A Time for Civility
I don’t know about you, but I hate to pick up a newspaper or watch the evening news.
National politics has become a national embarrassment.
The polarization between parties and personalities has become intolerable. Washington, DC has become
gridlocked and the two parties can barely agree on the time and date, much less on any substantive
There was a time, not that long ago, when political leaders were people we looked up to. They didn’t call
each other names, didn’t lie with every claim and didn’t reflexively oppose everything the other side
said or did. They recognized that issues were not always black or white, but often tinged with gray. They
listened to the other person and worked to come up with solutions that were best for the country. They
may have disagreed, but they weren’t always disagreeable.
That’s why I’m so grateful to serve in the Vermont State Senate. Our members certainly disagree on
many issues. But we have always been civil with each other, listened as the other side spoke, worked
together on committees and strived to do what each of us believed was right. We listened,
compromised, sometimes accepted the positions of the other side, but always fought hard for our core
issues and beliefs. We rarely grandstanded and avoided putting our thumbs in the other person’s eyes.
I hope we can remain that way.
Sure, I’d like to see more balance between parties in the General Assembly. But even more important,
I’d like to see that the people we elect in November, regardless of the label under which they run,
commit to maintain the civility that makes our legislature so different.
We must ensure that Montpelier does not become Washington.