Opinion Pieces

Joining Forces to Revive Civility

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Washington, March 27, 2019 | comments

Joining Forces to Revive Civility

This month, I was honored to be named the 37th most bipartisan Member of Congress by the Lugar Center, among the top 8 percent of all Representatives. Working across the aisle, leads to better policies that benefit all Americans, we will never be able to work together if we are not able to talk to each other, and we cannot talk to each other if we don’t respect each other. For over a year now, I have led the Civility and Respect Caucus alongside Congresswoman Joyce Beatty to further strengthen positive core values and behaviors. We continue to find new ways to highlight how valuable building relationships based on respect is, not only within Congress, but amongst citizens nationwide.

From an early age, both as a Boy Scout, as a member of the National Guard, I learned the values of teamwork and the importance of collaboration. In today’s political environment, I try to embrace those lessons and set an example for others to do the same. I am grateful to have the platform of the Civility and Respect Caucus in order to share those lessons with others and discuss ways to disagree without being disagreeable. Over the past year, Congresswoman Beatty and I have met with over 1,000 of our students at schools throughout Central Ohio. Just as other members of the caucus have promoted civility in their own districts, we have put aside our differences to jointly ask the next generation to embrace the values of confidence, courage, and collaboration.

It is important we continue taking direct measures like this to revive civility across the nation. Although the 30 colleagues in our Caucus may not agree on every issue, they agree that we need to promote civility. By understanding the value in respecting each other’s opinions, we will be able to further understand others’ perspectives and dive deeper into dialogues and conversations without using insults and divisive rhetoric.

I hope every American will join us in conversations about civility and respect. As Ohio native Thomas Edison said, “There is a way to do it better – find it;” and there is a better way to communicate both in Congress and in daily life. With this, we can find a common ground to work towards the ultimate goal of creating solutions and crafting legislation that will improve the lives of each American.

These small steps have the potential to generate a nationwide movement towards better understanding and communication between people of all ages. I hope that by setting positive examples in Congress, the members of our Caucus will inspire others to revive civility. If you would like to learn more about the Civility and Respect Caucus, please call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, my Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or my Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.

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