Tag Archives: political discourse

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble Translated: End the Political Rage


(Not to be confused with the Mike Johnson who is now the Speaker of the House, although I do go by Mike Johnson most of the time but use my full name when writing so not to be confused with another Mike Johnson who is a well-known lobbyist in Washington or was at one time. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I know how confusing keeping so many Mike Johnsons straight can be.)

And now we return you to: Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.

Thanksgiving is a holiday for family, friends, fellowship, and love, but most of all gratitude. Two years ago, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I wrote about this redeeming holiday just days away. What I wrote then, to my disappointment, is even more apt today.

Thanksgiving is a day—hopefully a season, not just a day—when we reflect on what in our lives is good, and how we got to this place 400 years after the feast that made turkeys fear for their lives thereafter.

Here is an updated version of that column, with a fervent hope that it won’t be relevant two years from now. Continue reading

Civility Isn’t Easy

Reprinted from Mullings.com

This will be a test. A civility test. I want to talk about this Rush Limbaugh v Bill Maher business of using really bad words to describe people they don’t agree with.

This is not a discussion about contraception or Obama-care or Women’s reproductive rights or free speech.

It will be a discussion about civility. Of which we are in dreadfully short supply these days.

Those of us who are professional political hacks – Republican and Democrat – have been taught since kindergarten that the way to win is to draw the starkest possible distinction between your candidate and your opponent.

If your opponent says it’s dawn, you claim the man was probably up partying until all hours and can’t tell day from night. If your opponent says it’s a nice day, you turn it into a full-blown attack on his belief that global warming is killing baby seals. Continue reading

Burns on Civility Worth Trip to NPC


The weeks and months following the September 11, 2001 attacks were extraordinary, filled with anger, revenge, heartbreak, sadness, patriotism, national unity and spiritualism. We were America again, all for one and one for all. That was the good that rose from the ashes of tragedy. Survey researchers said we had changed forever.

It wasn’t just the high degree of patriotism, but the spirit of civility and common cause that permeated both political thinking and behavior. President Bush threw his arm around a retired firefighter when he visited the twin towers site, reflecting how strongly Americans felt about working together and uniting against a common enemy. There were pledges and promises to keep that spirit alive, to work together and treat each other better.  It was even evident in Congress.

Continue reading