Grifting and Civility

The shell game of politics… (Own work, Public Domain)

With a generally centrist worldview, you can sometimes see a bit more of the hypocrisy in politics, and (of course!) wonder why folks can’t see how folks in their respective camps have seemingly lost their minds.   It was a pleasant surprise then, when someone in my world (a bit more to the right of my sensibilities) sent a few notes over on grifting from both the right and the left:

The best part about these articles, is that the folks doing the criticism were from their own sides.  When that happens, you know that some people have not abandoned their senses, and are ready to call out stupidity and greed, even when it emanates from their own part of the political spectrum.   Grifting is a parasitic behavior that does not help anyone except the grifter.  When it is political grifting, it also gives ample fuel to your opponents.  The real opportunistic grifters, when cornered, can also call their critics (depending on their location on the political spectrum) racist, inhumane, socialist, unpatriotic, evil, and/or depraved, ramping up the rhetoric.

In reading the article on grifting from the right, a piece appeared on civility.  As grifting (and inciting one’s base) has increased, civility has declined.   The article does a good job of showing how bad things are, and mentions a new book by Peter Wehner, The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic after Trump, which might give us a way out of this mess we are in. From the list of people mentioned who have read the book and put their name forward, giving it their blessings (from many parts of the political spectrum, right and left; from the cabinets of Bush and Obama, Democrats and Republicans), it seems like he might be on to something.




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