Practice Civility! (Or we’ll kill you. In a civil and urbane fashion.)

I’m sure everyone here has followed the stellar career of that great humanitarian and philantropist, former Congressman The Right Civil James Leach, PBUH. For those benighted rubes who are saying at this moment, “Who the hell is Jim Leach, and why should I care?” What the *&^%ing #^** is wrong with you people? Why, such willful disregard for your betters smacks of … well, of incivility, that’s what!

Jim Leach, as all true Americans know, is the man who singlehandedly

…authored legislation on a range of issues including:

* the creation of an international AIDS Trust Fund,
* debt relief for the world’s poorest countries,
* authorization of an International Monetary Fund quota increase,
* making the Peace Corps an independent federal agency,
* requiring the federal government to use soy ink,
* prohibiting Internet gambling,
* restraining federal employee growth, and
* redressing certain Holocaust asset losses.

And now this great man has unselfishly taken the reins of the National Endowment for the Humanities, that mighty institution which has brought such blessings to us all.

Of late Mr Leach has embarked upon a tour of all fifty states, bringing us in person the benefit of his wisdom and fortitude and … well, just his gosh-darn civility, that’s what.

More than 40 years ago Congress established the National Endowment for the Humanities to address the “the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.” As the head of this unique federal agency, I have embarked on a 50 state civility tour that will bring me to Colorado this week under the auspices of Colorado Humanities. Colorado Humanities has developed a series of public programs laying out how history and literature provide perspective to issues of the day.

One such issue is the fact that civility in our society is breaking down. Citizens are increasingly losing confidence in the institutions of our nation, particularly government, and are becoming disrespectful of their leaders, other faith systems and each other.

Public figures have been spat upon and subjected to racial and homophobic slurs. Men and women who have spoken up about proposals such as health care or economic stimulus packages have been labeled “fascist” or “communist,” sometimes at the same time. And words like “secession” and “nullification” have crept into the public dialogue.

I don’t know anything about the first accusation, except those instances where it has turned out to be a lie. As to the second, I am frankly in awe of of an administration capable of enacting policies that manage to be both fascist and communist at the same time – though anyone who has read a book knows there isn’t much difference between the two at any time. As for the third, speaking strictly for myself (anything else would be uncivil) I’d like to see more use of those words in the public dialogue. I’d like to see some action on them.

I’m now curious about the NEH, this “unique federal agency.” I wonder – is it unique in that it doesn’t field its own SWAT teams yet? Because a federal agency really can’t be sure of civility in its peasants without paramilitary force.

H/T to WRSA

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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One Response to Practice Civility! (Or we’ll kill you. In a civil and urbane fashion.)

  1. Weetabix says:

    I was always leery of social engineering by the .gov. But here’s something I could probably help with. I’m a civil engineer, you see…

To the stake with the heretic!