Civility? What civility?

An article called “Who Killed Civility” in the latest edition of STATE LEGISLATURES caught our eye yesterday when the magazine from the National Council of State Legislatures arrived in our mail box. The article noted:

While 87 percent of Americans believe people can disagree about politics respectfully, even more—95 percent—believe civility in politics is vital for a healthy democracy. But nearly 50 percent of Americans believe we are moving in the wrong direction and that there has been a clear deterioration in the tone of politics since Barack Obama became president. Of those who pay close attention to politics, some 60 percent feel so. These are the findings in a recent Allegheny College survey designed to gauge attitudes and perception of civility in politics.

So, who do those surveyed believe is to blame for this decline in respect?

  • Political Parties 70%
  • Competitiveness of Elections 65%
  • Television News 61%
  • Radio Talk Shows 61%
  • Changes in American Culture 59%
  • Sense of Entitlement Among Average Citizens 58%
  • The Way Young People Act in Politics 46%
  • Blogs 42%
  • Glenn Beck 40%’
  • Late Night Talk Shows 38%
  • Colleges and Universities 37%
  • Rachel Maddow 25%

The findings are from Allegheny College’s study called “Nastiness, Name-Calling & Negativity.” [Download PDF]

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