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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Congressional Name Calling

Feb 24, 2015
Civility Message

Dear Friends,

A Kansas City jury had been out a week and struggling to get the twelfth juror, the only holdout, to convict. At 6:00 pm the court officer entered the jury room and asked the foreman for the jury’s food orders. “What shall I bring the jury for dinner?”

“Make it eleven fish plates and one bale of hay!” someone yelled.

As difficult as it may seem, the people who disagree with us are not necessarily bozos, whack jobs, or jerks. Unfortunately, hurtful language from Members of Congress has already colored the public perception of our nation’s decision makers. Perhaps the worst impact of our Congressional name calling is the creation of child-like conduct for our constituents to copy.

When we call a colleague a nasty name, we are really attacking his/her personhood, and nothing good comes from that.


Emanuel Cleaver, II
Member of Congress