Civility is the way that sheep convince wolves that they're bad dogs if they eat sheep. Without civility, all that exists is brute force, and brute force is prejudicial to the functioning of a working economy because it punishes innovation and investment (since any of those can be taken from you by brute force). The inevitable result of a society-wide loss of the concept of "civility" is the most venal placing themselves in charge and looting the wealth of the nation for their own benefit.
Unfortunately, it appears that civility cannot coexist with widespread mass communications that can be seized by the venal. The problem is that civility works by taking advantage of a biological quirk of hairless monkeys -- hairless monkeys, like all monkeys, are social animals that are happy only if part of a pack. Civility works to handle the problem of convincing wolves that they're bad dogs if they eat sheep by ostracizing the wolf from the pack if the wolf does indeed eat a sheep. A monkey ostracized from his troop is a very unhappy monkey, generally incapable of functioning, and soon to die.
Unfortunately, this works only if you have a lone wolf and a lot of sheep. If the wolf can locate other wolves and form a wolfpack, then the sheep can ostracize him all they want and he won't care because he now has his own pack. Modern society with its instant communications and fast transportation methods allows wolves to find each other, join together with each other, and cooperate in order to bring down sheep and eat them joyfully, happily, and with relish (and maybe mustard too).
So civility, alas, is not going to be the answer to the current problem of a lack of civility in American culture, because this lack of civility is a symptom of a greater problem -- mass communications allowing the wolves to form their own troops of hairless monkeys, rendering ostracization for uncivil behavior no longer effective for convincing wolves to not eat sheep. Rush Limbaugh's "ditto-heads" have created their own pack of hairless monkeys, a bunch of deranged sick fucks who believe that hating other people is perfectly fine and that the only reason to not kill sheep is that the sheep might be packing. The invention of radio, in the end, basically ended civility as a method for organizing a society, though it coasted on inertia for a few decades more before finally dying its death with the rise of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk in the early 1980's. With what we replace it, I do not know. But the notion that being polite and civil towards those wolves who would eat sheep simply does not work once they've found a pack of their own thanks to fucktards like Rush Limbaugh, and the end result of attempts at civility with these sick fucks is a lot of fleeced or dead sheep.
So what does that mean for American civilization? To paraphrase Ghandi: "It would be a good idea." Alas.
-- Badtux the Uncivil Penguin