I was taught that being rude is bad mannered and being crude is just not on.
It is rather disheartening to see the appalling standards of much public interaction, to some degree in the UK, moreso in the US, and also on the internet. Yes, Twitter, Facebook and the rest are public spaces.
Unfortunately, it appears that in the political arena, being rude and crude can be a very successful strategy for getting elected. Bring your talk down to the lowest common denominator and a lot of people will vote for you – a lot won’t, but you only need enough.
Also in the media, being rude and crude can be a successful strategy for selling ‘news’papers.
This is the way to coarsen our societies. The fish rots from the head, the opinion leaders.
True leaders offer hope and vision, point to higher values, rather than trading on invented fears. They listen to alternative viewpoints and respect opponents, rather than attack and insult them.
I’ve been lucky enough to live over 70 years in a civilised UK and Western world. Its very foundation of baseline civility seems under threat.