Bob Graham, Florida's former governor and U.S. senator, talks about his new and first novel, “The Keys to the Kingdom,’’ and today’s political landscape. He sizes up why politics have turned brutal.
Find text and video highlights at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.
Here are excerpts:
Lytle: Why can’t we have civil political dialogue like you used to practice today? Is it because of the Internet?
Graham: There are a lot of factors. The Internet is one. The 24-hour news cycle is another. The increasing partisanship is not only of politicians but also of people ... see how close the polls are in terms of the current presidential candidates.
But I think there’s an even more fundamental reason, and that is that about 40 years ago we stopped teaching civics in the United States. And a whole now two-and-a-half generations of Americans have grown up without understanding some of the basic principles of citizenship and democracy which include tolerance, the ability to listen to other people’s ideas and try to reach compromise.
Those fundamental principles have not been taught in four decades, and the fact that we’re now seeing the consequences is not surprising.