Civility is the currency of personal character. It is the reason why friends are not foes, opponents are not enemies, and critics are not criminals of our civic faith and public morals. It is the lack of civility – it is the perversion of politics – that threatens to transform so many of our fellow citizens into permanent adversaries. Unwilling to concede anything but their own superiority; unwilling to negotiate with anyone, except members of their own party; unwilling to be agents of compromise, because they confuse cooperation with capitulation; unwilling to be gracious in victory, because it could diminish their sense of anger and defiance; unwilling to listen rather than shout; unwilling to disagree rather than be disagreeable – unwilling to learn the lessons of history, and unwilling to defend the laws of our common heritage, they would rather be wrong about their opinions than right about the facts. If we do nothing else these next four years, let us promise – to ourselves and our countrymen – that we will not sacrifice our principles to advance our policies; that we will not surrender our manners to achieve our mission; that we will not attempt to divide the Republic and the Flag for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Let us, therefore, pledge allegiance to America by our acts of goodness for the greatness of America.