I've been compiling a mental list of rules of civil engagement in our fast-paced era. These are for me, generally Democrat-leaning, but I think they're good enough to share with the group. Thoughts welcome and appreciated.1. Respect the office of the President.
Call him President Trump, the President, or Trump at the most casual. Resist the urge to say 'not my President,' or call him Donald or insulting nicknames. I haven't decided if I should call out my own side about it - I suspect that's a losing battle, as giving presidents nasty nicknames is a habit of the country, but not one I want to invite to my table. 2. Separate personal and political criticism.
Separate usual criticism from unusual criticism. Trump is a bad man, implementing bad policies badly. Each of those deserves separate consideration. I would be raising a fuss about climate change denialism with any Republican president, but any Republican president would not be seeing how far the law will let him run on banning Muslims in this country, only pausing when the courts rein him in.
3. Bring facts to the factless.
This means sourcing your arguments and arguing for science, but it also means being critical in reading even sources you trust. I completely bought a poorly sourced article in the New York Times about Rick Perry this week, and I embarrassed myself. On that note, this means refraining from pee jokes. There's enough to talk about without smears not fact-checked by any reputable outlet.
Here's an article with some general rules of civil discussion: How can we support more productive discussions?
Here's an easy tool for contacting your representatives
What do you want to see in political discussion over the next few years? In a few words, I want respect and engagement, not contempt and apathy.