Incident offers Oklahoma lawmakers, others a lesson in civility
by The Oklahoman Editorial Board

IN a hasty culture like our own, civility is generally an insufficiently appreciated virtue. Until we find ourselves the object of incivility or its publicly shamed perpetrator, we dismiss beautiful manners as arbitrary, if not unnecessary. Arbitrary, etiquette might be — but it is not unnecessary.

Oklahoma conservative leaders recently relearned the relevance of civility after a debate that included unseemly remarks on social media.

As state senators deliberated a bill to prohibit state educators from paying union dues by payroll deduction, the scholars at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs transparently voiced their support for the bill.

The argument became personal when Trent England, OCPA vice president for strategic initiatives, personally called out Sen. Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, for his opposition to the bill.

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