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We Must Be Civil

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posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 05:16 PM
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I am a student of people. It is part of why i am a manager of people, as well. They kind of compliment each other.

One of the things i have seen is the backlash to the AZ shootings. The calls for "civility", and the completely absurdity that those calls for civility are basically "Look, be civil, dammit!"

Which prompted me to write We Must Be Civil



Over the last week there has, thankfully and finally, been a call for some civility in political discourse. In my time on the internet, I notice that the current round of political hate really ramped up around the 2000 election of GW Bush. Many Gore supporters felt ripped off, slighted. Possibly they were, as I would not be surprised to find that the election was tampered with in Florida, as alleged. The backlash to this was immense, and really started off an entire “Kill Bush” meme that spread like wildfire among the populace, primarily the youth (who tend to be more idealistic in their thinking, and were the most disappointed by the results).

Then the 2004 election came, and it was another nail biter. When Bush won THAT election, the hate was dialed up considerably. I lived his last 4 years in fear that our nation would not survive his presidency. I logged thousands of hours online during that time, interacting with others both domestic and abroad. The utter lack of civility was astounding. To see the way people would talk to each other…it was horrible.

Eventually I joined up with a forum that does a fairly good job of keeping the pure hate off the boards, but there is still this seething, boiling hate under the surface among many members, with frequent overspills that result in action by site administrators.

I mention my online activity as it relates to this, because I believe it gives you the best insight into how people are feeling about the issues. But it has also shown me how people can be willingly led into madness by others.

So it is nice to see the recent cries for civility. The President, who I am no fan of, nailed the speech at the memorial service. It has to be a moment for history, honestly. And outstanding display of leadership and oratory skill. But beyond his obvious grace, it all falls apart. You hear people constantly saying, “We need to be civil, but…” He provided a moment of real, sincere leadership, and The People seem to have shrugged it off entirely.

There is no civility happening. Just a lot of blaming, and trying to justify horrible behavior. I see each side trying to show how the “other side” has done something just a little more wrong, in efforts to detract from the wrong that their ideology has done. Yet, at the end of the day, we are left with a nation that sincerely owes itself a HUGE apology, a large dose of humility, and a time out to reflect on what is American, and what is right.

These calls for civility, yes they are righteous. But it seems that no one is ready for it, despite the warning.

President Obama challenged the nation to live up to the expectations of our children. I say that we don’t have the intestinal fortitude to even try. But I will be damned if that critical point of failure is going to be me. I, too, challenge you to live up to those expectations. More so, live up to the expectations of those who have died preserving your opportunity for this challenge.

“Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” – John Quincy Adams


It's not about taking sides. The person you are looking at, blaming, is you.




posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 05:39 PM
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Obama said he want's to live up to the expectations of children, and we all should.

But this is 100% illogical and based in emotional fantasy.

Most children's expectations are geared by watching tons of media entertainment programs.

A notable example is the way Disney implements a "Princess" mentality into little girls. Not all, but many.

There is no way in reality, that anyone can possibly live up to these "perfectionist" expectations. They are almost all completely impractical and illogical.

No adults ever bother to change things or remedy our failures. It's not realistic.

No, we should tell our children to get over the bs, and accept real life.
They are slaves of the corporations, and their life has only 1 point, to serve the system.
Or choice #2, devote their lives to knowledge and finding a way to throw a wrench in the cogs of the machine.

That's truth and reality. Tough luck you might say, sure. But it's real.

Most people tell their kids that Santa Claus is real, and that Columbus discovered America. These are blatant lies that get kids thinking totally fake things. It's irresponsible.

Obama used straight up lies and half truths to prey on the emotional states of people, vultures picking the bones of a corpse for self-benefit.

I am not a child. I can handle the truth. I don't need fantasies to cloud my mind.
And on that note, children don't need fantasies either.

The cold hard truth of reality is good enough for me and my kids. We don't let it make us sad. We use that energy to seek solutions.



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


When he said to meet our childrens expectations, I personally took it to mean our children as adults. As a 38 year old man I look back on the lack of resolve of my grandparents to prevent the slide into fascism after defeating it in Europe, as well as my parents for not preventing its continuation, and realize that my generation may be the icing on the cake.

What will our children think when they are 40? And what would our Founding Fathers think of the shoddy state of the Union today?



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 06:15 PM
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post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


An attempt to bring civility to humanity, though righteous, is an exercise in futility.

Recognition of futility in righteous efforts, without admission of defeat, is humanity.

Point is, well done for being human!

Starred and flagged for not slagging off the left when the right is so clearly to blame for this (sic.)*


[size=-3]
*For those that don't know, but would: (sic.) at the end of any sentence by TheWill indicates that the sentence in its entirety does not represent his own views, and is either his satirical representation of an alternative viewpoint; a lamentation of such cloaked in sarcasm; or simply added for humorous effect.
edit on 14/1/2011 by TheWill because: Everybody needs a hemicolon or two. I like semicolons, too.



