The news is full today comments about last night’s presidential debate. Some say that Donald Trump won the debate, and some say that Joe Biden won the debate. It seems that all agree that Chris Wallace and 320 Americans were the losers. The Deseret News Editorial Board claims the blame lies elsewhere. Without excusing Trump, Biden, or Wallace, the opinion piece puts the blame squarely on America. “If America wants better ,America must be better.”
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced today that future debates will be different. One suggested change is to control the microphones to allow only one person to speak at a time. It is sad that our society has so much disrespect and contempt for others. The opinion piece said that “Contempt has poisoned public discourse, and Americans should view Tuesday’s debate as a symptom of the disease rather than its cause.”
But to say disrespect is entirely the fault of the president or his opponent is to absolve the American people of their accountability and complicity. Public servants are, after all, reflections of the electorates who choose them.
For years, rancor on social media has soured relationships and, in the worst cases, turned otherwise honorable neighbors and friends into online boors. The collapse of participation in civil society coincides with the rise of digital echo chambers….
Deseret News opinion editor Boyd Matheson suggested that Americans reject the incivility and do it in their private lives. We should stop writing or responding to “contempt-filled posts on social media.” We should stop attacking anyone who disagrees with us, and we should stop making excuses for bad behavior.
I have said for the past four years that Donald Trump is a product of the nation. He was elected by an electorate that had their fill of Barack Obama’s disrespect for America. This disrespect first became apparent when Obama took his “apology tour” around the world and apologized for all the “terrible things that America had done in the past.” To cap it off, he bowed to the leaders of other nations. No American president should ever bow to royalty or leaders because America is a sovereign nation equal to any other nation in the world.
Obama brought the division to the nation, or he at least caused the gap to widen, by race-baiting words. He pitted black people against cops and other law enforcement offices. He called conservative Americans “bitter clingers to guns and Bibles.” Hillary Clinton added by calling conservative Americans “basket of deplorables.” Even today, the “elites” of the nation describe Trump supporters as rough, unpolished, and/or uneducated. I have personally been insulted because I support Trump and get much of my news from other than the mainstream media. It seems that everyone is called a “liar” or “racist” at one time or another, and the names mean nothing now. Good manners must return to both sides of the aisle if we are to bring civility back to America.
The opinion piece is right to say that Trump and Biden misbehaved during the debate and should be more civil in future debates. However, all Americans should search their souls to discover individual responsibility for incivility in the nation.