Our weekend winds up at 8:00 o’clock on Friday night, when we turn to the Public Broadcasting channel on TV. First, we listen to Washington Week in Review– a panel of left leaning reporters who seldom disagree. (Ho Hum) But then, at 8:30, Indiana Week In Review comes on like a breath of fresh air. We are treated to lively, but courteous discussions, with both political parties given equal time. The show exemplifys the civility of Hoosier politics, much needed at the national level..
That’s not to say that Indiana Week in Review– moderated by Brandon Smith– is dull. In fact, it’s much more lively and entertaining than Washington Week in Review. That’s because they have a balance between Republican and Democrat panelists. Rounding out the discussion are Fort Wayne journalist Mickey Kelley, and Indiana Law Makers Host Jon Schwantes.
Democrat Anne Delaney is full of passion. She knows what she’s talking about, and doesn’t mince words. Sometimes, she gets pretty mad. Her Republican opponent, Mike O’Brian, gets worked up, too. But just before they reach the boiling point, they back off, and agree to disagree. The moderator maintains objectivity, and quickly changes the subject if it looks like someone is going off the deep end.
The Indianapolis race for mayor is another example of Hoosier civility. During.their first public debate, Incumbent Joe Hogsett and his Republican challenger, Jim Merritt focused mainly on the issues. . While the debate sometimes got heated, there was no name calling or profanity. Indiana politicians tend to take a more measured approach. .
It appears that the politicians who live in middle America behave more respectfully with one another. I’m sure some high falutin political analyst can come up with a reason why this is true. , It may reflect the Midwestern culture, where more people come from small towns. As opposed to big cities, they interact with each other on a daily basis through their churches, families, volunteer work and various other activities. If you’ve ever ridden a subway, you know that rudeness is an acceptable survival tactic among strangers in large metropolitan areas.
While profanity, name calling and rudeness are now the norm in our nation’s political arena, It doesn’t fly here in flyover country.