Incivility in America has reached epidemic proportions. In far too many instances rudeness, disrespect and hostility sideline collaboration and compromise. Sound bites replace sound journalism; extremes on either end of the political spectrum upend political dialogue, and the public, initially worn and weary, have now become enraged at our government’s inability to tackle our nation’s most pressing problems.
The 2016 campaign has brought political incivility into living rooms across America. Not only have candidates exacerbated this through numerous disrespectful remarks, name calling, and by insulting various members of minority groups, but the tone of the campaigns has also led to physical violence. Uncivil words have led to uncivil actions and are the direct result of the nature of the rhetoric expressed by those competing to lead in public office.
Core research conducted by the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) indicated that nearly all research participants agree threatening physical harm and using racial, religious, ethnic or sexual slurs is uncivil. Furthermore, most agree that mocking or making fun of a political opponent, making disrespectful or demeaning statements, refusing to listen to arguments of different points of view, and making exaggerated statements that misrepresent the truth is uncivil.
In the 6th Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate with KRC Research 2016 Civility Poll, almost all likely voters stated clearly that a presidential candidate’s civility and behavior will affect their votes. Furthermore, many parents have expressed embarrassment that they aren’t able to watch the debates with their children for fear of showing them bad behavior, bad language, and bad role models who are nevertheless in the running to lead the country.
The Revive Civility Campaign Revive Civility is a nationwide campaign to demand civility in the 2016 campaign. The campaign encourages and provides tools for Americans and leaders to take solution-oriented actions to restore and call for civility in our public elections.
The Revive Civility Campaign includes the following components:
- Standards of Conduct: The Standards of Conduct provide a framework through which citizens, leaders and the media can revive the spirit of civility by modeling civil behavior. Participants can agree to uphold the Standards and to demand candidates to uphold them as well.
The Standards were developed in collaboration with NICD’s Advisory Board, National Network of State Legislators, National Civility Network and Research Network.
- Citizen and Partner Toolkits: The downloadable toolkits provide steps to help Revive Civility, in our politics and our everyday lives.
- Civility Seal of Approval:To highlight examples of civility, NICD will issue the Seal of Approval for specific acts of behavior that model the Standards of Conduct.
- Text, Talk, Revive Civility: NICD’s innovative text messaging platform, Text, Talk, Revive Civility, will bring together thousands of citizens across the country to educate them on how civility strengthens our democracy, how to advance a more civil discourse, and how to hold elected officials and candidates accountable when they do not uphold our ideals.