Editorial: Civility Takes Precedence

Illustration by Edan Zinn ’23. (Edan Zinn)

In the midst of a strange and unexpected year, yesterday’s monumental election marked a day that will go down in history—for better or for worse. Our country, and the world as a whole, has been in a state of disarray since early this year, and the presidential election marks another step away from what used to be considered “normal”.  

Four years ago, our country elected Donald Trump to be our President—an untraditional choice to say the least. The two elections prior both put Barack Obama in office, the country’s first Black president.  

These elections were both historic, but the 2020 election comes at a time when our country is under additional pressuresplacing all the more importance on the results of this year’s votes.  

Regardless of one’s political affiliation, there are many strong voices and perspectives being shared today when it comes to this year’s presidential candidates. The global pandemic has put more responsibility into the president’s hands, which has increased the importance of this election.  

While there is no “right” way to vote, this year in particular has led to countless people taking a strong stance on who they believe should serve in office for the next term—sometimes making it hard to have civil conversations regarding politics.  

Over the last few weeks, the School has offered a variety of workshops on civics. The topics have ranged from the history of voting to methods of voting this year, andarguably most importantlyhow to have respectful and civil political discussions. 

As we await the results of the election, it is an unfortunate reality that not all citizens will be pleased with the outcome. However, that does not mean respect and common courtesy should be forgotten. People with differing views should be able to discuss the results in a civil manner.  

With our current system, elections are designed to reflect the voices of the people in a representative democracy. The nation is deeply divided about who is best suited for the job, but when all is said and done, the results should not tear our country apart.  

In a particularly draining year, it is imperative that we, the Brimmer community, keep our wits about us as we await the announcement of our next President. If we lead by example and treat others with respect and kindness—as our Core Values suggest—we will be able to engage in civil and informative discourse. 

With the current pandemic, we barely know what tomorrow will bringlet alone the next four years. That in mind, let us rise above our feelings, whatever they may be, and set an example of what we hope the future looks like—one filled with civility, respect, and open-mindedness.