Duane Mooring | Civility Starts at the Top

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

In response to the Kathryn Jean Lopez column March 19, “The Problem of Contempt in Society”: 

The Lopez column is about eliminating “contempt from our mental toolbox” in our discourse. The idea is, of course beautiful and I support the concept wholeheartedly. In this column, Kathryn is amazingly adept at omitting anything Trump or even conservative from her story. 

She does, however, point boldly at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and AOC’s dominance in media — specifically concerning the mass shooting in New Zealand. She brings God into the picture and gives us a perspective from lessons she learned from a book by Arthur C. Brooks about loving one’s enemies. 

My point: How do you speak on this topic without including all sides equally? Is it only liberals who lack and need to develop a beautiful mental toolbox? The tone for political discourse in the nation emanates from the top. Responses to the president’s mean-spirited communications with the nation are rarely civil and mostly reflect the tone taken by the president. 

Whatever you may think about past presidents, past presidents have almost always spoken to the nation in civil tones. If the president is civil, the response to the president (civil or not) reflects only on the responder. Until the president of the United States learns to communicate using a mental toolbox beyond what most of us developed after our junior high school days, there will be no civility in the country. Speaking only in flowery terms while being disparaged in the ugliest of terms feels like having one’s hands tied while getting a fist to the face. Jesus could do that. The rest of us – not so much. 

I haven’t mentioned any of Trump’s specific ugly tweets, but you know them – the latest include his attacks on John McCain a day after the Mosque attacks in New Zealand. Just mean.

Duane Mooring


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