Change the rhetoric pledge
No one wanted this to happen, not left or right if we are to be truthful. The events of Saturday 8 January 2011, have served as a wake up call to many, myself included. Where have we gone wrong that our rhetoric means we no longer treat someone we do not agree with, with such disrespect that we would demonize them?
I read a great article today on the Huffington Post by the governor of Vermont, Madeline M.Kunin, where she made a plea, a simple but powerful plea. And it is one I echo – we can disagree all we want, be bold and passionate in our beliefs, no one is saying otherwise and no one should but we can not think it acceptable, no matter what side of the aisle we are on, to forgo being civil to one another – ie: not letting our discussions end up in ad hominem attacks, not using name calls such as “libtard” or “repuglikan” to demonize our political opponents, not using rhetoric that can be interpreted as violent in its rhetoric.
So, as silly as some may find me, I am going to try an experiment – one I hope you will partake in too. Sign my pledge, let’s change the rhetoric.
Gabrielle Gifford on the eve of her meet with constituents that sadly left her severely injured and saw the murder of innocent bystanders, including a nine-year old little girl who was interested in politics, said, almost prophetically said the rhetoric had to change. Now I don’t know and neither does any one else know if the gunman was influenced by the rhetoric he heard but whether he was or not we can not surely allow it to continue and just go on with business as usual.
As Madeline M.Kunin said:
In the aftermath of this tragedy, both parties and the media are responding with appropriate-sounding concern. The question is, will they carry out their expressed good intentions by treating those with whom they disagree with greater respect? One example of the lack of decorum was evident in last year’s State of the Union speech when a congressman shouted “liar.” at President Obama. What kind of example did that set?
Our right to disagree is precious but fragile. The best way to protect and preserve it is to let the other side speak without demonizing them or destroying their right to be heard. Such civil exchanges are the heart beat of democracy — essential to keeping it alive.
I ask my readers, will you take my pledge to change the rhetoric?
And if you do fill this out, feel free to put a pledge button on your blog with a link back to this page – I am sure if we try we can get others to join us. Sign the pledge, Change the Rhetoric: