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If you think today is bad, …

Caricature of SteveDonald Trump accuses Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly of bias for asking Trump about his comments on women.

President Barack Obama claims Trump is inciting fear  among America’s working class.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders says Secretary Hillary Clinton has embraced Wall Street bankers and investment leaders  in exchange for millions of dollars in campaign money.

Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio exchange accusations about their views on immigration.

The American presidential candidates of 2015 have also labeled their opponents as liar, bigoted, fascist, unhinged, and schmuck among other terms.

Negative campaigns are nothing new, but opinion polls show that Americans increasingly are tired of them.

It’s been worse

 No matter how much we decry partisan bickering among our political parties and leaders and the perception of dysfunctional government, we live in mild times compared with our founding fathers and mothers.

We don’t have fisticuffs on the floor of Congress anymore. Nor do we challenge political opponents to duels at 20 paces–once a common practice for resolving disputes.

Can you imagine the  viral video, tweets, and social media posts  from a physical smackdown between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush?   Or a Ted Cruz-Marco Rubio OK Corral showdown?

This holiday season we should rejoice that our national debates—despite occasional harsh words and accusations—are far more civil than the intemperate exchanges of our earlier history.  Our public discourse is better served today with a war of words–no matter how inflammatory–than physical blows and gunshots.  For that we can all be thankful.

Happy holidays!

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