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Civility, decency, courtesy, & compassion still exist.

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posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 10:04 PM
The present political climate is the most divisive in my living memory. Somewhere along the way, I fear people have forgotten that what our beliefs are, which "side" we choose, and what we want to see happen in our lives and the world, are equaled in importance by how we go about disagreeing with those who don't share our views. In this topic, I would like to give examples and stories of people showing common civility and good will toward one another across these political divides, in order to accentuate that principle.

Firstly, because in addition to political division (and because in its own way, it is political division) religious division is also so often focused upon, I want to offer an example of Muslims and Christians working together to do good. I think many imagine when this sort of moderate cooperation takes place, it must be only isolated instances that occur in the West. But this is happening in Iraq and Syria.

“It’s helping each other, it’s loving your neighbor, it’s never to sleep full when your neighbor is hungry,” Ahmed explains.

But that belief comes with a price: separation from her parents and living in constant fear.

Ahmed’s parents fled to Jordan after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. She remained in Iraq to finish school, but when she saw the humanitarian need, she couldn’t leave. She is now part of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which works with leaders from different faith groups.

She says the goal is simple: “Stop for one second and listen to the other part and accept the other in your life.”

And that is by no stretch of the imagination an isolated example.

And in the more firmly political sphere, we have this recent example.

Democrats have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $10,000 to help reopen a firebombed Republican county office in North Carolina.

“As Democrats, we are starting this campaign to enable the Orange County, North Carolina Republican office to reopen as soon as possible,” the page says.

Just four hours after the donation page launched, almost $8,500 had been raised.

We can choose whether to cynically see this as nothing more than political opportunism, or even debate who carried out the atrocious act in the first place... or to view this as what I choose to: an example of genuine bipartisan civility, placing the principle thereof above political hostility, in defiance of whatever extremists chose violence rather than discourse.

Speaking of bipartisanship...

In a sparkling show of bipartisanship, the House of Representatives and Congress passed the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights on Friday, October 7th.

The legislation emphasizes survivors’ free access to rape kits, which are key pieces of evidence necessary for a proper court case.

There are still things that unite people despite whatever differences exist, or how deeply held and felt they may be. I fully acknowledge the massive corruption and frustration intrinsic to our political system today. But short of running for office ourselves, the only way I can conceive of to change that - even if it's only one iota at a time - is to individually, personally strive for civility and mutual respect.

Speaking of personal bridge building...

Larry Imerman is a Republican precinct delegate from Bloomfield Township. His wife Miriam is the Democratic precinct delegate for the same area. Politically speaking, they’re the odd couple.

And yet, listening to the two talk politics over breakfast at Nello’s in Royal Oak, one can remember the good old days when the two parties seemed to get along better.

They are not only from opposite sides of the isle... they are politically active participants in their respective parties' functioning. And yet, these two devoted their lives to one another's happiness, in a bond of love.

Finally, I'd like to conclude with a quote from congressman Trey Gowdy, someone I disagree with politically on an enormous range of issues, and who has made a lot of waves of late for his aggressive (but in my opinion quick witted and insightful) criticism of many involved in the FBI Clinton probe, among other issues. Whatever else he may espouse, whatever I may disagree with, this is something he said when describing how to persuade and argue, in a speech not so long ago:

“Insults don’t work. Hypocrisy doesn’t work. Telling people to live their lives a certain way while we live our lives another way doesn’t work.”


“You are the messenger that is going to change your world. I am not asking you to be like Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln. I am asking you to live a quiet life of conviction and virtue and actually live out what you profess to believe...”

Now, one may agree or disagree with what that means to him personally. I disagree with much of what he says beyond that. (As I do with the positions of the above sources in many aspects.) But the principle he is describing is absolutely what I believe, and I have enormous respect for him saying this in the present political climate. That kind of respect can exist simultaneous with disagreement.

I am not voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. However, no matter how profoundly I may disagree with each of them politically or in terms of policy, I have made a vow to myself to stubbornly and defiantly refuse to hate either of them as human beings or citizens. Likewise their supporters, and everyone in between.

Consider this my humble plea and encouragement: I'm not saying there are never times when we have to stand up for what we believe in, or even zealously defend it. But there is always, always time to stop, think, and reflect before we speak, type, or hit send. There is always a better way to argue, to disagree, and to debate, than what has become the norm of late in my opinion. And there is always the possibility of working harder within ourselves to cultivate a spirit of fellowship and mutual - however grudging it may be, or how hard it may be to summon - respect. Even If only on the basis that we're all people.

Feel free, as we all are, to disagree. Just my two cents, as always.

edit on 10/23/2016 by AceWombat04 because: Typo

posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 10:07 PM
a reply to: AceWombat04

It's so divisive now because this is the first time in a long time that the establishment has been challenged.

Half the country wants the establishment.

The other half wants something different.

posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 10:10 PM
a reply to: DBCowboy

Indeed. I'm just trying to encourage everyone to consider the notion that how we go about arguing for what we want, is just as important as getting it or wanting it.


posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 10:34 PM
a reply to: AceWombat04

That was extremely well thought out and delivered. If we could all remember we are all human and trying to get through this thing called life. A little understanding and compassion goes a long way. I applaud you for the thread and the prodding to think and act with respect for our fellow human beings.

posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 10:48 PM
Beautifully said. Like a breath of fresh air!

posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 11:16 PM
Yes, I agree. Very well said. I appreciate you brining out the best in YOURSELF, even as the battles continue.

