Editor’s note: Nathan Inks is the current president of College Republicans.
Over the past year, President Obama and many Democrats have advocated toning down the “toxic rhetoric” that has infiltrated our political arena.
Civility is key to actually getting things done for Americas so that we can bring our economy back to life and create jobs for Americans.
Much of this rhetoric has been blamed on the Tea Party and conservatives, but both sides are guilty of acting uncivil.
On Monday, James Hoffa was speaking before workers in preparation for President Obama’s Labor Day speech, and he spoke of a war between the workers of America and the Tea Party. He stressed the importance of voting and that the workers would be President Obama’s army. He ended his speech by saying, “Let’s take these son of a bitches [sic] out and give America back to America where we belong.”
The White House did not denounce the remarks but did make it clear that Hoffa did not speak for the President. However, Hoffa stood by his remarks after criticism from some in the media.
Hoffa took it too far with his closing statement and it was even more inappropriate in a speech leading up to remarks from the President.
When conservatives brought up the incivility of Hoffa’s statement, many on the left immediately responded with, “Well the Tea Partiers say uncivil things too!”
That’s not the point. Continuing to excuse remarks based on opponents’ past remarks is unacceptable and leads us into a spiral where neither side admits wrong doing.
Another recent example of uncivility is the Tea Party Zombies Must Die video game, in which players must kill zombie versions of conservative political leaders and media personalities. Such games are tasteless, and do nothing productive for the American political process.
Instead of taking sound clips from the other side and trying to gain political points, both sides need to denounce hateful speech when it happens.
These phrases will remain a part of American politics for years to come, and are harmless, but it is unacceptable when someone from any political background acts in a way that lowers the quality of political discourse.
Whether the Democrats or the Republicans started it first does not matter. It is time to take the high road, stop worrying about the past and look forward to the future, setting a good example for generations to come.