was a degree of civility to them, though at points, they did get awfully close to the limits.
While not intending to give a history lesson, we can go back to the Constitutional Convention to see how civility and compromise among people of different views came to play an important part in the formation of the government we still have – the very establishment of a bi-cameral legislature and how it was organized is an example of compromise and throughout our history, till recently.
The respect and civility that has been a hallmark of our system of government, no longer exists and without it we have more serious problems than even opposing views; without it the ability to work together and yes, to compromise with each other for the best interests of the country or state is lost and with that the hallmark of our system of government is in jeopardy.