It's Time for Civility in Our Political Discourse

By Senator Cam Ward

There was a time not so long ago when civil discourse was the rule, not the exception. Intelligent men and women could vehemently disagree over an issue and then sit down to break bread together. Those days seem to have been replaced by screaming matches, angry marchers and social media comments that would make a seasoned truck driver blush.


It is time that we returned to a nation that understands, appreciates and embraces civil discourse, as we accomplish nothing if we cannot listen to each other and exchange ideas in a fruitful manner. Whether our disagreements are over the 2nd Amendment, our state’s drug laws or taxation, we must find it in ourselves to listen and speak to each respectfully or we have no hope of finding a resolution. Without common decency in our methods of communication, our tones and our words, we have no chance to move forward. When our words are bitter, accusatory and insulting, there is no opportunity for persuasion.


In the halls of the Alabama State House, in our colleges and our community centers, and in our own homes, I would encourage each of us to take a deep breath and lower our volume, choose our words carefully and listen as much as we speak and to understand that our passion for an issue is not judged by the volume of our message or the intensity of our anger. We must realize that nobody has ever been persuaded by angry comments on Facebook and no policy has ever been changed as the result of a Twitter troll attack. If we can return to a time of civility in debate, on both the political and interpersonal fronts, I believe we can see a return to a time when our divisions were not so deep and our blood pressures were not so high. I know we will get more accomplished.

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