DAVE & DUJANOVIC

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

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

KSL NewsRadio's Dave & Dujanovic discuss how to deal with and overcome seasonal depression....
Mark Jones

How to deal with and overcome seasonal depression

KSL NewsRadio's Dave & Dujanovic discuss how to deal with and overcome seasonal depression.
23 hours ago
The world's largest active volcano is shooting fountains of lava more than 100 feet high and sendin...
Curt Gresseth

Watch out for lava glass near erupting volcano, says U. of U. geologist

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano is still spewing lava and shows no sign of stopping. A University of Utah seismologist discusses a phenomenon called lava glass.
23 hours ago
shoplifting...
Samantha Herrera

Increased shoplifting puts pressure on retailers and raises prices

Shoplifting is hitting retailers hard this season. Though retailers lose millions in stolen merchandise, offenders usually go without much punishment.
23 hours ago
spent...
Elizabeth Weiler

Financial infidelity: What does the Utah data look like?

The average Utahn would 'reconsider their relationship' if their partner spent $5k without consulting them first, reveals research from coupon birds.
2 days ago
...
Jeff Zeleny, Eva McKend and Gregory Krieg, CNN

Georgia voters once again have the last word during election season

During a campaign rally for Warnock in Atlanta last week, former President Barack Obama stressed the immediate impact of Democrats potentially winning a 51st Senate seat.
2 days ago
The mayor of Provo, Utah, discusses how popular the city's four-day workweek has been, why it's pop...
Simone Seikaly

A 4-day workweek is working for Provo government

Provo Mayor Michelle Kafusi said she isn't surprised at the positive results reported after a global 4 day workweek pilot program.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
OPINION: Civility has to start with you and me