Be civil when talking politics

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Now that the election is over and tempers have cooled, I would like to explore why election times have to be so vitriolic? Why can not an election dialogue be civil? We should be very thankful for the numerous freedoms that we, as Americans enjoy and often take for granted — such as voting, freedom of speech, and a right to our own personal opinions. America is one of the few countries that can have a complete change in governing regimes without mass upheavals from the people, yet we choose to attack those with whom we disagree with vile words.
The past presidential election discourses seemed to abound with an insatiable desire to belittle those with differing ideas. Political ads, which came in spades, were revolting in the way they attacked the opposing party. Often the attacks were not focused on particular issues, but rather were replete with slanderous verbiage. What happened to the days of spirited debates in the public square? What happened to dissecting ideas rather than people? Why can we not have a “grown-up” discussions with people of different persuasions, rather than all of the childish backbiting attacks?
I write this letter asking that we, Americans, act in a winsome manner when discussing politics. Let us resolve to learn everything we can from our opponents and at the same time do our best to challenge them in a kind and loving way.
Micaela Christensen
White Rock