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Will Conflict Trump Civility in 2019?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

For the first time since directly electing senators in 1914, the House has flipped parties without the winning party picking up seats in the Senate. The constant barrage of political ads and campaign attacks made for a combative election. As we approach 2019, one might ask, is civility important? Democrats would like you to believe that President Trump is the cause!


Hillary Clinton stated that civility is not necessary when the Democrats are out of office, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. That’s why I believe that If we are fortunate enough to win back the House or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

Confrontation has been a tactic of the left for decades. Fred Siegel in the 60’s embraced Riot Ideology—The belief that riots were a reflection of deep underlying social ills that could only be cured by more government.

Former NYC Mayor John Lindsay, Republican turned Democrat, would say, “Our experience is that some good can come of confrontation politics.” Even President Obama could be said to have embraced escalation of conflict, “If they bring a knife to a fight, we bring a gun.” Jay Carney, President Obama’s Press Secretary, defended such responses, “One man’s mob is another man’s democracy.”

New York Governor Chris Cuomo seemed to join the chorus of defenders, “People who show up to fight bigots are not to be judged the same as the bigots even if they do resort to the same petty violence.”

Not to be outdone, Eric Holder asserted, “You’ve heard that when they go low, we go high. No, when they go low, we kick them.”

Maxine Waters threatened, “They are not going to be able to go to a restaurant. They are not going to be able to stop at a gas station. They aren’t going to be able to shop at a department store. The people are going to turn on them. They are going to protest. They are going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they are going to tell this president, ‘I’m not going to hang with you.’”


After Judge Kavanaugh was confirmed, a leftist mob tried breaking through the Supreme Court doors. They’ve accosted senators and cabinet members, attempting to drive them from restaurants.

Left wing vandals targeted NYC GOP Headquarters, leaving a note, “Our attack is merely a beginning. We are not passive, we are not civil, and we will not apologize.” Let’s not forget the Antifa mobs or the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

The mainstream media bias doesn’t help. With a 91 percent negative media coverage on the nightly news, those looking for reasons to hate Trump have daily fuel.

It’s true that the left’s hate for everything Trump is often matched by President Trump’s provocative Tweets and campaign comments that ratchet up crowds on the right.

There was no blue tidal wave or clear Trump victory. The Dems took back the House; and the GOP expanded their hold on the Senate. Both sides can claim that attacking their enemy works! But is that what we want—continued polarization, endless investigations, and legislative gridlock?

If Democrats use House control to only resist, attack and fight for impeachment rather than find ways to cooperate where they can, their victory may be short lived. Finding a viable Democratic presidential candidate to take on Trump could prove to be a brutal fight damaging the party unity they’ll need for the 2020 Campaign.


After all, President Trump can find hope in the experience of President Reagan. He lost 26 House seats in his first midterm but went on to win 48 out of 50 states in the 1984 Presidential election.

As we start the new year, President Trump signing the bipartisan criminal justice bill shows that partisan rancor can be overcome. It’s time for all to affirm the value of civility.Lawless acts and personal attacks should have no place in American politics.

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