Mockery ~ insulting or contemptuous action or speech; derision
Civility ~ courtesy; politeness
This post will reveal my own (current*) political leanings, but I really only intend to comment on what I think is one of the most unappealing and destructive trends of current American politics.
The catalyst for this post is Sarah Palin’s “performance” at this year’s Conservative Political Action Committee convention. She has (IMHO, rightfully so) been branded as the mistress of one-liners and, via biased bullet statements, manages to criticize anyone who doesn’t agree with her own narrow interpretation of life in the U.S.
I’m willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, and I try to base my opinions more on a person’s actions than on what they say. So, for example, Ms. Palin criticized New York’s Mayor Blumberg for his recent campaign to reduce serving sizes for sugared soft drinks because he believes they contribute to America’s obesity problem. While I don’t necessarily agree with the mayor’s approach to the situation, I must conclude that it is, at least, more constructive than Ms. Palin’s simplistic (and laugh-track motivated) dismissal of his proposal. Mr. Blumberg has been mayor of America’s largest city for more than 10 years and has, during that time, managed a myriad of issues; Ms. Palin, on the other hand, resigned the governorship of Alaska, one of the country’s least populated states, halfway through her first term.
We are each entitled to our opinions of how things should be, and each of our opinions contribute to the overall mosaic of American political and social life, but I do believe we need to focus as much as possible on constructive criticism and debate rather than mocking, dismissive, and politically motivated commentary.
My two cents…
*Honest, I used to be ultra-conservative!