|Senator Edward Kennedy|
Whether the practiced civility of those long-gone days or the lionizing eulogies of Senator Kennedy by political opponents were genuine or not isn't important. What is important is publicly according other people, especially those with whom we disagree, civility and respect. It costs nothing, makes social intercourse more pleasant, and facilitates the political process.
The alternative is to risk incitement of troubled individuals to act out tragically believing the extreme rhetoric they hear somehow validates their abhorrent behavior. Along with freedom of speech comes the duty to exercise that right responsibly. This is a lesson that today's hyper-partisan politicians and news personalities would do well to remember, lest they earn some measure of culpability for horrific acts of violence.