Aggressive Ethics Alarms commenter Elizabeth II was on fire yesterday, authoring two and maybe three Comment of the Day-worthy screeds. This was the first of them, and on a topic that never can have enough discussion here: civility, in reaction to Senator Schumer’s public berating of a Trump voter in a New York restaurant.
Incidental Update: when that post was written, no leftward mainstream media sources reported the incident, though it was unquestionable newsworthy. If Senator McCain or Mitch McConnell, and certainly Sarah Palin, had behaved this way, it would be on every front page and CNN would be leading with it every hour. I noted that this was a perfect example of how the polarization of news sources works today; I also wondered if the story would ultimately be debunks or credibly denied. The story hasn’t been debunked, and the Left’s media pals have ignored it. From now on, I think I’ll ask any desperate denier of news media bias try to explain this.
Here is Elizabeth II’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month, As Trump Derangement Allegedly Eats Chuck Schumer’s Brain”:
I think this is more than Trump Derangement — though of course Trump as POTUS is making it worse. It is the awful, seemingly uncontrolled downturn in civility generally in this country. We dress like slobs, we act like slobs, and we talk like slobs. We seem to have no control over our behavior: in perhaps two generations, all bets are off in terms of civil behavior.
When my son was very young I did want him to learn to be a “gentleman.” This had nothing to do with money, class, or beliefs: it was attitudinal and behavioral only.
My explanation was this: what you do or say in the privacy of your own home — absent breaking the law — is absolutely one’s own business.
Outside the home, however, is where being a ‘gentleman’ comes into play. The key to being a gentleman is to match your public behavior to where you are and who you are with — doing so with grace and civility without , compromising your own personal ethic.
Thus, though he might hear (and say) the F-word, pick his nose, or fart in the privacy of his own home, this is never gentlemanly behavior in other venues. Maybe I should have pulled out Geo Washington’s 100 Rules of Civility, but it seemed to work anyway.
My young millennial son can act like any silly 22-year-old with his friends, but can converse politely with adults, would never create a disturbance in a public place for the heck of it, never denigrates people for his own enjoyment, and never, ever bullies. No, he’s not perfect, but I have been with him in both public and private situations and have witnessed his understanding of civility and being a gentleman. Schumer’s behavior would have horrified him.
And before you blow me off as yet another mother who has no sense at all of her own son, I know he is far from perfect: money management is something totally foreign to him now; speeding and racing in the classic BMW he restored himself has gotten him into legal trouble, sometimes he’s very open and communicative and sometimes he’s not; in certain family areas he shows great responsibility; in others, none at all. He is, after all, 22.
But I do know that he understands that civility is an important character attribute. Seems that fewer and fewer do.