The Civility Project, founded by conservative evangelical Christian Mark Dumas and Jewish liberal Lanny Davis, called on Americans to sign a "civility pledge." It was also sent to every sitting governor and member of Congress.
The pledge stated:
1) I will be civil in my public discourse and behavior.
2) I will be respectful of others whether or not I disagree with them.
3) I will stand against incivility when I see it.
Pretty simple, right?
Only three legislators signed the pledge.
Mr. Dumas said:
"I must admit to scratching my head as to why only three members of Congress, and no governors, would agree to what I believe is a rather low bar."
But he did receive much feedback on his pledge. One email he received read:
"...The gutless Republicans do not need more gutless wonders like you in the rino party. You remind me of some one that would bring a rock or a knife to a gun fight. The thugs, communists, racists, bigots, liars, nazis, and American hating sons of bitches in the democrat party are scum of the Earth and will do anything to win. I believe you have been watching to many old movies where the good guy always win. Vince Lombardi put it best. Winning is not everything, it is the only thing."
Another email said:
"Grow up - this is real life and when the socialists want to take over a free country, people like me are not civil and if the Obama socialists aren't stopped soon by elections, the next step is violent revolution - its how our free country was born. You people are morons."
In a letter announcing the end of the Civility Project, Mr. Dumas
cited most of the incivility as coming from conservatives, and says he
is "embarrassed by that." But he says he wants to be frank and honest about where most of the vitriol is coming from.
I think Mr. Dumas is to be commended for his attempt at civility, and for his honesty.
You can watch Mr. Dumas discussing the end of the Civility Project on Countdown With Keith Olbermann.
(Click on "What destroyed the Civility Project?" on the left of the screen.)