Opinion: Extreme incivility
Ralph K. Ginorio
| April 28, 2022 10:35 AM
As we approach the Primary Election, we are inundated by calls to embrace civility and reject extremism. Good and virtuous people are cautioned to adopt moderation as their watchword.
For local Conservatives, this would mean supporting the newly announced North Idaho Republicans (NIR) and rejecting the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC). It would also mean adopting a soft-spoken tone of inclusive dialogue that rejects declamation and invective.
On the surface, this seems wise. The people involved in the NIR are of the best caliber; long-serving community leaders with solid records of accomplishment. Anyone savvy about recent regional events would be proud to be mentioned in the same sentence as Sandy Patano and the others. They are genuine treasures whose efforts have improved life for us all.
And, what decent person with any loyalty to traditional Judeo-Christian principles could possibly say anything against being civil even in disagreement? Good manners distinguish the gentleman/gentlewoman from the ruffian. Can't we disagree without being disagreeable, knowing that what we share in common is more important than anything that may divide us?
All of this is true. I personally endeavor to be scrupulously civil and to conspicuously recognize the virtues of those with whom I have principled disagreements. Don't we owe it to ourselves and to our Republic to be our best selves, even when the chips are down?! Absolutely!
And, yet, though I am not an uncritical admirer of the late senator and 1964 Republican Presidential Nominee Barry Goldwater, he did speak one bit of true wisdom with a sere clarity.
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue."
Our well-respected local Republican advocates of civility seem to be fixated on a crusade to purge their own side of anyone who behaves too boisterously, who is too rough-around-the-edges. Is this censoriousness patriotism, or merely vanity?
We are all beset by a deepening crisis. The Biden Administration's weakness abroad has brought us closer to nuclear war than we have been since October 1962. Inflation is destroying the already beset American Middle Class. Our environmentally-conscious economic elites seem obsessed with trimming back what they perceive to be the vulgar excesses of the American standard of living. Our southern border is being overrun by invaders. Our cultural leaders are in open rebellion against both tradition and objective reality.
Anyone who utters even a word of caution against the Woke Revelation is personally denounced as being an irredeemably bad person. Only a racist, sexist, homophobic, cis-normative, and patriarchal white supremacist could possibly object to their utopian ideal of universal liberation. Even our First Amendment-protected media mourns the return of Free Speech to Twitter, as if the erosion of internet censorship places our democracy itself at risk.
No, my well-meaning and respectable friends and neighbors, at this moment your wisdom is folly. It is masochistic to remain civil when zealots strive to destroy all who dissent as purveyors of hate-speech. It is suicidal to be moderate in the defense of our liberty-oriented Constitutional Republic against those who would replace it with their own version of a Totalitarian Theocracy.
If, in my defense of freedom, I seem to be uncivil and extreme, so be it. I support the majority of the KCRCC's suggested candidates because I am convinced that only genuinely Conservative ideas can positively resolve today's many crises. And I will speak confidently and passionately in support of these ideas, even if I continue to be mislabeled as hateful, divisive and uncivil.
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In Maine and then Idaho, Ralph K. Ginorio has taught the history of Western civilization to high school students for nearly a quarter century. He is an “out-of-the-closet” Conservative educator with experience in special education, public schools and charter schools, grades 6-12. He has lived in Coeur d’Alene since 2014. Email: email@example.com