A movement to #ReviveCivility
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From attacks on members of Congress at a baseball practice, to violence in Charlottesville, to threats against us and our families, we as Americans are no longer expressing our disagreements in a respectable way. While this is certainly a tumultuous and trying time in our country, violence is not the answer. That is why we are now joining together and taking action to restore civility and respect in our political discourse.

Who are we?

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We are colleagues and friends who happen to be on different sides of the aisle. For years, we have found ways to work together on a whole host of issues, and at the same time disagree without vilifying each other. The foundation for our bipartisan relationship is respect; regardless of where we stand on an issue, we respect each other. This has allowed us to be more successful in representing our districts and Central Ohio.

In fact, over the five years we have served together in Congress, we have joined forces to combat youth homelessness, better support our veterans, promote financial literacy and fight human trafficking, to name a few. The “Central Ohio way” of being able to work together and disagree without being disagreeable is a model that can, and should, be replicated nationwide.

So, we are taking that model nationally by launching the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus to encourage members of Congress to act with civility and respect. While there are hundreds of caucuses on Capitol Hill, we want this one to be different. This is more than just a club to show support, this is an opportunity to spread an important message. Over the next year, the two of us will be visiting high schools and civic organizations in Central Ohio to promote the use of a respectful dialogue on tough issues. We are encouraging all 18 current and future members of the Caucus to do the same and   lead similar discussions on civility and respect in their own communities.

It is important to note that this Caucus is not about changing people’s opinions, beliefs or political leanings. It is also not about avoiding disagreements. Likewise, it is not about one person, or even a group of people.

Rather, this Caucus is about putting the “Golden Rule” into action: treating people well and showing our fellow 300 million American men, women and especially children that civility and respect should be the norm—not the exception. This Caucus is all about setting an example for the next generation and those to come, and encouraging dialogue on tough issues. In short, the Civility and Respect Caucus is about listening to each other, because often the conversations alone make us better.

We want the Civility and Respect Caucus to be the start of a movement in our country to treat people better—not only in political discourse, but in business, in schools, in the workplace and in everyday life. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

In that spirit, we are asking not only our colleagues, but the rest of the country: will you join the movement to #ReviveCivility?

Stivers represents Ohio’s 15th District and Beatty represents Ohio’s 3rd District.