Echoes of Tucson Tragedy in Corbett Inaugural Address
Governor Corbett called for a civil discourse in his Inaugural address, echoing the theme of civility that emerged in the aftermath of the tragedy in Arizona.
“As we open this new chapter in Pennsylvania’s history, let us also step forward firmly dedicated to a civil discourse. Let us not confuse acrimony with with passion or partisanship with principle. Rather, let us take this opportunity to begin a new kind of debate, one that honors our shared history and unites us as citizens in common purpose. In doing so, I have great faith that we will unleash a new common prosperity to benefit all Pennsylvanians.”
Civility in public dialogue had been a theme during Corbett’s campaign, but it has taken on new meaning in recent weeks.
Since the shooting, which killed 6 people and injured 13 including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the tenor of America’s political discourse has received national attention.
A recent poll from the Washington Post showed that a broad majority of Americans believe that the tone of discourse in the county is too harsh.
President Obama’s speech last week in Tucson focused on the same issue:
“But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized — at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do — it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”
“As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.”