“If we do not join now, to save the good old ship of the union on this voyage, nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage.”
— President-Elect Abraham Lincoln February 15, 1861
It is probably not ‘woke’ to quote Lincoln.
San Franciscans are still thinking about scouring his name from schools. Elsewhere his statues are being pulled down like Hussein’s were in Baghdad.
The rail-splitter’s name and legacy are being purged from history by pseudo-progressives who prefer their own version of antebellum and Native American history without the benefit of pertinent facts or an ounce of reason. They’ve concluded Lincoln must go.
Those of Us—also a great band once upon a time in the Great Plains—who came of age in the 60s and 70s try to keep an open mind, but it’s tough. We recall how our elders damned Elvis and his gyrating hips (under their breath, of course) and how we thought they were so out of touch glued to the black and white watching Lawrence Welk. What was with the bubbles? Continue reading →
People are not sure what to call it—excessive partisanship, bad behavior, negativism, gridlock, polarization, stridency, intolerance, ideological extremes.
It is collectively, incivility and it is, arguably, worse now than it has been in American history.
Something must be done about it.
Pundits such as the Washington Post’s George Will and the Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone have argued otherwise. Barone, for example, recently bemoaned the bemoaners of what he called ‘hyperpartisanship’ in American politics, suggesting that the problem is not as bad as it may seem and attempts to rectify it in the past have just made matters worse.
What I saw of the Iowa Republican Presidential primary debate, and it wasn’t much, brought to mind two unsavory aspects of American political campaigns that politicians, the press and the public ought to try to temper before we go full throttle into the 2012 races.
The first was incivility. The media carnival barkers and fire-breathing partisans were anxious for the candidates to brutalize one another, particularly fellow Minnesotans Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty. From news reports of the debate—again, I missed some of the exchanges, they got some of what they wanted, but not much. I am told the two Minnesotans went at it, dropping the Minnesota nice persona—isn’t that special—but they really did not beat the bejesus out of each other.
The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration last month turned an official hearing on a serious issue—migrant farm labor—into a 3-ring circus starring comedian Stephen Colbert. Colbert didn’t even testify, he performed a comedy routine as a character from his television show, mocking farm workers, immigrants and the U.S. Congress.
The Colbert comedy performance left absolutely no doubt why the American people are disgusted with Congress and some of those who serve there.