As a freshman in college I studied Civility in politics and how it was in decline. I was angered about how our leaders spent more time bashing each other than working together to solve issues. In 2011, I had thought we had reach a pinnacle of that dysfunction when the most inexperienced Congress came to power after the Tea-Party wave that knocked the Democrats out of power in the House of Representatives. How wrong was I? Very.
In the five years since, our political parties have spent more time complaining about the other party than solving real issues. In five years, I haven’t seen a political achievement reached on either side of the aisle. Republicans claimed that they would restore prosperity or that we could “believe in America” again. Even this year we are promised we will “make America Great Again”. Why would we believe these people? The Republicans have spent two years in control of the House and Senate, yet they have accomplished no major policy decision. They haven’t taclked immigration reform, reforming tax policy, providing relief for students burdened with debt, or even passed major jobs initiatives.
The Democrats for the matter haven’t helped, and deserve a share of the blame. They have lost sight of accomplishing major policy needs. I believe the debate on healthcare, while necessary made the Obama Presidency more toxic than it needed to be right out of the gate. While out of power the Democrats have focuses on slamming Republicans for mostly being a “do-nothing Congress”, while true, this has been one of the most inactive Congresses in generations. We need our leaders to work together because that work for us, not their special interests. The Democrats need to be out their speaking about their issues. I was proud to see them do that back in June when they staged a sit-in on the House floor against a Republican majority that has refused to address the gun violence in this country. We need our leaders standing up for issues, rather than be all talk.
This political environment has led to the rise of one of the most inexperienced men to ever run for the office of President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump. Trump was part of the birther movement that denied our president was even born in this country, his former campaign manager still seems to think so! The toxic environment has the average American tired of the political elite. They want someone who can bash the political elite and promise to bring change to Washington, to actually get something done. These people are right to be tired of our leaders. A lot of the time it is all talk and no action. We want to see things getting done. But at the same time these people get that to get things done in Washington it has to be done through compromise. But since our parties are so ideologically apart or individuals are punished for working across the aisle, nothing gets done.
Donald Trump spent the primaries bashing his establishment foes, promising that he alone will fix all of our problems (scary, he most forget that we have a Congress, and a Supreme Court). His message has resonated with a certain group of the electorate and with their support Donald Trump was able to charge into the Republican establishment and takeover the GOP. While doing so, Trump has attacked Mexicans for being rapists, called a judge unfit to serve because of his heritage, and attacked a gold-star family. Trump’s rhetoric is the complete destruction of civility, if he is elected there is no return to it.
So far this election season I have seen some of the most disgusting discourse take place in my life-lime. Donald J. Trump, spews hate and misinformation at an alarming rate. While watching the Republican Convention, I was shocked to hear the chants of “lock her up” and the other hateful language being spewed on that convention floor. That is not the political language we need in this country. It is not productive. Even worse, he has encouraged it. He has encouraged our enemies to hack us for his advantage. His discussion on foreign events is so bad because he has no clue what is going on abroad. He seemed unaware that Russia had invaded Crimea over two years ago. Even worse, he has even said he has made no effort to read up on foreign policy. Trump has also praised dictators, people that are completely against our principles in our Constitution. He can’t lead this country blindly. It would very very bad for us.
Parties can disagree and they should. But, the level at which they attack each other is so wrong. Civility is needed between the parties and candidates for president. The candidates should be setting the example for the discourse in the country. When Donald Trump attacks people, like a Gold Star family, he encourages others to do the same. Hateful langauge and rhetoric is not what we should about as Americans. Hateful language will not “make America great again”.
The lack of civility is permeating society, it’s hard not to notice it. And the lack of it shows, we have protesters in the street bad-mouthing police, we have groups that protest funerals, we have news organizations that give a stage to bigotry and phobias. This name calling is seen everywhere and everyday people think it is okay to attack someone because of their opinions and differences. I, myself, was attacked by a realitive because he did not think it was okay for me to challenge him on a post that was blasting misinformation. He thought it was okay to make it personal. And that’s not okay. That’s how uncivil we are as a society. We are so okay with blasting someone, rather than having an educated debate. Nothing in politics should be personal. It should be a discussion at which way we want to go as a society. And we are heading down the wrong path. It will not be long until we have done permanent damage dividing ourselves up as this and that, rather than Americans.
We need to hold people running for office responsible for the rhetoric. I will personally hold Donald J. Trump responsible for what he says and when others post about it. He spews hate and misinformation and I can not accept that is who we are as a country. I believe that we can have debates. I believe we can be civil. I believe that America will continue to go forward and not back. I believe that Donald J. Trump should never be elected President.