Incivility in America has reached epidemic proportions. Every day rudeness, disrespect and hostility sideline collaboration and compromise. Sound bites replace sound journalism. Extremes on both ends of the political spectrum stymie productive dialogue. The public, initially worn and weary, is increasingly enraged about how the lack of civility has left government helpless in the face of our nation's most pressing problems.
The 2016 campaign has brought political incivility directly into living rooms across America. Not only have candidates exacerbated this through numerous disrespectful remarks, name calling, and by insulting various members of minority groups, but the tone of the campaigns has also led to physical violence. Uncivil words have led to uncivil actions and are the direct result of the nature of the rhetoric expressed by those competing to lead in public office.
Core NICD research found that most people think mocking or making fun of a political opponent, making disrespectful or demeaning statements, refusing to listen to arguments of different points of view, or making exaggerated statements that misrepresent the truth are all uncivil behaviors.
In a 2016 Civility Poll, almost all likely voters of likely voters, almost all stated that a presidential candidate’s civility and behavior would affect their votes. Furthermore, many parents have expressed dismay that they aren’t able to watch the debates with their children because of the bad behavior, language, and poor role modeling that is displayed, embarrassingly, by people who are in the running to lead the country.
The Revive Civility Initiative
Revive Civility is NICD's nationwide initiative to provide tools for Americans - elected officials, members of the media and the public at large -- to take solution-oriented actions that will help restore civility in our nation.
The Revive Civility Initiative includes the following components:
- Revive Civility Pledge for Community Connectors: Citizens can pledge to revive civility locally as a Community Connector and receive information on how to do so.
- Citizen and Partner Toolkits: The downloadable toolkits offer concrete steps for helping Revive Civility in our politics and our everyday lives.
- Text, Talk, Revive Civility: NICD’s innovative text messaging and discussion platform, Text, Talk, Revive Civility, will bring together thousands of citizens across the country to talk about how civility strengthens our democracy, and determine how to advance a more civil discourse, and hold elected officials and candidates accountable when they do not uphold our ideals.
- During the 2016 elections, Standards of Conduct and Debate Standards were developed in collaboration with NICD’s Advisory Board, National Network of State Legislators, National Civility Network and Research Network.
NICD has gathered local leaders in Tucson to generate a local Revive Civility effort across Tucson. Join us in Tucson, Arizona at the Loft Cinema to learn more about Tucson's community effort to Revive Civility.
Become a Citizen for Reviving Civility!