I have no fear of the Zika virus. I am scared to death of the incivility worm that has invaded all levels of our society.
The past week, I have been tied up in knots. I feel as though I have been inundated with political disdain for the electorate. National. State. Local. Too many politicians and their supporters who have no respect for those they work with and those they work for.
For many years, I have been appalled by the disintegrating civility of politicians, but it has hit an all time high this campaign season. I think that a nerve was really pinched this week by news stories of elementary/middle school students objecting to certain candidates using their school building for events, because the candidates did not adhere to the school anti-bullying policy. In the end, the right to free speech won over the student objections. (Now there is an interesting debate topic.)
What kind of lessons are children learning from the disrespectful displays from would-be leaders?
How can anyone enforce school policies of respect, honor and no-bullying, when the media promotes the name calling rhetoric of the campaign trail?
Where is the hope when our candidates are applauded for rudeness, crudity and officiousness?
When a new virus, like Zika, attacks society, scientists hit the test tubes to quickly find the antibodies to fight the menace. But when incivility worm creeps into society, no one sounds an alarm. We laugh uncomfortably at inappropriate jokes. Smirk at politically incorrect comments. And before we know it, people are defending boorish behavior as “finally telling like it is”.
So here we stand without any social antibodies to fight against a real break down in our society. There are no scientists developing a vaccine for this social plague. It is up to individuals to fight the menace.
I have turned off all news programs and no longer get a newspaper. I block political rants on my social media. But those are all personal defense mechanisms. The ballot box offers an opportunity for a good offense, IF there is a viable alternative.
Unfortunately, this plague is spreading beyond the political campaigns, and I don’t know how to heal our society. I am frustrated and just telling it like I see it.
I will keep looking for hope.