Almost a year ago, Congressman Brian, Fitzpatrick joined 45 Democrat and Republican freshman members of the 115th United States Congress in signing a ‘Commitment to Civility’ pledge aimed at restoring collegiality, trust and civility to Congress, encouraging productive dialogue, and together working to build consensus.
It is clear to most observers, the public’s trust in our institutions has waned and it is not just since the election of 2016 – the lack of civil discourse escalated many years ago.
The one-page pledge signed by Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick acknowledges the division and “coarsening” of our culture is often fueled by ugly rhetoric. Thus, the signers of the pledge committed themselves to set an example of statesmanship and civility which is often challenged by social media.
Fitzpatrick, who succeeded his brother, former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, who was committed to civil discourse, but the former congressman, as I recall, was only one of two Members of Congress to sign a civility pledge less than 10 years ago.
Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has been joined by more Members of Congress who have pledged to engage in civil discourse and more than willing to reach across the aisle. Alas, it doesn’t always work that way, but it sounds promising.
Meanwhile, the current congressman focuses on government reform and restoring faith in government institutions and does not toe the party line. To some, that is not a good thing, but to most, it is one way to pass legislation and make a change.
One party does not own the right answer, and in too many political circles bipartisanship is a dirty word. We see that now as President Trump’s agenda is going through the Congress — the political lines are being drawn – and it seems like business as usual. -PW