AOC recently appeared in news feature about the Green New Deal alongside a former Republican congressman. They were having a civil discussion about priorities and timing of the vast range of initiatives that AOC is promoting. At one point an audience member heckled the GOP former congressman, calling him a moron. AOC immediately interjected and scolded the heckler saying "Let's debate, not debase". Sadly she then added "That's the difference between me and Trump" If she had left that last bit out she would have amply demonstrated what she was advocating. But I'll give her credit for setting the tone in the right direction, even as she fell short of the goal. What we need more than anything is a return to being able to have civil discussions about serious matters. Not constantly seeking to score political points or pandering to our bases. So even though I think she goes a bit too far on some issues, AOC gets my vote for dedication to democracy.
Her statement was reminiscent of the Late John McCain who defended Obama during the 2008 Presidential campaign after a person in his audience denounced Obama as a foreign born Muslim. McCain could have encouraged her or just laughed it off but instead he took the time to correct her and say that Obama is a decent man with whom I have some disagreements.
Now, politicians being civil to one another isn't nearly as entertaining or blood stirring as watching them insult, attack and try to bully opponents. We as the electorate should not be seeking entertainment from our aspiring leaders. What we need from them is leadership, not a vent for our frustration at slow moving government that seems unresponsive to our needs. If we want a circus we can find it, performed by actors, on the internet, on TV and even at the movie theater. We must demand that our leaders have clear objectives, rational plans to get there, a willingness to listen and the ability to persuade. We won't get that unless we vote for those who demonstrate those skills during an election campaign. They are out there, we just have to ignore all the noise and bluster generated by the candidates who simply attack their opponents because they have no policy of their own to present to us.