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The Importance of Political Civility (Op-Ed)

The idea of political civility is both an aspiration and a requirement in the current political climate, which is characterized by widespread polarization and conflict. The significance of political civility goes beyond superficial considerations of respect and kindness, notwithstanding how trivial they may seem. It is essential to any healthy democracy and must be in place before real change can occur.

Politeness in politics boils down to treating each other with dignity and respect, no matter how strongly you feel about an issue. It means being receptive to other people’s perspectives and having an open mind, as well as seeing the value in every person. Meaningful debate and growth are rendered impossible in the absence of this fundamental level of respect.

The need to question our own opinions is a cornerstone of civil discourse in politics. Talking to others who think differently about politics makes us stand up for what we believe in and defend our stances. We have a better grasp of the problems at hand and can better articulate our own thoughts because of this process. The capacity to connect with multiple ideas is vital in a culture where ideological silos and echo chambers are all too frequent.

On top of that, being respectful in politics helps us to see the humanity in those we disagree with. Politics has a nasty habit of turning into character assassination in which both sides portray the other as hopelessly evil. Polite political discourse, however, allows us to see that even our most ardent opponents are human people with feelings and opinions just like our own. If our society is to progress and we are to discover areas of agreement, this acknowledgment is crucial.

Furthermore, democratic processes cannot be carried out without political decorum. It makes it possible for authority to be passed on peacefully and for differences to be settled by discussion rather than force. Societies that were engulfed in political turmoil and whose members eschewed politeness in favor of open hostility are numerous throughout history. In contrast, communities that value political civility are more likely to find peaceful solutions to even the most divisive problems.

Being politically courteous does not include avoiding or downplaying serious disagreements or awkward confrontations. Contrarily, it demands that we talk to one other openly and politely, especially when the topics at hand are difficult. 

Being open-minded implies we are ready to hear out other people’s arguments, take fresh evidence into account, and adjust our own opinions when necessary. That is the only way we can overcome the differences that are dividing us and create a future where everyone can thrive. 


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