There is a local reporter, Kristen Anderson, who works for the Fox News affiliate here. I'll be honest, I follow her on Facebook because she is a very good looking woman and, more importantly, a very good reporter. She has almost 2000 people following her on Facebook. Yesterday she made the following comment on her Facebook page:

    Every time Michelle Obama talks, I'm inspired. Just sayin... ♥ her.

It was in response to the First Lady of the United States appearing on The View yesterday. As of noon today, which would be a little over 24 hours since she made the comment, she has had 34 people click the LIKE button, 15 people, excluding herself, responding to her comment. Six of those who responded were critical of the reporter, with some wondering why she is working for Fox News, some directly upset with the First Lady of the United States.

I'm going to assume because Facebook forces you to use your own name, she was lucky enough to get as few negative responses as she did, however the negative responses were so much, even after responding to them initially on the thread she posted another response on a separate thread today addressing the comments made by those six about her personally and her comment about the First Lady in general.

Here is the good news; her response was intelligent and calm, not reduced to name calling or incendiary rhetoric. She wrote it two hours ago as of this writing, she is up to 174 people clicking LIKE and the comments, over 60, have people in support of her. Even people who state they disagree with the First Lady admit it is an opinion and they support Kristen Anderson's right to express her opinion without being vilified.

I'm amazed by two things in all of this. I understand people having passion in politics. I'm not someone who hasn't followed politics throughout the years. I've been a political junkie since I was a young kid in school following the Ford/Carter election. I saw the anger of the Reagan years, the Clinton years and the Bush Jr and Sr years. Every time I think we have hit the high in the level of discourse, people don't disappoint in kicking it up a notch higher. This President, and everything surrounding this President, has caused people to be so vicious, so disrespectful of the office and the person is truly disappointing to me. People don't just have disagreements over his policies, there is a true sense of hatred people have for the man and the office, and they feel the need to not just disagree with someone but verbally, and sometimes physically, break down, beat down and insult anyone who doesn't share their view. Kristen Anderson was spared of some really hostile comments she could have received because of the openness someone has on Facebook. You can't hide behind a fake name to spout vicious things. I'm sure anyone who has been on a comment page where you can response with a fake name knows how her comment could have triggered some ugly responses.

What I am happy about is, after Kristen Anderson responded, she got twice as many people responding in a way you would expect from an intelligent society. Respectful debate, calm disagreements, but everyone is able to speak their minds in an open forum that allows for opposition but also seeks common ground. It gave me hope that it is possible for with people with opposing points of view to agree on some things. If we have an opinion we are able to share it, people can disagree with it without being disagreeable. It is a slight ray of hope that we might return to civil discussions.


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Civil Discourse Found at Fox Affiliate - May 30, 2012
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