Beliefnet
Safe Place with Ruth Graham

I don’t know about you but I am so tired of the trashy, inelegant public discourse. It’s not limited to Republicans or Democrats; liberals or conservatives – they just happen to be the noisiest right now. I was listening to the radio in my car yesterday as I had to go to Charlottesville. The words I heard would make a sailor blush – to use a very outdated phrase. It is for sure I would never have wanted my mother to hear such talk – not to mention my grandparents!

Since when is it OK to call people names? Demean them personally? Demonize those that have a different point of view? Or make fun of people in a cruel way?

Is it OK to have Rush Limbaugh call people ugly names? Is it OK for a US Senator to say those who are on the opposite side, “can go to hell”? Is it OK for Shawn Hannity to use a song with words like these: “We’ll put a boot up your ass, it’s the American way.”  Folks, that is NOT the American way! What happened to civility? What happened to “agree to disagree”?

I enjoy politics. But this year we are way over the top in negativity. The one who can be most negative wins most often. How bazaar is that?

Why have we just accepted this trash? Where is it coming  from? These people are intelligent. They are educated. They have a command of the English language and a large vocabulary. Why stoop to gutter talk? Surely there is a better way to express themselves.

I know that there are times when a “certain” word just fits. I’ve been known to spout one or two myself. But it is not my habit and I fear that if we accept this from our public figures, hear it over the airwaves often enough then it becomes the accepted norm – that we will all begin to think it is OK. It isn’t. Have you noticed that when you spend time with a person who uses fowl language, you pick it up?

As a nation are we just so frustrated at the ineptness of our politicians? Is it because our government is too big, too intrusive? Is it because we have forgotten our heritage and legacy as the “shining city on a hill”? Would George Washington stoop to this kind of language and verbal abuse? Abraham Lincoln? Ronald Reagan? No!

I for one, do not want to accept this as inevitable. Let’s get back to civility, people. Let’s raise the public discourse by paying attention to the words we use words.

The wisest man who ever lived, great King Solomon, told us this: “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.”  Let’s think about the words we use and the effect they have on others.

 

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