Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor: Decency and Civility Must Begin at the Top

To the Editor:

Mr. Scaros’ recent article concerning the absence of decency and civility in today’s discourse omits one most necessary observation. Decency and civility start at the top and cannot be compromised. It’s a required common denominator in civil society, regardless of political affiliations or viewpoints. Unfortunately, those in the top echelon of government today continue with disrespectful rhetoric which gives apparent license to some of the governed to do the same. Results are, therefore, not surprising. The connection is clear, and not puzzling whatsoever. The source is unmistakable.

This distain for Trump emanates not so much from his conservative viewpoints, which often do have merit, however shallow or poorly informed. The problem comes from his delivery consisting of a typically insulting tweet, complete with hideously bad spelling (hamburder, anyone?), terrible grammar, and a complete surprise to those who surround him as “advisors” and cabinet members. Seriously, this passes for “policy”?  Does any rational and thinking human being really believe “he alone” has the answers? Then, for good measure, it’s followed by a sophomoric name for the target of his wrath.  It’s a pathetic and imbecilic pattern for someone who is considered leader of the free world. Because he relishes and propagates this clear and ignorant incivility, others of the same base mentality (many, unfortunately) quickly follow suit.

Worse, as Ambassador Theros writes in “The Unnecessary President,” his actions are largely damaging and not needed. They are born of political self-dealing, not thoughtful consideration of any situation at hand and a reasoned solution to it. For example, who doesn’t want our troops home from Syria? That’s noble and right, isn’t it? Now, put that in a tweet before telling your military commanders and discussing the apparent consequences privately with them and others with specialty service who clearly understand this situation better than he. This omission isn’t normal. It’s crazed and outright dangerous to those selflessly serving there.

As someone who attended and graduated from The Wharton School at U. Penn, same as Trump, I hardly wish the guy ill. My classmates were all intensely interested in the news of the day, their work, doing a good job, and being friendly and decent themselves. Trump is the classmate who shows up on Spruce Street in Philly riding in dad’s limo, doesn’t participate in classwork, comments only about himself and his embellished escapades, and contributes nothing of value to any discussion, only offering dry boasts. Unfortunately for us, if your father writes a big enough check to the University, you’re in, disrespectful incompetency and all. That’s him. The rest of us were required to get in, do the work, and graduate on the merits… fortunately.

Thomas Frangos

Boston, MA


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