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Where is the civility America once had?

Civility.

Formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech. Polite remarks used in formal conversation. Polite, reasonable and respectful behavior.

Not too many years ago, civility was common throughout the United States. People were generally respectful and courteous to each other. Certainly there were some people who did not respect or believe that all men were created equal, but they were a minority who were generally shunned by the public. Men would hold a door open for a woman, give up their seat on a bus or a train and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Politicians from both major parties, although having different viewpoints on many issues, were able to talk things out and usually reach a compromise. In fact, back then they even socialized together whether it was on the golf course, at dinner or even weekend bar-b-ques attended by their families.

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Children went to school to learn, their teachers taught for the love of educating kids. Children respected and admired their teachers. Teaching was thought of as a noble profession — people didn’t get into it for the money but for the chance to influence and educate future generations. Children behaved because the worst thing they wanted to hear was that the teacher was going to call their parent to discuss a problem.

Today things are totally different. It seems as if most people are looking out only for themselves — the hell with anyone else. Those who hate others for their race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, national origin or many other reasons now are out in public espousing their vile rhetoric without any sense of decorum or the effect that their hatred has upon their targets. Gentlemen are hard to find, and even some women display behavior that would not be imagined years ago.

Today teachers are no longer given the respect they deserve. Kids disrespect and at times even physically assault them. Parents who years ago would blame bad grades on their child now blame the teachers for the grades. Administrators and politicians refuse to allow teachers to just teach. Everything is geared toward passing “the test.” Forget about the basics such as thinking, creativity and positive social interactions. Just continue to turn out bunches of automatons to fill up the cubicles of corporate America.

Politics today has become a dirty game. Political ideology comes first. It’s “I’m right your wrong and that’s that, no compromise.” The other side of the aisle is the enemy and must be defeated at all costs. So what if nothing gets done. So what if people are hurt by the legislative branch of government not doing their jobs. Most of them will just vote for us again so we can continue our gamesmanship. Big money from billionaires and giant corporations goes to politicians who do their bidding and make sure they stay in power.

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In closing, during this election season the supporters of one candidate say they want their country back, but not in a good and decent way. I too want my country back. But what I want back is a country where people respect and are decent to one another. Where teachers are shown the respect they deserve and are paid like the professionals they are. Where a person goes into politics to actually help society, not to line their pockets with cash and then become a corporate lobbyist.

Is that too much to ask for?

Ted Bazer, Sunrise


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