The second government shutdown in the last 20 years underscores how much our country has declined in civility, as indicative in our public schools, local/national politics and society in general. Such minor gestures as saying "good morning" or another greeting, speaking to each other rather than at each other and truly listening to each side's concerns are things of the past.
We act as through majority rule, the very foundation on which democracy rests, no longer applies. Two national elections have not settled our divisions as a nation and all indications are nothing will change going forward.
What's needed are term limits in both houses instead of career politicians. Lawmakers would have eight years to make a difference then go home. Or consider tying salary to production. Either would have a positive impact beyond anything else we could do.
Alvin E. Bolden
Executive director, East St. Louis Neighborhood Development Corp.