Failing basic tests of civilized society

Parents should be blamed for the increasingly coarse society in America.

ACCORDING TO VARIOUS media reports, an agitated passenger verbally harassed President-elect Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her family while boarding a JetBlue flight preparing to depart New York City’s JFK Airport.

To its credit, the airline quickly deployed security and the rude passenger was removed from the plane.

Published reports said the man was neither loud nor physically threatening, but seemed agitated and made his displeasure at being on the flight with Trump’s daughter clear to all around, at one point saying, “They ruin the country and now they ruin our flight.”

Ivanka, for her part, was overheard by a witness telling JetBlue staff, “I don’t want to make this a thing.” Quietly and professionally, airline security removed the passenger, which was the right thing to do.

AS INCIDENTS GO this one is fairly small-time. A guy lipped off, the President-elect’s daughter took it in stride, security put a stop to it. No one was hurt. No one was jailed.

What it reflects, though, is a concern. First, it’s more evidence of the country’s deep schism and, second, it’s yet another depressing example of what a rude and disrespectful place America has become.

That old phrase — disagree without being disagreeable — no longer applies for many people. Both the Far Left and the Far Right seem incapable of reasoning together or, for that matter, even speaking to each other with the respect due fellow citizens. Instead, they shout past each other and react as if they were dealing with blood enemies.

Certainly, politics is not the only place one experiences behavior that is unacceptable — or at least used to be unacceptable. Foul language in lyrics. Offensive slogans on shirts. Rudeness in words and actions in public venues. Everyone could relate a story.

THERE WAS A time when basic manners mattered, and no one wanted to be considered crude and socially intemperate. These were basic functions for a civilized society, learned at a parent’s knee.

C’mon, moms and dads — do a better job. Let’s be blunt: The bad behavior in today’s coarsened America is your fault. Own it.

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