Hats off to House Speaker Paul Ryan for his strong plea for greater civility in our tumultuous electoral cycle. “Politics can be a battle of ideas, not insults,” he said in an upbeat speech to Congressional interns on March 23. “Ideas passionately expressed and put to the test, that’s what politics can be. All of us as leaders can hold ourselves to the highest standard.” Of course, civility is only the first, although a necessary step, to achieving common ground. Civility encourages mutual respect and respect becomes an essential pathway to trust. Then deals can be made and compromises struck. But if mutual acrimony and insults rise to the point where negotiation is no longer possible, everybody loses.
At Common Ground Committee we share Representative Ryan’s optimism that political discourse can rise to higher level. Partisan bickering and gridlock should not be the norm. Our forums have shown that passionate yet civil debate where facts are valued and participants listen to each other are achievable and can lead to common ground. Read the full article here.