A local organization is advocating for people to follow the “golden rule” when engaging in political and other contentious conversations. The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden on Tuesday was widely panned nationally as uncivil and chaotic. Shirley Senarighi of the Door County Civility Project says when you are stating your opinion it is important to respect other viewpoints and people. She says the guidance can be found in the teachings of our faith communities and the Golden Rule.
Senarighi adds that personal attacks are destructive and are never acceptable regardless of the person’s status. She encourages people to consider civility when watching future debates and how it can be an important element that can help our country be less divided. You can find the Door County Civility Project’s call for dignity and respect in politics below.
Letter to the Editor:
Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics
The Door County Civility Project Steering Committee Members, holding different political views, have come together to express concern about the polarization and incivility that is tearing our country apart. We are also deeply troubled by the rhetoric being used in the 2020 political campaign season causing further division among the people in our nation.
We join with the National Institute for Civil Discourse in believing that guidance for this national dilemma can be found in the teachings of our faith communities. We believe that that if enough people follow the Golden Rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” it will help generate the respect and civility we so desperately need in our country.
We can each play an important role in helping to heal America and bridge the divisions in our country in the remaining weeks prior to and following the November 3rd election. We invite you to:
Pray for the healing of the divisions in our country
Promote the use of the Golden Rule in our personal political discussions and election activities in 2020 by these actions:
• Listen patiently and with an open mind—especially when there is disagreement
• Use language that communicates views without exaggerating; language that is strong,
precise and truthful
• Look for areas of mutual agreement
• Encourage others, including our political leaders, to be civil.
We can also do our best not to:
• Use inflammatory words or derogatory names
• Make broad generalizations about individuals or groups
• Assault the character of others
• Question another person’s beliefs, values or patriotism
• Describe those who hold political beliefs different from my own as enemies.
No matter how objectionable you may find one another’s views, the virtue of civility demands our steadfast pledge to ensure the public expression of ideas so long as those expressions in no way cause physical harm to other people. Make your commitment now to protect the freedom of the conscience and the free expression of ideas. Join others NOW in promoting civility in our political discourse.
Door County Civility Project
(photo courtesy of Door County Civility Project)