Discussing the tone of civil conversation and the depths to which it has fallen, Noonan cast a vision. If Obama can maintain his demeanor, there stands the possibility for a new day in civil discourse.
Noonan’s remarks are reminiscent of the David Brooks New York Times column last spring, “Run, Barack, Run” in which Brooks asserted, “The next Democratic nominee should either be Barack Obama or should have the stature that would come from defeating Barack Obama.” Brooks continued, “This style is surely the antidote to the politics of the past several years.”
Noonan said she thinks the manner of our public conversation came about during the Vietnam War and took deep root during the busing and abortion clashes of the 70s. I agree. I would add, the arrival of the 80s, the end of the fairness doctrine and the emergence of talk radio cemented divisive, mean-spirited, small political talk. Thus, the span of my adult life.
Noonan sees the rhetoric of the Republicans and the Democrats on par with the "Jets and the Sharks. Both sides killing each other, not to make things better, but to gain power."
Can't we all rise above the swiftboating, above the lapel pin harangue?
Admit it--no grown up believes that discourse alone will keep us secure, prosperous, and just.
Yet, on the way to security, prosperity, and justice-keep your cool, Barack Obama. Stay above the fray. Fight the real battles. Parry the silly.
Keep raising the level of discourse.
Make a path for peace.
I've been waiting for this for a long, long time.
"The wisdom that comes from God is first utterly pure, then peace-loving, gentle, approachable, full of tolerant thoughts and kindly actions, with no breath of favouritism or hint of hypocrisy. And the wise are peace-makers who go on quietly sowing for a harvest of righteousness - in other people and in themselves." James 3:17-18
J B PHILLIPS Translation of the NEW TESTAMENT