A Way Forward on Civility After Tucson Rampage

A Way Forward on Civility After Tucson Rampage


I hate to rain on everyone’s parade when it comes to the possibility of political civility in the wake of this tragedy in Tucson, Ariz., but it ain’t gonna happen. Not a chance.

Will we hear nice words coming from Republicans and Democrats in the next few days or few weeks? Sure. Will everyone SAY the right things? Absolutely. But let’s have a reality check here for a moment. The divisiveness and heated rhetoric over public policy in this country will not end and won’t get any less tame.

Why? Because the people on the extreme left and extreme right don’t have any desire to ramp down the rhetoric.

You want to know the way things MAY begin to change? Get Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Levin, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, Markos Moulitsas all together to speak with one voice and say enough is enough. Have them all record a few national Public Service Announcements preaching a civil, passionate discourse but without the violence. Put them all in the same room together. (Oy-Gevalt)Have Barack Obama hold a civility press event. He can bring along Sarah Palin and Joy Behar. (I’ll wait until you finish laughing)

For the record, The Brody File is not holding its breath but I’m being serious with the overall principle laid out here.

Look, here’s the deal. The only way anything will really change in the future is for the controversial figures on the left and the right to come together and speak with one voice.

It’s nice that people like Sens. Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham agree that civility should reign. But let’s face it, who cares what they have to say? The real impact will come from the important people accused of spreading the rhetoric in the first place.

Let me offer one other analysis tidbit: It’s no surprise that the mainstream media’s storyline targets the conservative “fringe” right. It’s an intellectually lazy way to tell the story.This was a lone, deranged gunman. It was not a band of Tea Party Patriots violently going around the country causing problems.

Still, while it may be easy for conservatives to blame the media, the truth is that influential conservatives and liberals do have a personal responsibility to deliver frequent disclaimers about violence.

While most people listening or watching these influential media and political folks won’t resort to violence some may, isn’t it better safe than sorry? What’s the harm? After all, it doesn’t dilute the message and it may prevent someone from going ballistic. Sure, anyone deranged isn’t thinking straight anyhow and so the anti-violence message may not matter to someone determined to carry out their plan.

But there’s a bigger picture here. Civility calls for influential people to make wise decisions. It just seems like the common sense thing to do. On both sides.

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