KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Without referring to President Donald Trump by name, Cindy McCain, wife of the late Sen. John McCain, made a passionate speech for a return to civility in American discourse and politics.
“People serving in public office should prove worthy of the privilege by rejecting the incivility and narrow-mindedness featured in the internet shouting matches, not echo them in the halls of power,” McCain said in a prepared speech at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
McCain served as the keynote speaker for an annual gathering of the Women’s Foundation, a celebration of 100 years of accomplishments for women in America.
While McCain’s speech also focused on her passion projects, like preventing human trafficking and the exploitation of women across the globe, her address focused heavily on themes related to her new “Acts of Civility” campaign.
“We have little hope of overcoming our common problems, defending our common interests and advancing our common ideals if our public debates imitate the angriest Twitter feeds,” McCain said.
McCain took to the stage just hours after news broke of a new impeachment inquiry into Trump.
While McCain made no mention of that development, her husband’s well-known feud with Trump served as launchpad for her push to restore dignified, thoughtful disagreement in American politics.
“Twitter isn’t typically a showcase of modest self-awareness and political expression,” McCain told the sold-out crowd. “It doesn’t always encourage modesty among politicians either — or readiness to see an issue from an opponent’s perspective, in the hope of finding a little more common ground.”