We sometimes hear pundits talk about a lack of civility in American politics. Scott Hicks of Charlotte agrees there’s a problem, but he thinks something is missing in that discussion. So, he addressed it in this commentary.
Reading and watching the media over the past few weeks, especially as the federal government began to shutdown, I was more mindful than ever that many you who I care for are “Tea Partiers,” or close kin of the same.
I must say that I became concerned over your letters to the editor and posts. I may care for you but can no longer be silent. Let me here and now expose what I believe to be "the elephant in the room."
I have reluctantly begun to suspect that you would cast aside your very morality for fear that you will become a minority and people of color and or American citizens of foreign origin will erode your way of life.
This country is based in a messy dynamic of checks and balances. Regardless, it has - with the exception of the Civil War - functioned. The government, whether correct in their actions or not, has moved forward and sought on a functional level to represent their constituents in a reasonable fashion.
I won’t quote numbers and statistics but rather ask if you believe it is the job of any segment of our legislature to put forth their ideology by any means at risk of the well being of the governed?
Do you support the hijacking of the legislative process by a select few who have gained office through gerrymander and recent stilted campaign laws favoring corporate interests?
Are you even aware that this is what is happening? I know you support family values, free enterprise, religious freedom, the right to bear arms and the rights of a human fetus among other things. I know you believe in the U.S. constitution yet suspect by your rhetoric and voting history that you have not studied or even read it.
Do you believe it is right to refuse to compromise with others for the sake of our country and the world? Can you possibly believe that it is acceptable to put thousands out of work and knowingly damage the economy in order to force your minority opinion on the populace?
I know you and when I am alone with my thoughts I fear that you will answer yes to these questions. I fear that you would isolate yourself in a cocoon of mistrust and prejudice until your ship has foundered and the only salvation are those that you would deny.
In the end I will say that I agree with you on some issues and do not on others. All I know for sure is that we are fortunate enough to live in a country where we can disagree yet continue to seek harmony through a tried and true process of government. I can only hope and pray that you will ultimately believe in that process and that when you stand in that voting booth you will vote from the heart of your freedom rather than the fog of your fear.