OPINION: Civility has to start with you and me

Oct 29, 2018, 1:26 PM

People hold candles as they gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of...

People hold candles as they gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Now, more than ever, America needs to come together in civility.

In a single week, we saw pipe bombs mailed to thirteen targets across the US and eleven people murdered in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The divisions between us ended eleven lives, and there’s no telling how much worse it could have been if those pipe bombs weren’t intercepted.

This should be one of those moments where our nation puts aside our differences and stands together.

But we’re not doing it.

Instead, we’re hearing politicians throw blame at each other or at the media for the actions of two madmen. We’re seeing the lines of division that caused these tragedies stretched, tearing us further and further apart. And all we’re doing is waiting for someone else to fix it.

But we’re looking to the wrong people. If civility is going to come back to America, it isn’t going to start with politicians and it isn’t going to start with the media.

It has to start with you and me.

Civility isn’t going to start with politicians

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

File photo of Hilary and Donald Clinton, taken during the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

After the pipe bombing and the shooting last week, we’ve heard politicians come out and talk about civility. But talking about it is all they’ve done.

Hillary Clinton, after getting a pipe bomb mailed to her house, told an audience in Florida that “we have to do everything we can to bring our country together.”

That sounds great — but there’s not a lot of reason to believe that she really meant it. This, after all, was coming from the same woman who, just one week earlier, told CNN: “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.”

Civility, according to Hillary Clinton, wasn’t going to come back to America through mutual respect or decency. Instead, she told CNN: “If we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

That’s how politicians see it. Civility, peace, and decency are important – but not as important as winning. First, we need to get in power. Then we can have peace.

Even after the pipe bomb scare, the only thing that changed for Hillary Clinton was her rhetoric. Sure, she told her supporters that we need to bring the country back together, but she didn’t even finish that sentence before turning a tragedy into another opportunity to take a jab at Republicans.

Immediately after her call for peace, Clinton added: “We also have to elect candidates who will try to do the same.” She didn’t even take a breath. She went right back to digging those divisions back up.

But it’s not just Hillary Clinton that does this. It’s everybody. Our president, Donald Trump, has jumped on both of last week’s tragedies as opportunities to criticize the media.

Here’s what he tweeted after investigators say Cesar Sayoc mailed pipe bombs around the country:

And here’s what he tweeted after eleven innocent people were murdered inside of a synagogue:

Eleven people died, and to the people we’ve elected to run this country, it was nothing more than another chance to bash their opponents.

We can’t look to our politicians to fix this. When there’s a tragedy, the best we get from them is a few minutes of good behavior. And then their short memories kick in and they go right back to bashing each other.

Civility has to start with you and me

Pittsburgh Candlelight Vigil

People gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The only way civility will come back to our conversations is right here at the grassroots level.

Politicians aren’t the only people spreading this toxic rhetoric. We allow it to seep into every part of our lives. We’ve let it affect us to the point where we can’t even have conversations without letting it escalate until we outright hate each other.

On the very day that the pipe bomb sent to Hillary Clinton hit the news, President Trump held a campaign rally in Wisconsin. And as soon her name was as much as mentioned, the whole crowd erupted into a chant of: “Lock her up! Lock her up!”

It’s not just politicians. It’s all of us. We’ve let our political differences divide us so much that we’re losing basic human compassion.

We’re not all going to turn into terrorists and bombers, but the divisions between are still affecting us. They’re making us fly into a rage when we see friends post something on Facebook that we disagree with. They’re making us squabble over the Thanksgiving table because a family member supports a different political party.

We’re as much a part of the problem as they are. And we can’t just sit here waiting for them to get better without taking a look at ourselves.

The only way civility is going to come back to our conversation is if we bring it back.

It’s talking to your neighbor. It’s going on Facebook and not becoming toxic. It’s listening to crazy uncle spout his conspiracy theories and not losing your mind over it.

That’s where civility has to start: with you and me.

Dave Noriega is the host of Dave & Dujanovic, which can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio.

Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google Play Music

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Dave & Dujanovic

crime Ballpark...

Curt Gresseth

Cop talks knocking down violent crime in Ballpark Neighborhood

Violent crime in the Ballpark Neighborhood of Salt Lake City is down. A deputy chief details how the SLCPD achieved the results.

13 hours ago

UTA Frontrunner commuter rail. UTA Plans to address delays by updating cars and adding a new line t...

Curt Gresseth

UTA boss talks about train delays, says improvements coming

Despite frustrating delays, UTA has a 90 percent "on-time" record, says the executive officer.

2 days ago

social media...

Curt Gresseth and Don Brinkerhoff

Senate committee OK changes to Utah’s Social Media Regulations Act

A Utah lawmaker discusses his social media bill aimed to protect children while parents and a teen testify about loss of a son to suicide and the pain of addiction.

6 days ago

The IRS is writing checks for smaller tax refunds this year, but a Utah expert says it's still earl...

Curt Gresseth

Tax refunds are about 30% smaller than last year — but it’s early

The IRS is writing checks for smaller tax refunds this year, but it's still early in the tax season.

8 days ago

secret spending...

Curt Gresseth

Are you hiding secret spending from your spouse?

Are you a secret spender in a relationship? A national expert on personal finance offers help for couples caught up in financial infidelity.

10 days ago

Utah's First Lady Abby Cox will host the second annual Show up for Teachers Conference on Wednesday...

Curt Gresseth

Governor encouraging couples to check out virtual date night — tonight

The governor and first lady invite Utah couples to enjoy the fun of a virtual date night while learning how to make a marriage grow strong over time.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

OPINION: Civility has to start with you and me