“So, let us begin anew-remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness and sincerity is always subject to proof”
John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address January 1961
The gifts have been unwrapped, New Year’s resolutions have been made (and a few no doubt already broken) and we are settling back into the work routine. I have no doubt that many books will be written about 2017, but we now must look forward and plot the path for the future.
The new year offers a chance for a much-needed course correction and given that the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the US Senate will be up for election in 11 months, we need to renew our commitment to a civil political system. We can no longer allow people who are asking for our vote to be unaccountable for their actions. We need to demand they show both the office they are seeking and we, the people they want to represent, the respect and civility we demand and have a right to expect.
We need to let them know that we expect them to act like leaders, and call them out when they do not. And this means sharing their ideas and challenging their opponents based on the facts and figures, instead of the grade school playground behavior we have put up with for far too long.
So, let’s make a New Year’s resolution, as a country, to work together to revive civility in our political system. Let’s agree that we will let our political leaders know we expect them to live up to our expectations of civility and respect for our country, their constituents and our institutions, and we will hold them accountable when they do not.