Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Less Civility, More Hostility?

The cry for civility among the political class following the attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' life is a sign of fear poking through their arrogance and disdain for the American people. Sure, Jared Lee Loughner is mentally ill but that a member of Congress was the object of his anger is not being dismissed in Washington D.C. But I don’t buy in to these calls for civility. They are, in fact, thinly veiled pleas to leave other political officials alone, to leave them be to pilfer in peace, wantonly waste and blatantly bilk Americans of their money, rights and freedom.

It’s not very different than a thug on the street stealing your wallet and then scolding you for reacting without civility.

Congressmen routinely carried guns to work in the mid-1800's for self-defense. After all, you never know when a debate will lose its civility. Only the unprecedented prosperity and security of 20th century America made arming political officials unnecessary to the point that we snicker at the thought. Now that both prosperity and security are in question and the primary causes of this turmoil are easily seen in policy directives from Washington, it is perfectly logical that the political class would become targets of anger. Their fear of a Jeffersonian revolution seems to be growing. Do they understand their policies must lead to tough times and unrest? Or do they think unrest is but a symptom of tough times?

Go ahead and plead for civility. Until the political class feels nervous enough to carry there is a far greater need for lawful citizen action, a far greater need for hostility* than civility.

*By hostility, the author refers merely to the tone of policy discussions. This is in no way intended to incite a little rebellion.

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