SAU Buzz

Incivility in America

by Patrick Redmond
Posted on Nov 08, 2018

The end of October marked a dangerous time in America. On Oct. 22, several pipe bombs were sent to prominent public figures. Not even a week later on Oct. 27, a synagogue in Pittsburgh was attacked by a white supremacist, leaving 11 dead. These attacks are indicative of the lack of civility present in the American political system.

This lack of civility is most obvious when both sides place the blame on each other. Paul Waldman of the Washington Postclaimed that it is directly President Trump’s fault for the pipe bomb attack. President Trump himself declared on twitter that it is the “Fake News” media’s fault for these attacks because of their “anger” in society.

It is not President Trump’s fault for the bombs any more than it was Bernie Sanders’s fault for the shooter last June that nearly killed a republican senator. While the main stream media is biased, they are also not directly responsible for the bomb attacks either.

Trump approached this subject correctly when he stated at the Young Black Leadership Summit, “These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country. We must never allow political violence to take root.”

There are two main steps that need to be followed to ensure that political violence does not take root. First, there needs to be an end to immediately blaming political opponents. Secondly, there needs to be a sharp downturn in the amount of divisive rhetoric used by politicians.

In June, Maxine Waters (D-CA) was at a rally in Los Angeles and said, “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere…”

This language is equally as heated as when Trump, referring to protesters at one of his rallies in Las Vegas in Feb. 2016, said, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

Back in 2012 Joe Biden referred to Mitt Romney and said, “ they will put y’all back in chains,” while speaking at a rally in North Carolina with a large African American population.

This political race caused the start of the tear in the American social fabric. While neither the rhetoric from the right or left is to directly blame for these attacks, it has contributed. Everyone in the political scene is partially responsible as they have split the nation with their constant inflammatory rhetoric.

If politicians want this country to heal from its schism they should tone down personal attacks, instant blaming and overall comparisons between their political opponents and evil historical figures.

However, it does not end there. Everyone has a part to play, too. Instead of treating each other as enemies, treat each other as fellow citizens working towards a common goal with different ideas.

We are not simply democrats and republicans—we are Americans. If we treat each other as such, then we can begin to find our civility again.