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Political Debate - A Call for Civility

Updated on July 11, 2011

I am going to write about an issue that has been bothering me for quite a while now. The absolute vitriol between the two major U.S. political parties. I would submit that’s its reached alarming proportions. I regularly chat in a political chat room, and some of the posts I have witnessed are beyond the pale.

Let’s start with Sarah Palin. Almost from the very beginning, Palin was a polarizing entity. People seemed to either love her or hate her. She energized the GOP base in a manner that presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, had not succeeded in doing. For this reason, she cannot and will not be forgiven by many on the Left. That’s all well and good, but people don’t know where to draw the line. During the course of many online chats, I have seen horrible posts about Palin’s family, including her infant son who had been born with Down’s syndrome. It was appalling, but it didn’t end there. Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol who is an unwed teenage mother, was viciously attacked as well. These attacks on Palin’s family continue to this very day, and are simply inexcusable.

Now we move on to the First Lady, Michelle Obama. While I am the first to admit that as a Libertarian who leans right, it’s probable that I do not agree with Mrs. Obama’s political ideology, the things I have seen written about her are outrageous. The posts about Mrs. Obama are usually unflattering comments about her attire, body type, and her ethnicity. Shame on you who post such things! Our First Lady is a beautiful, accomplished individual. I love her recent ads about supporting the military, and she happens to look stunning in the commercial. Many are angry with her regarding her crusade about healthy eating. While I don’t agree with a nanny state; that is, the government implementing regulations regarding what we choose to eat, I feel that Michelle’s concerns about childhood obesity and what we put in our mouths are valid. Her heart is in the right place. There is no cause to demonize her.

These are just two examples of the vitriol from both sides of the political spectrum. People, who resort to such attacks, do so because they are unable to defend the issues on merit, logic and facts. Attacks on a politician’s family have no place in decent, intelligent political debate. Let’s leave family out of the fray, especially the kids. When all is said and done, we’re all fellow Americans. We may disagree vehemently about the direction the nation should be going, but please folks, let’s seek higher ground and remain civil.

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    • BukowskiBabe profile imageAUTHOR

      BukowskiBabe 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all.

      Thank you for your comment, Bud. This issue is near and dear to my heart.

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      I understand what you mean. It's always nice to see civility among rivals. That's a sign of maturity and respect. Making offensive personal attacks doesn't impress me, either, and I agree it really has no place in a debate. Great hub!

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image

      TheManWithNoPants 

      7 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      BB,

      Thank you for those warm comments. I just hate a bully, and our government has taken full advantage of American apathy. I can't really do a darn thing to put an end to the broken leadership on the Hill, but I CAN turn around that apathy thing, and the American people can put their ideologies on hold long enough to get this mess turned around. I'm obviously giving you a nice little sales pitch to get you to join my little club, since you just got here and haven't been able to get on top of "No Pants Politics." (laughing) http://housefireproject.com/ I'll be a guest speaker at the Tea Party of America's Mega Rally July 30th in Des Moines Iowa. If you're anywhere close, I hope you can make it. I plan on giving about 20,000 people (including the candidates) a case of the crazies!

      jim

    • BukowskiBabe profile imageAUTHOR

      BukowskiBabe 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all.

      It warms my heart to know that others in this great land are taking steps to hold our elected officials accountable. Washington is broken. We hear campaign promise after campaign promise that never comes to fruition. I just wish more would wake up. We're such a complacent nation. As long as the malls remain open, the Super Bowl still airs, and American Idol is on every week, people are content to allow congress to do as they please. keep up the good work. I wish there were more out there like you.

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image

      TheManWithNoPants 

      7 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      I voted up and beautiful. Up because it's a very well written hub. Beautiful, because you care, and that's, well .. beautiful.

      I jumped into politics with both feet about a year ago, and started an organization called The Housefire Project. We're dead serious about changing the rules of the game in Washington. The media and the government are brother and sister, and are both rotten, feeding one another's needs. I hadn't noticed the thing about Michele Obama, because quite frankly I find her very offensive. (has nothing to do with right or left) I'm not one who thinks Palin would be good as president, but what the media has done to her is unforgivable. They've destroyed her ability to compete based on her own merit. Her personal life will forever be made a distraction to her cause.

      Super job, welcome to the Hub, and you just picked up a new follower!

      jim

    • BukowskiBabe profile imageAUTHOR

      BukowskiBabe 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all.

      Again, I agree. We need to vote the person,rather than the ticket.We're so busy fighting each other,that congress happily spends this nation into oblivion. I have to say, as a mother, I'm concerned for my chid's future. It's time to come together as a people and hold congress accountable. The notion that one side of the aisle is waving pitchforks, while the other side dons halos is flawed. I don't know what happens when our elected officials reach congress. The great majority seem to forget their campaign promises. Enough is enough!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      7 years ago

      The divide and conquer concept is working well to drive a wedge between the citizens of this country. We are so busy arguing with one another, we don't pay much attention to what is really going on in Washington. Except for the really extremists, I doubt we are that far apart on most issues. I gave up my party loyalty quite some time ago, and now pay attention to how our elected representatives vote on important issues. What they say, and how they vote, sometimes do not agree. We have to get people to quit pushing the "D" or "R" button for no other reason than party loyalty. The issues and the solutions are what really matter.

    • BukowskiBabe profile imageAUTHOR

      BukowskiBabe 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all.

      Hi Poolman,

      I read your profile and I'm on board with just about everything you said. Well Put. I will be following your Hubs. Glad to know that others are concerned about the deep political divisons within this great nation.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      7 years ago

      BukowskiBabe, I like this hub, great job. It is interesting how often some turn to vicious personal attacks when they have no facts to support their opinions. Hub scores seem to be a very deep mystery that few, if any, really understand. It is possible to see a score going down before a hub is even published.

      I like the way you think, and the way you write, so I will be a follower of your future contributions.

    • BukowskiBabe profile imageAUTHOR

      BukowskiBabe 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all.

      Frankly, I am amazed that the score on this hub has decreased. People are certainly entitled to their own opinion, and my self esteem is not predicated on the score of any given Hub, but my gosh, peeps, what could possibly be objectionable about civility and mutual respect for others? I am sincerely concerned about the amount of vitriol in political discourse. Any thoughts?

    • BukowskiBabe profile imageAUTHOR

      BukowskiBabe 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in the middle of it all.

      Thank you for you comment, Rachell. Yes, I too remember the way Hillary was attacked, as well as daughter, Chelsea. You're absolutely correct, it's been going on for awhile now. I enjoyed your post, and it wasn't too long at all.

    • rachellrobinson profile image

      Rachel Woodruff 

      7 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      I like your hub and I agree. Political conversations can get out of hand. It's been going on for a very long time. I am a Conservative, and I am young, but I can remember the names associated with Hillary Clinton when her husband was in office.

      On the other side of the spectrum I posted awhile back in one of the forums about respecting other people's opinions and when that didn't go over at all I gave up the forums. I think in some cases people like to be rude and hateful.

      Recently I started taking a glass on grammar and one of the things that my Professor said has stayed with me, there are arguments, which deal in facts, and there is being argumentative. She said when discussing anything, politics included you can argue, or you can be argumentative. All we can hope is to rise above that, the more people who find this behavior reprehensible perhaps we can change the way things are discussed.

      Sorry for this long post.

      Rachel

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