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A SWAT for hissing at a call to play nice

Submitted by on Thursday, 26 November 2009 No Comment

It’s the type of meaningless legislation that usually draws scant attention beyond the members of the team being honored or the local luminary being recognized.

Except this time, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II’s resolution backing the designation of the day before Thanksgiving as Complaint Free Wednesday drew a firestorm of partisan sniping that clogged his office phone lines and inboxes.

“I thought dissent and complaining were patriotic,” the Los Angeles Times quoted one complainer as writing.

The complainer has it half right. Dissent is indeed patriotic. Complaining, in addition to being obnoxious, tiring and nonproductive, is not.

And to shut down dissent was not the Missouri Democrat’s point no matter how hard some tried to spin it that way.

Cleaver, a Methodist minister and founder of the House Civility Caucus, merely asked people to set aside a day to be grateful. A day to remember to try to have a positive attitude about creating a positive life.

“The average person complains approximately 15 to 30 times per day, resulting in roughly 4,500,000,000 complaints spoken every day in the United States,” the resolution reads.

Thirty times a day? That’s more than once an hour. Even as much as Big Guy – I gripe, therefore I am – likes to whine, I don’t know if he reaches those levels. They might in Congress, though, if they actually need a Civility Caucus. They probably do in an organization where members think it’s cool to shout “You lie” at the president.

I’d fuss about the lack of sourcing on Cleaver’s statistic, but whining about data on complaining really isn’t in keeping with the spirit of what the congressman’s message:

“Complaining keeps people focused on current problems stultifying their innate abilities to seek and create positive, harmonious solutions,” the resolution reads.

How can that possibly be a partisan issue?

Anyone who thinks it is should Stop Wasting America’s Time and start evaluating their own approach. Not that I’m complaining about anyone who chooses not to to that.

Know of someone who deserves a SWAT? Click here to make a nomination.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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