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Words, truth and American civility

| July 8, 2021 1:00 AM

Almost anyone who reads the news cannot help but notice the sharp decline in civil behavior, both in action and in speech, in the last five years.

In any organization, be it a farm, a bank, or factory — the tone and the tenor — that is, how we act toward those in the organization and those who we deal with as clients, is set by the person at the top. The boss will decide how others must be treated, what language is acceptable, and the integrity with which clients are treated.

This process relies on truth and respect for others, and these qualities comprise the foundation of civility. Dishonesty and disrespect invariably lead to fear, hatred, and anger, and a general decline in civility.

For five years now, the American people have been under a barrage of lies from Trump and the media which supports him. He has issued over 30,000 debunked lies, and continues to do so on a daily basis. During this time the hatred spewed on social media and hundreds of websites has increased dramatically. Trump has used derogatory and demeaning speech thousands of times at rallies, and by doing so has set a tone of hatred and distrust for the entire country.

It’s no wonder people are angry and confused. It's all they've been served by this authoritarian demagogue. The culmination of this was seen on Jan 6 at the Capitol. This tragic decline of civility in America has made us all victims of this policy of name-calling and lies. Words and truth DO matter.

DANIEL STRAYER

Bonners Ferry