Friday, July 02, 2010

Can Utah's leaders bring back civility?

It's been discouraging to see political "dialogue" become so divisive and, yes, even hateful on both sides. I always believe that pendulums swing back, but I was wondering what it would take to bring back basic civility.

I see things happening in Utah:

Gov. Herbert has announced that he wants a meeting on immigration in which participants speak in a "respectful" fashion.

Doug Wright on KSL is polite to callers with whom he disagrees. Wright also influences others - for example, when Wright was covering the primaries with Enid Greene and Ethan Millard, we noticed that Greene was a little more respectful of Democrats than usual (even using the correct term "Democratic party," for example). KSL, meanwhile, is removing The Screecher from its lineup.

The Church issued a mission statement this year which declared Church principles to include "integrity, civility, morality and respect for all people”.

The Utah Supreme Court has adopted guidelines for civility for the practice of law in Utah.

So, something can be done. It won't be by people like Sen. Hatch, who is (in our perception) nervously catering to the uncivil crowd, but by entrenched leaders who aren't worried about getting out of an upcoming convention. It will also require ignoring the people who have no desire for a return to politeness. It can be done.

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