The Tribune has run two stories recently featuring Republicans lamenting the loss of civility in public life: a largely positive piece about Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox’s talk at UVU, where he criticized extremist political language; and an AP report simply mouthing liberal criticism of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch’s comments at a luncheon for the Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C.
While Gorsuch echoed Cox when he encouraged citizens to “remember that democracy depends on our ability to reason and work with those who hold very different views than our own,” the focus of the AP article was on Gorsuch’s sin of having the temerity to speak at a hotel owned by President Trump.
While I am appalled by most of our president’s behavior, I question whether the press helps matters when it simply parrots the words of groups trying to manufacture discord and upset when neither is warranted. Anyone who is involved with planning professional conferences knows that such hotel contracts are typically signed years out from the actual meeting, in this case most likely even before Trump was elected president. There’s certainly no smoke here, let alone fire.
In his talk, Gorsuch noted that “to preserve our civil liberties we have to constantly work on being civil with one another,” a worthy aim. Lt. Gov. Cox and other Utah politicians like Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams admirably try to model this behavior. In fact, those two politicians will be having a discussion entitled “Civility in Politics and Public Life” moderated by University of Utah’s Natalie Gochnour at Westminster College on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. I welcome all citizens who care about civil discourse to join that conversation.
Salt Lake City