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 06:23 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


This is the wrong rhetoric to use. What should be used rather than to "be civil" is to "be compassionate". It is ok to disagree if you don't attempt to belittle those who don't currently think like you. Respectfully treating each and every other person's position with compassion, while using hard data to support your facts without being pompous, gives the other side reason to have a healthy debate. Deliberately being a lout loses support from even your advocates.

Firm is ok but pompous is not. Too many want to just start name calling and spouting untrue "facts" like the lame stream media attempted with the reporting of the nut who shot the Congresswoman. It is bad when they are insulting the intelligence of the other side and call it reporting. But anytime one insults the intelligence of people, those people being targeted simply close down and refuse to even open their minds to the possibilities. Therefore I say, we must be compassionate or we will win nothing. Grandma said "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar!"



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by Justoneman
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


This is the wrong rhetoric to use. What should be used rather than to "be civil" is to "be compassionate". It is ok to disagree if you don't attempt to belittle those who don't currently think like you. Respectfully treating each and every other person's position with compassion, while using hard data to support your facts without being pompous, gives the other side reason to have a healthy debate. Deliberately being a lout loses support from even your advocates.

Firm is ok but pompous is not. Too many want to just start name calling and spouting untrue "facts" like the lame stream media attempted with the reporting of the nut who shot the Congresswoman. It is bad when they are insulting the intelligence of the other side and call it reporting. But anytime one insults the intelligence of people, those people being targeted simply close down and refuse to even open their minds to the possibilities. Therefore I say, we must be compassionate or we will win nothing. Grandma said "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar!"


I think that is a fair assessment, and a fine description of "civility".

It nags at me what our founding fathers have said. That we have utterly failed them, and we are freely yielding ourselves to tyranny bit by bit. And I don't think it is so much ignorance as it is cowardice. People feel entitled to a long, healthy life. No one wants to assume the risk of existing. So the noose of law is tightened.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 12:09 AM
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I am sorry, I can understand being civil, and being civil is fine.

But people shouldn't confuse civility with just forgiving and forgetting that the last two years of highly violent rhetoric and pretend it never happened.

I think honestly that some would like others to forget that there were people on the national mall with signs like this:



or this:



or this:



or this:



or this:



or on national media saying things like this:



or this:



I don't think we should forget this. Sure, we should be civil, but I don't think we should let these people re write history once again to depict themselves as innocent in the national dialog.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 03:16 AM
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Being civil is about doing the right thing, whatever that may be. It is based on intelligent discussion and confrontation of the issues, it is what has made science as strong as it is. Oversimplification and rhetoric are not part of being civil, listening and discussion is. There are a lot of complex challenges going on and working through them in a responsible manner is the strongest approach.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 05:18 AM
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reply to post by whatukno
 



*sigh*

have you been personally wronged? Did "these people" somehow slight you? Or is my child missing the point completely when they retort with "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me."

Did you not read what I said about how, well before the last 2 years, we had people with signs about "Kill Bush"? Is it not reasonable that the TEA Party people were just ratcheting up the rhetoric they had seen over the previous 8 years?

You are intelligent Wukky. Look behind the curtain. There really is no benefit for justifying your current behavior on someone else's behavior. Each person is responsible for themselves. Yes, you are expectedt to just forget the last 2 years. Just like the TEA party people are expected to forget the prior 8 years. Such is life. When you are trying to find a middle ground, you sometimes have to sacrifice a little.

If you are looking for justification, I will not provide it. The last 2 years have been reprehensible....just like the prior 8 years. Both sides are wrong....and it is a big reason why i turned my back on the silly political dichotomy.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 06:19 AM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 



have you been personally wronged? Did "these people" somehow slight you?


Yes, they have deeply offended my country, my president, the flag, the Constitution, liberty, freedom, independence, and every other decent thing this country stands for. I do feel personally wronged by these people, and any American who believes in reason should feel as deeply wronged by these people as well.


Is it not reasonable that the TEA Party people were just ratcheting up the rhetoric they had seen over the previous 8 years?


Not very civil of them was it? And this should be somehow forgiven and forgotten? I don't think so. Wait, we can't blame bush for the previous 8 years, somehow, that's supposed to be Taboo, but, at the same time it's fine to dredge up what a handful of disenfranchised liberals with too much time on their hands had to say about it? You can't have it both ways, we can't NOT blame bush and yet remember the isolated incidences of liberal extremism. To do so, is quite hypocritical.


Yes, you are expectedt to just forget the last 2 years.


No, I won't, I will not forget the last two years, nor will I forgive those people for the last two years. They should not be forgiven for what they have done to this society and to this country. They have shown through their rhetoric the worst America and Americans can be. No, I am afraid that forgiveness and forgetfulness is not something they deserve or should get.

