Related Content: civility

Dearth of Civility in the Public Square

Gwen's Take

Flash back with me to sixth grade recess. A bit of taunting that turns into a little shoving and trash talking. Next thing you know, a circle of children are egging each other you on, chanting: “Fight! Fight! Fight!”

What choice did you have but to fight? It wasn’t a very civil thing to do, but this was elementary school.

Now, we live in a world of sixth grade taunting everywhere we look, where disagreements are settled on the playground of dueling campaign appearances and pundit-driven cable television debates.

Kennedy, King and the Power of Words

Gwen's Take

I am not such a fan of celebrating anniversaries for their own sake. Much of what we say on such occasions is rote – if not trite – and the true meaning of observance is easily lost.

But there were two occasions this week (while we in Washington were all on the lookout for post-Tucson lapses in civility) that made me rethink. Both cases involved taking the words of famous men and allowing others to speak them.

In This Election Season, Pondering Peace & Harmony

Gwen's Take

I’ve been giving a lot of thought during the waning days of this bitterly-fought midterm election campaign to the idea of peace and harmony.

“Come on,” you say. “What does peace or harmony have to do with dead heat campaigns that could determine control of the House and the Senate?”

Not a lot, it turns out. I thought about it when I watched one candidate refuse to shake another’s hand after a debate in Kentucky this week. I thought about it again when I saw what spurred the snub – a particularly toxic campaign ad.

On the Radar: February 4, 2010

Legacy: On The Radar