Did your mother ever admonish you to “play nice?” As one of three brothers, we would inevitably end up fighting, so we heard it a lot. Given the current political and social climate, I sometimes wish there was someone with the authority of “mother” to speak out.
“Play nice,” is a simple way of asking that, whether we agree or not, we relate in a respectful way. It is my intention that this be a place where we have a civil, not passionless, but not abusive discussion. I invite you to join me.
What little I have heard from the ‘debates’ between the Republican candidates for President, seem to represent abusive and sometimes uncivil discussion and posturing. The combination of dishonesty and the pandering to people’s fears and greed poison any serious discussion of issues. It makes me wonder if and how one can have a civil discussion with others who are not respectful.
At a meeting with constituents (2009), a woman ranted on various distortions about the President’s health plan, finally asking why Congressman Barney Frank was supporting a “Nazi health plan.” Part of his reply was “Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table.” He responded with sarcasm addressing her ignorant, insulting and inflexible attitude. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYlZiWK2Iy8
So my question is can and/or how does one have a conversation with others who, intentionally or not, are not respectful, without simply going to their level?