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 12:13 AM
a reply to: AceWombat04

My politics is one of individual liberty and limited (or non-existent) Federal Government. For me I consider any position that inflicts beliefs or affects my family to be an attack so I consider anyone that is telling me I have to comply with some legislation or dogma an enemy.

Sadly, EVERYONE seems to want to control my life. Be it religious folks, conservatives or liberals everyone seems to have an opinion on how I can live my life.

I don't bother anyone. I don't hurt anyone. I just want to be left free to live my life. Sadly, anyone with a political opinion or religious dogma thinks I am not allowed to do that so, yeah, if you want to just be friends I am the coolest person in the world, but once you inflict your beliefs on me I consider it an attack and our social contracts are null and void.

I want no war, no statute laws (protecting person and property is necessary) and have zero tolerance for people telling me who I have to like or 'tolerate'. I will leave people alone, but keep your BS to yourself unless you are a friend or family member and we are just talking and not inflicting ideology.

People should allowed to be alive for shouldn't have to comply or swear fealty to be allowed to breathe.

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 12:29 AM
a reply to: Metallicus

Which is precisely why I can and will only ask for, and encourage, civility. Not demand it or force it upon anyone. There is little else I can do.


posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 01:19 AM
a reply to: DBCowboy

Half the country wants the establishment.

The other half wants something different.

There is a good portion that want something different, want to challenge the establishment, and absolutely do not want Trump because they recognize the train wreck it is.

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 01:42 AM
a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

I think the vast majority want something "different".

Hillary is the safe option while we wait for the right person to make real change.
Trump has potential to be the nuclear option to make real change (or be a total trainwreck).

If this was the NBA I'd say Trump has a much higher ceiling and a much lower floor.

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 01:48 AM
a reply to: Krahzeef_Ukhar

Personally I would bet on the train wreck scenario so my vote will be placed with the sole intent of making sure he isn't elected.

As for his potential for awesomeness; I don't see it. I don't see it at all.

I will agree, however, that Hillary isn't the game-changer we need. Also, that she is the safer option.

I truly look forward to a political revolution, whenever it may come, and when it comes with worthy leadership.
edit on 24-10-2016 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 01:58 AM

originally posted by: Lucid Lunacy
As for his potential for awesomeness, I don't see it. I don't see it at all.

Really? Not even a 1% chance that he's riddled with white guilt after years of raping and pillaging and wants to make amends?

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 02:08 AM
a reply to: Krahzeef_Ukhar

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 02:27 AM
a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

I'll take that as a no.

But to be honest I can't go as high as 1% with Hillary wanting to make a real change either so we're basically having a religious debate. We both actually want the same thing here at least so there is a common goal.

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 02:49 AM
a reply to: Krahzeef_Ukhar

I thought you were positing a joke to me, so I responded in kind. Now that I know it was serious, my answer is: no, not even a 1% chance.

so we're basically having a religious debate

I'm one of ATS's stronger antitheists so that wouldn't be unfamiliar to me. Perhaps the wrong analogy to set the tone lol

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 03:22 AM
a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

I think it's the most accurate.
I consider myself an antitheist also, it's the only moral option.

But look at the creationist threads and the election threads. They are interchangeable almost in regards to the lack of real discussion.

We're struggling to make progress and we don't actually like either candidates. The actual supporters have no chance.

On a partially related matter, that quote from Nietsche could be the best religion quote I've seen. I'm a little disappointed and surprised I've never seen that before.

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 04:07 AM
a reply to: Krahzeef_Ukhar

You are both right, and both wrong.

Hilary has a track record of warmongering and failure to represent the peaceful and quiet majority. Trump has a record as a human being of being nine tenths of a sociopath, treating people like garbage, preaching what he refuses to practice, and destroying more than half of what he touches. His accountant is a genius, but he himself is a train wreck.

Neither candidate is safe, both are hell walking on Earth, neither to be trusted.

Only if someone other than these two is elected, will the USA ever have a hope in hell of self correction, and that will necessitate an external force is bought in to drive change, a situation with which the US government and its appendages is all too familiar, having forced such change on nations which have not required it, for decade upon decade, in theater after theater, without relent or remorse, for purely financial reasons.
edit on 24-10-2016 by TrueBrit because: grammatical error corrected.

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 06:30 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

We're all the same in thinking that we are correct.
I'm not sure if true objectivity can be had here.

Could it be that all questions of consequence remove objectivity and the civility, decency and courtesy the OP speaks of is impossible?

We should probably just put things to a vote.

posted on Oct, 24 2016 @ 11:25 AM
a reply to: AceWombat04

Yes! You and I can remember when members of congress addressed each other as, "The Good Gentleman/Gentlewoman from...". Civility: it's first use as a "state of being a citizen and hence good citizenship or orderly behavior". Civilization: advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached. Civility, civilization.

A few more links relating to thread topic

Institute for Civility in Government

National Institute for Civil Discourse

The Institute for Civil Dialogue

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