Much like the cries of racism and complaints about ad hominem attacks, recently we’ve been hearing a lot of cries for civility in political discourse. There’s a certain subset of the residents within America’s borders who want a more polite and staid approach to deciding the course of America.
It seems that politics has gotten too raw and real for some people.
This, of course, begs three related questions: who are these people crying for increased civility, what is it that they actually want, and why do they want it so much?
Who’s Crying For Civility
I see two disparate and unrelated general segments of America’s population crying out for an increase in civility in political speech and argument. They are respectively the apolitical drones and the Leftists, the Liberals and Progressives. Each makes similar outcries but for seemingly different reasons and with different real goals.
What Do They Really Want And Why?
The apolitical people just want things to go quietly. They’re uninvolved in politics, fervently wish to stay that way, and are both bothered and scared by the passion that is being shown by many others. Whether from cynicism or self-centeredness, they do not want to pull their heads out the oh-so-comfortable sand and become involved and the fire of current political discourse is preventing them from doing this.
The staid, stuffy, and easily ignored ways are what these drones want to return to because they don’t want to open their eyes and choose a side.
The Leftists, these Liberals and Progressives, are quite different. They are awake, aware, involved in the political process, and they have a definite direction that they want to take America in. Their cries for civility are really two things: cynical attempts to silent their enemies and cries for validation and acceptance.
The willfully uninvolved will just have to stop their ears better and learn to keep their heads down.
For many of the Left, their cries are just dog-whistles for censoring the American people. They don’t really want civility, as their very cries for it often show, so much as they want to stop any dissent against their foundations of their agenda.
For others on the left it is a matter of crying out for acceptance and validation. They’re looking for some affirmation that, even though their enemies disagree with their core ethos, they are still respected and approved of.
Sadly for those who’re crying out for increased civility, I don’t see much chance of- or value in its return any time in the near future. The divide in America is not too deep; it’s to fundamental. It doesn’t allow for the luxury of civility anymore. It’s not a political divide; it’s an ethical and moral divide.
We’re not going to be silenced. We’re not going to engage in carefully managed debates over minutiae of methodology when we want to change the goals and systems. And we’re very much not going to respect our enemies when we find the core beliefs that underpin their goals and actions to be utterly abominable and abhorrent.