I treasure my sepia memories,
Of correspondence both civil and bright,
When citizens exercised liberties,
And friends disagreed, but they didn't fight.
Last night, I lay in the dark and wondered:
What happened to simple civility?
When was our rationality sundered
From us? And I whispered, "How can this be?"
The grey-water dawn brought me nothing new.
My whispers at midnight etched no progress.
Our unspoken questions still echo through
The tragically empty halls of congress.
Whether cross the aisle, or across the seas,
It seems that we only see enemies.
I learned to debate in high school. We didn't make up facts. We didn't brag about our bank balances or IQ-levels. We didn't start or finish debates by slinging dirt on our competitors. We argued points and facts, often fiercely and with finesse. But we were civil and sometimes even were friends.