If you want civility, demand honesty

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by Dorinda Bordlee and Nikolas Nikas | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 1/25/11 4:29 PM

As pundits encourage us to engage in a national examination of conscience on the tone of our civil discourse, hundreds of thousands of students, young adults and pro-life veterans demonstrated civility in action over the past few days.   At Marches for Life at the Capitol, on the West Coast, and at statehouses across the nation, the violence of abortion was met with a message of care and concern for both the woman and her unborn child. 

The tone that we take in the public square is a legitimate topic of discussion. Yet when it comes to abortion and healthcare, some pundits and politicians have long overlooked the prerequisite condition of authentic civil discourse; namely, honesty about the terms of the debate.  

President Obama recently noted that “only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation.”

Civil and honest – the two are indeed related. Civility in our public discourse is undermined if citizens have reason to believe that they are being misled. The most recent “Newspeak” rose out of the various health care mega-bills in the last Congress.  While most citizens at town hall meetings were respectful in their tone, the scream-at-your-Congressperson approach taken by a few aptly expressed the hair-pulling frustration experienced by the vast majority of citizens across the political spectrum.

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