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Letter to the Editor: The Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics

The Door County Civility Project’s steering committee members, holding different political views, have come together to express concern about the polarization and incivility that are tearing our country apart. We are also deeply troubled by the rhetoric being used during the 2020 political campaign season, which is causing further division among the people in our nation.

We join with the National Institute for Civil Discourse in believing that guidance for this national dilemma can be found in the teachings of our faith communities. We believe that if enough people follow the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – it will help generate the respect and civility we so desperately need in our country.

We can each play an important role in helping to heal America and bridge the divisions in our country during the remaining weeks prior to and following the Nov. 3 election. We invite you to pray for the healing of the divisions in our country and to promote the Golden Rule in personal political discussions and election activities by listening patiently and with an open mind, especially when there is disagreement; using language – strong, precise and truthful – that communicates views without exaggerating; looking for areas of mutual agreement; and encouraging others, including our political leaders, to be civil.

We can also do our best not to use inflammatory words or derogatory names; make generalizations about individuals or groups; assault the character of others; question another person’s beliefs, values or patriotism; or describe those who hold political beliefs different from our own as enemies.

No matter how objectionable you may find another person’s views, the virtue of civility demands our steadfast pledge to ensure the public expression of ideas as long as those expressions in no way cause physical harm to other people. Make your commitment now to protect the freedom of conscience and the free expression of ideas. Join others now in promoting civility in our political discourse.  

Shirley Senarighi

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Representing the Door County Civility Project