Editor’s note: The following was first published by Michigan Sen. Margaret O’Brien on Facebook. She agreed to allow Bridge to publish it as a commentary.
Have we lost polite civil discourse in our country?
I was out knocking doors and engaged in a respectful and informative conversation with a couple about school safety and gun laws. They do not like most guns, which is their right to believe and advocate.
It was mostly fine (the husband liked to say provocative statements) until I was leaving and the husband saw one of my volunteers waiting for me at the end of the driveway.
Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, is running for re-election in the 20th District.
He decided to yell, “You better duck! I’m going to shoot you with an AR 15” to my sweet volunteer.
Now friends, I don’t believe the man owns a gun, nor do I believe he would shoot someone. But my volunteer did not know this. And did not deserve this. The wife was horrified by her husband and kept trying to get him to be respectful like she was being.
If this is how people try to make our communities safer, it won’t work. Threatening innocent people is what we are trying to stop. This man’s message was lost.
Is this where our country has gone? I hope not.
I wish we could say this started with a handful of people a couple years ago. It hasn’t. It’s been around a long while.
This last (presidential) campaign highlighted two candidates who regularly demeaned others. The media (almost all media) feeds in to this and also demeans people in the name of “fairness” or “news”- whatever it is.
I’m okay if people disagree with me. In fact, I learn more from it. But I must be responsible for MY actions and do my best to act how I want to be treated. If we all did this, we would find solutions much more quickly.
Let’s make sure no one name calls or justifies violence or hate simply because someone else has done it. Together, we CAN change the tone.