If You Have Nothing Nice to Say, Well, Maybe You Should Say It Anyway
Something that stuck out at me this past week was the primary victory speech of Republican Congressman Justin Amash. He defeated his GOP opponent and, in his speech, not only refused to accept his opponent’s concession, but he called his opponent’s attacks on him despicable and said he should apologize straight away. There were lots of mixed reactions. Some thought it inappropriate, some thought it rude, and a couple of talking heads said it was “bad for America” for some reason. Bullcrap.
It’s worth noting that Amash’s opponent trashed him earlier this year as “al-Qaeda’s best friend” in Congress. So yeah, there’s nothing wrong with refusing to be gracious about a guy who lobs that kind of attack at you.
But what’s really amazing to me is that all the time, people clamor for politicians to be more honest and open, to be more authentic, but the second they do everyone clutches their purses and goes “How uncivil!”
I’m just gonna say it: maybe civility isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I’m not talking about calling each other assholes all the time, I’m merely proposing that politicians be allowed to just be more honest about their feelings. Wouldn’t it be far more refreshing to hear politicians say what they really think instead of “I respect the gentleman from Arizona’s point of view?”
If you don’t feel gracious, don’t pretend you are. You might just discover that authenticity is actually one of those qualities people might actually appreciate in their legislators. I know, I know, crazy.
[Editor’s note: But a guy can dream, can’t he?]