While Gillum prepared for storm, DeSantis took advantage

From Herald Tribune.com   October 23, 2018

Opinion Piece by Keith Fitzgerald, Associate Professor of Political Science at New College of Florida

 

Edmund Burke, the first real conservative thinker, highlighted the importance of a particular class of traditions he called “manners.” Manners are what we would call “norms” or unwritten rules, and following them partly makes up moral character. Manners and norms may seem trivial, but they are a big deal.

Manners enable us to have disputes without becoming enemies. I saw the impact of the decline in political manners in my two terms in the state Legislature and in my congressional campaign. I see the fall of norms as a significant problem nationally. When politicians replace restraint with nonstop personal, dishonest aggression, they grind our institutions to a halt and make us weaker.

Here is a notable recent example. As we Floridians all know, hurricanes are matters of life and death. Recovery is sometimes even harder than surviving the storm. Everyone has to work together. If there is anything conservatives and liberals should agree on, it is that government has a unique role in public safety and disaster management.

One political tradition has held firm here in Florida. When a hurricane is bearing down on our friends and neighbors, we don’t launch political attack ads. We don’t use TV and radio time to smear our political opponents. In fact, campaigns go on hold so that officeholders can do their jobs.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre bay front campus is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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