January 5, 2019

Why civility in politics matters

Futility Closet - In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin describes mollifying a rival legislator in the Pennsylvania statehouse:

Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.
Sam Smith - And when I was elected to the first advisory neighborhood commission board in our 'hood, one of the first and wisest things we did was to agree to have a drink at the Zebra Room after each meeting. Politicians are humans too.


Anonymous said...

Not sure if we still live in that same world...

Anonymous said...

Benjamin Franklin had quite the reputation for bawdy and lascivious company and amusements. I wouldn't be surprised if the "a certain very scarce and curious book" might not have been something X-rated! If so, obviously Franklin and the rival legislator had other common tastes outside of politics.