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Civility is not enough

Great Middle Way

The blame game over the tragic events in Arizona began immediately. Predictably, one side blames the harsh discourse of the other, and the other side takes umbrage at what will now be famously (if grossly inaccurately) called ‘blood libel’.

Demonizing political opponents is certainly an unwelcome development, if not a recent one in American politics. Labeling the ideas, words, and actions of our opponents ‘evil’ perhaps does make it easier for those who are mentally unstable to seek ‘second amendment remedies’ for their grievances. Thus, it is understandable that many well-meaning persons would attempt to turn this tragedy into a new beginning for civility in America.

Civility is defined as formal or perfunctory politeness, and refraining from intentional discourtesy. While this may be a good start among persons who feel animosity toward each other, civility does not address the fundamental emotion of aversion which lies at the root of all…

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