I have admired those who profess a belief in Pacifism, even while not being able to adopt that philosophy myself. I appreciate the consistency of those who refuse to participate in violent actions even to to accomplish a desirable good, even if it results in their own harm. I can’t yet bring myself to adopt it on a practical level, because in some cases it is tantamount to suicide, and suicide is wrong; and violence is sometimes necessary to protect innocent people from those who wish to harm them.
In terms of political society, is the concept of civility going the way of pacifism? Is it possible that when a candidate attempts to embrace civility, he is embracing political suicide? I never believed Gingrich when he said he would not run a negative campaign, because he has a history of changing his mind for expediency’s sake. And when he raised enough money to afford negative advertising, he did change. However, is it truly impossible to consider a campaign where both (or all) candidates pledge to campaign civilly?
(Am I making a mistake in linking incivility with negative campaigning? Can one point out deficiencies in one’s opponent in a civil manner?)
I think that it is ultimately possible for such a campaign to occur. But it would need certain conditions in which to survive:
1. Candidates who value honor and respect even more than the power they would gain by winning.
2. Parties and supporters who value such men, more than the power their candidate would gain.
So: without changing the hearts and minds of the candidates, and the power brokers, and the electorate, I would say the odds are slim.
But: I believe in God, and in his Son. I believe in miracles and redemption. I also know that sometimes terrible things have to happen for the human heart to be open to God.