Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It's Time To Turn The Page

By Jon Dunnemann

How does America begin to turn away from anger, hatred, and violence toward a more productive and restorative expression of benevolence? I believe that this is the quintessential national challenge of our time.

Regardless of where you may stand politically, religiously or socially by now it should be increasing clear to everyone that our public discourse and etiquette is in a tragic decline. No longer the exemplary model of civility for the rest of the world, increasingly we find ourselves outfitted in the unflattering stereotype of that of the ugly American.

Being very rude, offensive or unpleasant is the new normal for more than just “gangsta rap” artists. Entertainers, business professionals, and politicians alike are unimaginably and unapologetically brutish and provocative yet they are idolized as modern day “rock stars” and persons worthy of being listened to on the public stage. Recent examples include hip hop artist Kanye West, singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and this past weekend comedian Larry Wilmore.

Here is a simple question. Do any of the people that I just mentioned act like people that you would want in your immediate family? No, I do not think so.

Here is another question. Would you agree that it’s time that we made a more concerted effort to turn the page on this prevailing mantra of “we can say and do anything we damn well please?” Freedom of speech is one thing but reckless indifference concerning behavior that conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability is tremendously damaging to a vast majority of others in the most insidious way.

What are we waiting for? Do we need to once again experience the far side of global overreach or an economic crisis or another catastrophic terrorist event before we fully recognize that the emphasis that we historically placed on values and virtues is what made us and preserved our place in the world as a bright beacon and irresistible magnate for both hope and glory?

Let us make sure it is not so. America, it's time to turn the page.