I learned from an early age (alongside my dad at Democrat precincts in Camden, NJ) that politics, is a dirty, messy business.
It's not for the squeamish or faint-of-heart.
And the rough nature of it is non-partisan -- it extends to both sides.
Also, from the trenches to the top posts, it can be raw.
I've seen it, heard it, been part of it -- closeup.
Political rhetoric is often heated. And the language of politics is couched in the phraseology of war -- war chest, battleground, target, trenches, direct hit, sneak attack, etc.
But we must take care about how we approach issues of "civility" and "heated rhetoric."
When one side reserves the right to proclaim "uncivil" anything anybody on the other side says, then that's often merely a battle tactic -- a way of controlling (or worse yet, stifling) the debate.
We must have free and open debate.
Freedom isn't always genteel.
And democracy is messy -- very messy -- but it's still the best system we have.