We can add two more words to the list of words that when used only achieve polarity and division – uncivil and offensive (in an earlier blog I talked about how the word annoy has turned into a divisive word). Uncivil is defined as being discourteous or rude; archaic. Offensive is defined as causing anger, displeasure, resentment, or affront. Not only are these two words being used more, but their definition is expanding. Case in point the Scott Walker recall election in Wisconsin. Walker was not rude or uncivil, but the Left found him offensive only because they disagreed with his policy. I disagree with Obama policy but I would not call him uncivil or offensive. Policy disagreement is common, something offensive and uncivil should be something that is unique and or extreme behavior, and not something we would see, hear, or witness every day. But today, we use these two words to describe everything we disagree with. What used to be a disagreement or an opinion is now uncivil and offensive.
I have been called uncivil and an anti-feminist for using the word hysterical. I have been called offensive for my political views on whether the government should fund cancer research and for my position that global warming is not manmade. The individuals that find me offensive are the same people that claim everyone on the right is calling them a Nazi, Sarah Palin caused the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, and compared the Citizens United decision to slavery. These are the same people who join Facebook sites such as “I would not work if you paid me”, but expect me and other taxpayers to foot the bill for their “free” healthcare. But I am the one who is uncivil and offensive.
The problem when people use the words annoy, uncivil, or offensive is these words are commonly used in conjunction with words such as fault, intolerance, and blame. It is hard to settle differences when these harsh words are used. You never see the word annoy, uncivil, and offensive used in conjunction with words like solution, compromise, agreement, or any conclusive or rational argument. The usage of these words is always negative. For this reason, I do not use any of these words anymore, but I do use the word civil.
I have said it before and I will say it again “we have become a nation of problem creators instead of problem solvers”, because we like to live in the past. The past is the past, but solutions exist in the future. Obama’s campaign slogan is “Forward”, but his campaign strategy is to blame Bush. This makes little sense. Words like offensive, uncivil, annoy, blame, fault are common in politics, but words formulating solutions or any strategic vision are sadly missing. If you do not know what you are talking about, anything is possible. Obama thinks his green energy policies are forward thinking and strategic, but anyone can say we will meet 50 mpg in cars by 2025 if they know nothing about solving and overcoming those engineering problems and obstacles to achieve this goal. Leaders lead by example, they do not live in the past, and they do not use words, but actions to solve problems.
Part of the reason for the growing usage of the words uncivil and offensive is the whole “political correctness” revolution that is going on in our country. These words are used in arguments when a person is defeated and has no rebuttal. These words are used as excuses and to make one feel righteous and superior. In other words, these words are used solely to appease one’s narcissistic view of the world. These are selfish words used to describe one person’s feelings with little regard to those feelings of other individuals. If you are care only about self-gratification and are oblivious to others how can you achieve a reasonable solution to any disagreement? I am right, you are wrong, case closed! This is the extent of our problem solving skills today.