America needs a national dialogue to heal our political battle wounds

Mon, 2017-06-26

The Hill | BY RICK SHAPIRO AND BETSY WRIGHT HAWKINGS, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS

The horrible and indiscriminate attack on a group of House Republican members of Congress at their early morning baseball practice for a charity baseball game may prove to be a watershed moment in our country: the day Democrats and Republicans realized they had to change the direction of American politics to take our democracy off the downward spiral it was on.

The stark anger behind this attack seems to have driven home the point to many members of Congress that our nation’s politics is not only broken, but it is dangerous — to members of Congress and to the citizens they represent.

It has been encouraging to hear a growing number of members publicly call for their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to reverse current norms of incivility and model more constructive democratic behavior for the nation. Unfortunately, changing congressional behavior, while critical to any formula for lasting change, will not be sufficient for restoring the health and vitality to our democracy.