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Civility Isn’t Weakness—It’s How We Win
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Civility Isn’t Weakness—It’s How We Win

A commitment to civility is first and foremost about not becoming what we oppose.

· 3 min read

As the culture war continues to roil, partisans from across the political spectrum increasingly claim that the time for civility—if there ever was one—has passed. New York Post editor Sohrab Ahmari writes that conservatives should eschew civility in favor of an all-out brawl, arguing that “progressives understand that culture war means discrediting their opponents and weakening or destroying their institutions. Conservatives should approach the culture war with a similar realism. Civility and decency are secondary values.”

Former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Steve Israel concurs. Inverting Michelle Obama's famous mantra “when they go low, we go high,” Israel asserts that when Republicans go low “you hit them on the head with a two-by-four.”

By “civility,” such critics usually mean passivity and obsequious politeness. They see advocates of civility as doormats for bullies, narcissistically preoccupied with being “nice.” To them, our pie-in-the-sky perspective will merely encourage the enemy to storm our gates.

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