Well, I was relieved to see that the word “hate” had fewer mentions than “love” when I searched on Google. That might change over the next few days as people try to reconcile what happened in Charlottesville yesterday. In our Civility in America study with Powell Tate and KRC Research, one of the key findings was that all this mounting incivility leads to intimidation and threats and violent behavior. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans said so. That’s nearly everyone. People know that the tenor in America is going in the wrong direction. When constructing the questionnaire, it never occurred to us that we should add “death” to the list of repercussions of incivility.
Alas, the reputation of America continues to slide due to news like yesterday’s clashes, protests and injuries and I am appalled and saddened. When we conduct our next survey on civility in America sometime at the end of the year or early next, it will be an entirely different battery of questions I fear.