Watching the Decline of American Civility

Watching the Decline of American Civility

Jun 1, 2017, 2:13:05 AM Opinion

Over the past half century I have watched civility, manners, and just plain commonsense, slowly decline in this country, in politics, on the streets, and in boardrooms. It seems that people are of the belief that it's okay to say whatever's on your mind, and if someone crosses you, it's okay to verbally and physically abuse them.

With the egoist, whiner-in-chief at the helm, it would seem that the lack of civility is becoming institutionalized. Our president goes to Europe, and instead of making nice with our allies, he spends his time, hectoring, lecturing, and insulting them - including physically pushing one out of the way so he could get in front of the camera. And then, he had the gall (and balls) to come back home and claim that his trip was a 'success' and that he'd hit a 'home run.'

The little gnome he now has briefing the media, although he might not have his job for much longer, is a mirror image of his boss; a chubby little bully who throws rocks from hiding, yells at those he thinks are inferior to him, and cries like a baby when someone slaps him down.

Back in 1964, trying to wrest the White House from an incumbent who led in the polls, Barry Goldwater started the ball rolling by basically saying that 'extremism was no vice, and moderation was no virtue' as he espoused his outrageous positions in an effort to motivate the angry white males who saw their dominance slipping away. Nixon then followed through by dubbing them the 'silent majority,' and played the southern card successfully.

When we talk about the swamp, excavation of the ground for that geographic phenomenon began long before the Donald climbed out of the slime. But, he was nurtured well in it. He reminds me of the bullies I knew as a kid growing up. Pick on the little kids, cry foul when caught, and never admit to being at fault for anything. Of course, there was one sure-fire way to handle them; the little kids could all gang up, get broom sticks and beat the crap out of 'em. Worked every time.

My fear, in dealing with the authors of our present dilemma, is that those we're bullying will in fact gang up and give us a good political thrashing. I just hope that when we're revived, we will have learned our lesson. Be careful who you tick off on your way to the top of the hill. You'll meet them when you trip (as you eventually will) and fall back down.

Published by Charles Ray

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