LETTER: Civility in Politics?

By Beacon Staff

The political environment, that has been created the last few decades, has left us questioning the motives of our elected officials, candidates and campaigns. Are the messages ones of winning arguments or are the messages about solving problems and guiding this country into the future? Where are the civil debates, which we so desperately need, to solve the problems we are facing in our country at this time. Where are the principled leaders? What is happening to the health of our democracy?

The values that are so important for a successful civil, democratic society such as respect, honesty, humility, patience, kindness, forgiveness are often replaced with public hate, slander, false information, public rudeness and fear. It is easier to put the blame on others if something goes wrong or say “NO” if there is something to oppose. Citizens have become trapped in a movement that does not allow them the opportunity to think for themselves. The process of long term plans and investment in our future is overpowered by blockades or short term gratification.

There is no price tag or tax to say “NO.” Talk is cheap but can be very harmful.

Be an informed voter; question the information you are getting. Know that your resources are factual. Follow the money trail. Who is paying for the sponsorships? If you come to a dead end, conclude the money trail is not intended to be public knowledge. Is this what you really want happening in our country when we as citizens are asking for more transparency? Question the influence of local, state and national media as well as political action groups. Is the message factual or is it portraying fear? Is it for clarity or charm?

Montana has a political hero who served our state and country in a most distinguished way. This Montana politician was a true civil statesman. Do you remember Mike Mansfield? He was the longest serving majority leader of the Senate in American History (1961-1977). He is described as a man of wisdom, courage, and integrity, a listener not a talker, committed to long term justice and truth, a sensitive human being with decency and mutual understanding. He was a calm leader and gave confidence to the people that government was in good hands.

Do your favorite candidates measure up to the standards of Sen. Mike Mansfield? We need to elect people, once again, with qualities like Mansfield to lead our county, state and nation. Your help is needed, in November, to vote for candidates who will be role models and who are willing to solve problems for the good of our county, state and nation. Your help is needed to elect people who can bring civility back into the political environment.

JoLynn Yenne