Injecting civility into American discourse no longer can be a crop-less undertaking

President Obama reached out to the soul of our nation Wednesday night at a memorial service at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
He was emphatic that civility is an antibiotic that needs to be injected into a polluted pool of polarized parties and people.
In the wake of Saturday’s shooting that killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Obama said: ” I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here — they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us.”
Compromise is not capitulation, and Obama stressed that it is time to “talk with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”
Obama visited Giffords prior to the memorial and said she opened her eyes for the first time earlier Wednesday.
Then speaking of Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed Saturday, Obama invoked a morality tale at a child’s level: Good overcomes evil.
“Imagine,” he said, “here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation’s future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.
“I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us — we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”
In the aftermath of all the spilled blood, we must regain our footing in the ever-shifting topsoil of turmoil, fortified by a conviction that America is exceptional, a country superior to all other nations, a realm to be revered.
But first we must respect ourselves.

Advertisements