NPR

In These Divided Times, Is Civility Under Siege?

Civility is about more than simple politeness. It's a line of respect in public life. It's a comfort to some and repressive to others. And a majority of Americans believe it's in a state of crisis.
Source: Annelise Capossela for NPR

It's a time of deepening political divisions in the United States, with people on opposite ends of the political spectrum not only disagreeing but many really disliking the other side. That dislike has been growing for decades.

In the midst of all that division and dislike, there are growing calls for civility. One poll shows that a majority of Americans say incivility is a major problem. And an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll says that the country's civility crisis is deepening and that a majority of Americans fear it will lead to violence.

But what meaning "befitting a citizen." It's a term that's a comfort to some and repressive to others. And while, yes, it can refer to politeness, it's much more than that.

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