Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Civility in Politics is not Enough When Lies in Politics Run Rampant


The Tucson tragedy brought a lot of discussion by our politicians of the need to lower the temperature and bring civility back into politics. Even President Obama won high praise by everyone including me for his handling of the tragedy and his plea for more civility.

The general public could only hope this was the beginning of a new era in politics but civility by itself can never heal the wounds when those exposing it continue using lies and distortion which fed the political turmoil in the first place. Civility without truth is like, well it is like lying to your constituents. Nothing could be more hypocritical.

For example, Congressman Deborah Wasserman Schultz , a Democrat from Florida, was on MSNBC this week where you can almost always find her slamming conservatives and Republicans and in particular slamming Sarah Palin. Now Schultz claims to be a friend of Congresswoman Giffords and after leading the instant condemnation of Palin and others for inciting tragedies like Tucson, only to stop when she found out the Giffords shooter hated Giffords long before Palin was a national political figure.

In fact the dreaded crosshairs Palin used on map that Wasserman condemned had been used by Democrats and liberal groups long before Palin was a national figure as the series of photos in this article show. In debate on the health care bill this week Wasserman condemned the Republican party for attempting to destroy health care benefits like prescription drugs for elderly, for trying to take away extended benefits for dependents, for trying to allow insurance companies to cancel policies when people get sick and for other similar actions by the GOP to destroy the health care system and let out citizens die.

Of course they are all blatant lies. No Republican or party platform called for any such nonsense and she knows it. Still her lies fill the airways. Now how does one proclaiming it is a time for civility justify lies intended to deceive the public and cause widespread panic? Oh yes it is time for civility in politics and it is also time to stop the lies feeding the social unrest intended to generate fear.

Reckless rhetoric did not start with Palin nor end with her or Wasserman-Schultz. All those politicians and journalists who claim to be looking out for our interest need to stop the rhetoric and stop the lies. No one wants to deny the right of free speech to those we do or do not agree with. How could we, they supply a constant source of material for comedians and late night hosts?

They just need to respect the opinions of others rather than condemn them. That used to be the American way.

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