Saturday, November 14, 2015

Trump’s Lack of Civility

In his remarks in Iowa, Donald Trump violated the elementary rules of civility. Trump accused his rival, Doctor Ben Carson, of irreversible pathological behavior for things that happened over 50 years ago when Carson was 13 or 14 years old. To make matters worse, Trump labeled Iowa voters who were thinking of voting for Carson as “stupid.”

Trump has a habit of calling anybody who disagrees with him as “stupid.” To me that pattern, which Trump calls “counter-punching” is not only pathological but stupid and lacks civility. \

In 1988, Applewood Books in Bedford, Massachusetts published Washington little 30 page volume on civility. It has a red cover, simulating leather, with its title on the cover in embossed gold print. The title is George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. Trump ought to read it.

As I read it, I thought, By George! This is something Trump ought to read and heed.

To give you a flavor of what our first President said, here are ten of his rules.

#1 Every action ought to be done with some sign of respect to those who are present.

#2 Shake not the head, feet, or legs; roll not the eyes; lift not one eyebrow higher than the other; wry not the mouth, and bedew no man’s face with your spittle.

#3 Do not puff up the cheeks; loll not the tongue; rub the hands, thrust out the lips, or bite them, or keep the lips too open or close.

#4 Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another, though he were your enemy.

#5 When you meet with one of greater quality than yourself, stop, and retire.

#6 Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.

#7 In writing or speaking, give every person his due title according to his degree & the custom of the place.

#8 Do not express joy before one sick and in pain, for that contrary passion will aggravate his misery.

#9 Use no reproachful language against anyone; neither curse nor revile.

# 10 In disputes not so desirous to overcome as not to give liberty to each one to deliver his opinion and submit to the judgment of the major part, especially if they are judges of the dispute.

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