But civility? Yes, in order to move on, we must be civil to each other and discuss things in a more dignified way. I can agree that we must be civil. I myself should strive to be more civil, just to be a better person than the opposition.
edit on 1/15/2011 by whatukno because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 06:25 AM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Lol, if you have ever been victim of mobbing or gang stalking(as they call it) organised by police or state, you will not be able to say such things. We have to live with other people on this earth while living our lifes. My life has absolutely nothing to do with anyone outside my family, but you would not think that by what society has done to me, lol.

Amazing.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 06:41 AM
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As an outsider looking in I'm astounded by how much US citizens hate each other, imo its been growing since 1980 to reach the current levels which seem to reach pre civil war levels of entrenched hatred, tbh I can't see words ending this state of affairs.

A US conservative hates a US liberal way more than a UK conservative hates a UK liberal and in the UK the differences between the 2 are huge compared to your differences which appear to me to be largely differences of tone rather than actual, obviously these are subjective views but I'm only saying what I see.

I wouldn't be surprised if a big shocking event from many possible directions didn't lead to a civil war of sorts.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 06:55 AM
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reply to post by Thepreye
 


I think the increased antagonism between the two is because (unless I'm mistaken) the US follows a two-party system, where you're either one, or the other (although the good Ms. Giffords seemed to straddle the divide, rather). Here, despite the Tories and Labour trying to make it seem as though we only have two parties, I had about seven candidates to choose between at the last election.

I think a more accurate parallel for the States' antagonistic relationship between the two parties might be between, say, the far-right BNP and... (substitute just about any other party here).

I'm not saying that the right in the US is in any way on a par with the BNP, just that if you were going to clump our candidates into just two parties, that's pretty much the way it would fall. By having loads of parties, they can all squabble amongst each other but absolutely despise the BNP, whereas in the US, the republicans only have the democrats to despise, and vice-versa.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 07:14 AM
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reply to post by TheWill
 


Actually the US has other parties as well, we just don't hear of them largely because of irrelevance, the thing is before 80 there was very little acrimony, after 80 the sides coalesced ready to be in position for Clinton's downfall which led to Bush the younger, who's presidency created the no mans land between the two forces.

Now we have a collapsing economy and a black liberal president, at war, just waiting for the right combination of sparks to set off the powder keg.

Apart from their racism the bnp is a populist party with many policies previously thought of as left wing, very much a stubby rump of a party unlike the GOP which is huge.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 07:43 AM
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"We must be civil." To be civil means to display adequate courtesy or politeness. My mind finishes this sentence in a few ways.

"We must be civil (even if we don't want to be)."

"We must be civil (even if we have to lie about it)."

"We must be civil (even if that's not what's in our hearts and on our minds)."

Does "being civil" count if it's phony? If it's a cover-up? If what lurks beneath is still evil? Does enforced civility somehow then turn us into a better society? Even if there are those in society who still think and feel and act a certain way when not under scrutiny?

By having not been "civil" many people have actually done us a favor and exposed the real them. We know exactly who they are and what they want. We know there are some people out there who hate us for what we are and are probably willing to go to violence to get what they want. There's no turning it around now. No covering it up with sweet but disingenuous words and actions. No do over.

Maybe instead of being civil, we should all just start being more thoughtful and responsible. Responsible about identifying right and wrong. Responsible about making our decisions. Responsible about both calling out the "uncivil" among us and making sure we get answers. And responsible in facing the consequences.

Think about the fact that we are all at our core human and Americans who want our country to succeed? That we shouldn't be waging war with each other? Do unto others? I really don't know what the answers are here.

Just some thoughts.


edit on 1/15/2011 by ~Lucidity because: left out a thought.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 07:50 AM
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reply to post by whatukno
 


My mother has a saying that i remember from my youth that she took from the Bible:

"Do not worry over the splinter in someone elses eye so long as you have a plank in your own."

I can only hope that you one day reconsider your views. I notice you are ignoring that plank you have there.
edit on 15-1-2011 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 07:52 AM
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Originally posted by ~Lucidity

Does "being civil" count if it's phony? If it's a cover-up? If what lurks beneath is still evil? Does enforced civility somehow then turn us into a better society? Even if there are those in society who still think and feel and act a certain way when not under scrutiny?



Good question, imho yes forced, by circumstance, civility is a "good" thing because it will stop or diminish new insults and their rebound insults, really it is getting out of hand, the hate has to stop because if it doesn't it will create new hate on top of the old, in these times of climate and economic instability a lack of unity could be fatal.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 07:55 AM
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reply to post by ~Lucidity
 


Yes, forced civility. Unless something just HAS to be done because of loss of life, liberty, or property.

It is what we (should) do at Christmas, when that obnoxious uncle shows up drunk: pretend to like him so grandma doesn't have a stroke.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 07:57 AM
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reply to post by Thepreye
 


if this observation is based on observed Internet behavior, i would take it with a grain of salt. people are way more aggressive and rude online than they ever dare be in daily life face-to-face.




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