David Harsanyi says Civility is overrated:
If you've been paying attention lately, you may be under the impression that the United States was spiraling into mass incivility.
The evidence keeps mounting: Congressman Joe Wilson yelling. Serena Williams yelling. Kanye West...whatever. All of these uncouth characters have been strung together by critics to establish, indisputably, that there is a societal explosion of boorish and coarse behavior.
On the political front, columnist Kathleen Parker calls this "a political era of uninhibited belligerence." House speaker Nancy Pelosi, lamenting an imaginary climate of violence, wishes "we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made."
Such a preposterous statement should be actionable. Pelosi, who only recently compared her political opponents to Nazis, isn't exactly a paragon of civil discourse. American politics has always been unsightly. Most of the time, in fact, far worse than today.
Have we transformed into so brittle a citizenry that we are unable to handle a raucous debate over the future of the country? If things were quiet, subdued and "civil" in America today, as Pelosi surely wishes, it would only be proof that democracy wasn't working.
It's no accident, either, that those in power are generally the ones choking up about the lack of decorum. The truth is, we could use far less bogus civility in Washington.