Editorial: Taking island group’s ‘Civility Pledge’ is a good start

It may not be the answer to the woes of a divided nation, but promoting civility at home is welcome start.

Liberals from South Whidbey are joining with conservatives from Oak Harbor to launch a grassroots movement dedicated to the ideals of respect and courtesy.

Great concept, eh?

The group Civility First describes itself as a group of Island County citizens “concerned about the normalization of uncivil discourse.”

It may seem impossible not to talk about President Donald Trump in any discussion about the proliferation of rudeness and disrespectful language. The New York Times reported this summer that he’s on track to insult 650 people, places and things on Twitter alone by the end of his first term.

Yet Civility First isn’t about discussing or criticizing the president or any other political figure. It’s strictly nonpartisan.

Cathy Whitmire, one of the founders, says the group’s focus is on civility — defining what it means and promoting it in the community.

The group’s secret weapon is the Civility First Pledge, available to take at www.civilityfirst.org

In signing the pledge, people are agreeing to “model civil behavior and tone, online as well as in public,” to genuinely attempt to understand the point of view of others, to make only accurate statements in defending a position and to expect others to do all of the above.

It’s not about being quietly complacent and agreeable. The pledge calls for people to challenge disrespectful behavior, but in a courteous manner.

Of course, there are no civility police to ensure people abide by the pledge, but simply striving to meet its objectives would certainly be welcome in what are, quite often, not-so-civil times.

More in Opinion

Cartoon for Sept. 22, 2018

Cartoon for Sept. 22, 2018… Continue reading

Letter: Has the Navy looked at impact on Sound’s orcas?

Editor, Knowing how deeply the increase in OLF flights off Central Whidbey… Continue reading

Letter: Oak Harbor Key Club’s Trivia Night is nearing

Editor, I am writing this letter in regards to our First Annual… Continue reading

Letter: Democracy depends on exercising right to vote

Editor, Tuesday, Sept. 25 is National Voter Registration Day. Across the nation,… Continue reading

Climate lobby makes strong case for supporting Initiative 1631

Asking people to vote to increase the cost of a gallon of… Continue reading

Cartoon for Sept. 19, 2018

Cartoon for Sept. 19, 2018… Continue reading

Letter: Sharpe’s Corner a job well done

Editor, There was a good bit of opposition when the Washington State… Continue reading

Letter: A poor design for the big trucks

Editor, As one who spoke up against the roundabout traffic circle plans,… Continue reading

Letter: Letter writer is not an expert, Navy is

Editor, I think the U.S. Navy knows a bit more about the… Continue reading

Most Read