If we wish to return some measure of civility back into our political discourse, we need to demand a higher standard than those in the media have delivered. That means we need to start with ourselves. But it isn’t enough to merely say that we need to tone down the rhetoric, as some social commentators have pointed out. Those who are busy robotically screening their content for potentially violence-tinged phrases — such as “in the crosshairs” — are missing the point. It is the entire tone and character of today’s political conversation that has gone into the gutter.