Open Letter /2/
To write that we are living in interesting times is an understatement. To sit back and witness the proliferation of slurs, insults and innuendos and to say nothing is a relinquishment of one’s essential right as a citizen.
I’ve witnessed many changes in administrations over decades. I am hard-pressed to recall such venomous, vitriolic and smarmy behavior as I’ve seen throughout the past two + years. Stooping to the most despicable displays of bullying, consistent strategies of distraction, while slipping in another barb at that one, another demeaning comment about this one. No side of the aisle is truly exempt in this.
However, this behavior does not stop. It rolls across our television screens. Is repeated and reprinted, re-interpreted and propounds itself all over social media – day in, day out.
Our democracy is founded on a few, essential principles – one being that all [people] are created equal. Another principle is that we all have certain, inalienable rights.
Just those two principles are enough to remind me that the founders intended to form a civil society – unlike any other society.
Where did that civility go? How did that lack of civility bring us to this quagmire of dirty, pathetic, embarrassing harangues and hissy fits? Is this your interpretation of democracy?
We, the people, don’t have to agree. In fact, we can be almost diametrically opposed on one or more issues. Neverthemore, when we, as a country, cannot accept and agree to simple, civil discourse, we’re all in very deep trouble. When we, as a people, can only live in the narrow, bigoted, opposition condition of them v. us, you v. me, then I say: “Stop. Enough. Step back. Take a deep breath. Clear your head of distracting noises. Begin, again.”
When the pendulum swings to its apex, it must, in time, swing the other way.
My concern in all this is, if we don’t re-establish a more civil national conversation, we will continue to run and stumble (not walk) down this path of insults, embarrassment, contention, lies and destructive behavior.
Is this what we, the people, want? Is this what you want? Is this your vision of what civil discourse and democracy is?
Jessan Dunn Otis | Writer
This is the second in a series of three (3) “Open Letter” posts.