Civility as a path to common ground

Published on Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9-11Both presidential campaigns took the day off from negative advertising today, out of respect for the anniversary of 9/11 and what it means to our country. It is good to know that at least on this day, civility prevailed over partisan politics.

While 9/11 was one of our nation’s greatest tragedies, it was also one of the few times in recent history when Americans truly came together around the common values that unite us instead of fighting over the disagreements that divide us.

Debate is healthy, and even necessary to a functioning democracy.  But so is civility.  So is listening.  So is finding common ground with one’s opponents in order to make progress that serves everyone’s best interests.

It’s not easy in the supercharged, hyperpartisan world in which we live.  But if we can do it today, perhaps tomorrow we can all do a better job of standing up proudly for what we believe in rather than simply attacking and demonizing those with whom we disagree.

America – and the world – could benefit from that evolved approach, and nothing would be a better tribute to the thousands of innocent people who lost their lives 11 years ago. 

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