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STATESIDE Stateside


Sharon Harris wants the good old days back, maybe a little less swearing, and a few politicians with integrity. We wish her the best of luck with that.


H


appy New Year. Each December, many media outlets publish a list of famous people who died that year. Renowned singer Aretha Franklin, who passed away last August at 76, was among them in 2018.


During a distinguished 57-year career, Aretha earned the “Queen of Soul” title with good reason. One iconic song, “Respect,” describes a strong, confident woman who respects her man and demands the same behavior from him. If only it were that easy. In today’s public and private life,


respect and good manners are sadly in short supply. A thank-you is often nonexistent, foul language is “ho-hum” and verbal venom among adversaries pervades the public square. Anyone who believes this is only a recent condition has been oblivious and should revisit the coarsening culture of the past 20-30 years. I blame poor parenting – it would never have happened in my house with my strong-willed mother – plus a lack of discipline and expectation at school, work or in polite society. Social media and the Internet facilitates rude, anonymous commentary and is also eroding common decency. Washington is a hotbed of disrespect from all sides. No one can honestly claim the moral high ground. I recognize and really dislike the offensive language from the top guy, but the Democrats also have plenty of their own. In late 2018, multiple polls revealed Congress averages at most a 19.6 per cent approval rate. Consider that…only two in 10 people endorse them. In life, a good first impression can’t be redone and many


in Washington botched theirs on day one. For example, new Michigan Congresswoman Tlaib, a lawyer and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, succeeded in disgusting almost everyone. Tlaib strongly opposes Donald Trump. That’s fine and her right. What isn’t fine is her public vulgarity at a celebration


8 JANUARY 2019


following her swearing-in this month. Tlaib boasted to supporters of telling her young son that bullies don’t win because “we’re gonna go in there, we’re gonna impeach the motherxxxxer.” Her target was Donald Trump. So much for Michelle Obama’s campaign premise that


Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock


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