English is a wonderful language capable of great diversity of expression through choice of words. Especially in contentious situations, picking our words matters to be sure we communicate information and intent accurately. Beyond words, of course, is the tone that carries its own message – not always the same as the words. The recent debate on the House of Representatives floor was instructive on this principle. Some speeches were eloquent yet the words chosen and the expression of them often carried more anger than information. Deep convictions can be conveyed without anger, and more often than not more effectively. The outcome of that particular debate would have likely been the same with considerably less anger which seemed often to lay close to the surface. My reaction more than once was to tell several of the speakers to ‘put away their toys and go to their rooms’.
Then this morning I read this piece (see link below) by David French which captured my feelings quite well, not only about the House debate but more broadly about the state of conservative-minded policy and politics. I’d encourage a read by conservative and liberal-minded folks. The principles and cautions apply across the spectrum. Let’s hope that civility and respect will prevail going forward – across all divisions in our Country. Pick your words – and your tone – thoughtfully, as I hope our political leaders will.
David French, Jan 8, 2023