Let’s Elevate our Discussion

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to your article published on August 17th regarding State Representative Mike Karickhoff’s speech at the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce Business Matters Luncheon on Civility in Public Discourse. I completely agree with Jon Meacham’s sentiments shared by Rep. Karickhoff. He is absolutely right in stating “the solution starts with every single one of you; personally and individually.”

We are the solution to this degrading of our political process. We must fight the temptation to engage in the negative name calling, rumor mills, and outright lies. And we must go one step further. We must call it out when we see it, when we hear it.

It’s simply not good enough to passively let others go on with their untruths and vitriol. It’s not what leaders do. As the saying goes, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I can assure you this woman refuses to do nothing.

As I promised when I launched my campaign in January, you can absolutely count on me to take the high road. I simply will not tell lies or half-truths, and I will not engage in those launched against me. 

Additionally, I will not sit by while others lie or tell half-truths. Holding others accountable for their actions is an essential part of leadership. Sitting on the sidelines and letting things happen around you is not.

I sincerely hope all candidates, at all levels, but particularly in this 2019 municipal election, will stand up and call for civility and truth in public discourse as Rep. Karickhoff reminded us is our responsibility. Allowing others to spew hate and lies without stepping up to call them out is to condone their behavior. When you condone behavior, you own behavior. 

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Let’s elevate our discussion and stick to ideas.

In your service,

Abbie Smith

Democratic Nominee for Mayor

Kokomo, Indiana

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