Washington, D.C. – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) expressed hope that the candidates running for president will speak in a manner befitting the high office they seek. A vigorous debate on the pressing issues of the day is necessary for the success of any democracy. Bias and bigotry are not.
Election season has become a period of decreasing civility. Demagoguery and demonization and sometimes even violent imagery have become commonplace. The JCPA Resolution on Civility recognizes that “Robust, vigorous debate about the pressing issues of the day is vital and essential in a pluralistic society… There is greater political and socio-economic polarization, the deterioration of civil interaction, decreased sense of common ground among individuals with divergent perspectives, greater tension around global issues and their impact on American society.”
The JCPA believes that civil political discourse is the key to having a knowledgeable electorate. The deterioration of political disagreement into personalized attacks and bigoted statements diminishes the electoral process and discourages and alienates potential voters. The JCPA calls on candidates, parties, political organizations, corporations, unions, political action committees, and others engaging in the electoral process to focus on issues and reject campaign strategies that resort to ad hominem attacks or bigoted comments about individuals or groups of individuals.
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.