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?]

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One response to “If You Have Nothing Nice to Say, Well, Maybe You Should Say It Anyway”

  1. Invisible Mikey says :

    Though I do appreciate authenticity, what the honesty reveals still matters to me. If it shows the person to be an authentic a-hole, I really don’t want them in a position of power or responsibility, one where compassion might be useful.

    Incivility belies a lack of wisdom and maturity.

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