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The issue of Civility is important to our district and my work in Congress.
It is no secret that Congress faces a political climate full of frustration and hostility. Our failure to come together to solve our nation's problems continues to put our shared future in jeopardy.
We have come to think about compromise as capitulation. Some even see free speech as a tactic to suppress their outrage at government recklessness, rather than a reasonable approach to cordially debating our differences. One thing I've learned—and I have said this to Republicans and Democrats and everyone in between—is, bees cannot sting and make honey at the same time. They have to make a choice. Either they can sting other bees, or they can make honey with other bees. You cannot do both.
Unfortunately, Congress spends too much time fighting itself and too little time fighting for our constituents and the issues we believe in. We are a better, more compassionate, and caring nation than our current behavior portrays. We must be able to discuss our disagreements without allowing our discourse to deteriorate into this habit of hostility. While partisanship is a vital component of democracy, only healthy disagreement can propel us forward, to better ideas and better days. Embracing a civil exchange of ideas and respectful differences of opinion fosters real debate, and allows our best ideas to thrive.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak before the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, along with my friend, neighbor, and colleague Congressman Kevin Yoder. We talked about our time in Congress. I forgave him for being younger and for being from the other side—of the border, not the aisle. Local business leaders from the area shared their stories, concerns, and calls for civility. More than ever, we can and we must disagree without being disagreeable.
For more information concerning my work and views on the issue of Civility, please contact my Washington, DC office.
I look forward to your feedback.