A Nebraska Congressman says a growing incivility in America is hampering progress.
Congressman Don Bacon says it didn’t take long for him, as a newly elected member of Congress, to become aware of incivility in Washington.
“This year, it blew me away, on Inauguration Day I walked around Washington and saw incivility everywhere,” Bacon tells Nebraska Radio Network. “I could not believe it. I was shocked.”
Bacon won a narrow victory over incumbent Democrat Brad Ashford in 2016. An Air Force veteran who became commander of Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Bacon recoiled from some of what he observed as he walked through Washington, D.C.
Bacon says he saw things that were gross. Some of the behavior appalled him.
A rancorous year or so has seen people attending public hearings held by members of Congress stand and shout at their representative or senator, sometimes interrupting the meetings, sometimes taking the meetings over.
Some might have little sympathy for a Republican complaining about incivility. They point to the bare-knuckle politics President Donald Trump relishes, especially his harsh criticism of opponents, both Democrat and Republican, in speeches or through his Twitter account.
Bacon acknowledges President Trump has engaged in his share of incivility.
“I wouldn’t put the whole thing on him, but he is a fighter and a lot of his folks voted for him for that,” according to Bacon. “I don’t think it helps our dialogue, but a lot of the folks who voted for him want someone that fights back, because they didn’t think it was being done. So, there’s a little bit of a tug of war there.”
Bacon says Congress can get more done if members engage each other civilly, even if they disagree strongly. He says when member throw elbows, opponents dig in their heels. Bacon says he attempts to maintain a civil standard in his interactions.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]