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Bomb Scares Add Urgency to Calls for More Civil Discourse

Concerns about overheated political rhetoric have reached new levels

As federal law enforcement officials searched for the parties responsible for pipe bombs mailed to CNN headquarters and several high-profile figures in Democratic party circles this week, many commentators blamed increasingly virulent political rhetoric for inciting threats of violence.

Associations can provide leadership in encouraging more civil discourse, even among people who strongly disagree on issues, ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE, said Thursday.

“Political violence and intimidation have no place in our democracy, which provides equal protections of human rights, civil liberties, and political freedom for all people. The rule of law must always prevail, and civility and respect for differences of opinion and thought must return to our public discourse,” Graham said in a statement.  “Associations have always embraced these basic tenets: that we have common interests, we respect and value the opinions of all, and we work together to find solutions to problems we face as a nation.”

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