The Anti-Defamation League is urging political leaders and public figures to sign a pledge to keep it civil.
This is from the statement issued today, at the organization’s national leadership conference in Washington:
"There is no doubt that the political dialogue in this election year is increasingly divisive and ugly, and with the Arizona immigration issue now taking center stage it is only getting uglier,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The personal attacks, the hateful rhetoric, the calls to bigotry and appeals to violence must stop. Regardless of whether the issue is health care, immigration, bailouts or the budget, we need to rise above the hateful rhetoric and to encourage advocacy that is vigorous but never personal or hostile.
"It is time for our elected leaders to show true leadership, to stand up and to be the first to reject the appeals to bigotry, racism, prejudice and calls to violence,” he added.
ADL delegates from across the country will be taking the statement back to their home states and asking national and local elected officials, candidates, civic leaders and media personalities to sign on to the pledge.
First to sign are the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Matt Brooks and the National Jewish Democratic Council’s Ira Forman, as we report in our breaking news. Here’s the pledge in it’s entirety:
We stand together today to call for civility in our national public discourse.
Let our debate on the issues of the moment be thoughtful and reasoned.
Let us look to our elected leaders for leadership, whether or not we support their policies.
Let all of us, across the political spectrum, encourage advocacy that is vigorous; pointed but not personal or hostile.
We reject appeals to bigotry, racism and prejudice.
We reject calls to violence.
In our national public discourse in 2010, let us cast American democracy in the best possible light.
This, of course, is not the first time Matt and Ira have agreed. I happen to know that Ira favors the Matthew Brooks Special, a tofu-intensive number, at Union Station’s East Street Cafe.
Yes, there really is such a thing, and it really is named for Matt, although I couldn’t find it on the online menu.
They’ve also shared the same insights about Joe Lieberman. Although not in the same decade.