If White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ weekend ordeal at The Red Hen exposed anything, it’s the erosion of American civil discourse.

In our most polarized corners, we become members of competing political factions—the other is not to be trusted, for their motives are impure. Gone are the days of respectful disagreement, when a difference in opinion had to do with ideas, not intention. Today, we assume the worst in our “enemy.”

In many ways, the Republican Party’s relationship with the left-leaning mainstream media is a microcosm of America’s hyper-polarization writ large.

A staggering 14 percent of Republicans believe the “news media get the facts straight.” A similar percentage of Trump supporters trust the liberal media at least “a fair amount.”

If you wonder why, consider these recent “news” headlines: The Washington Post’s “Trump support was greatest in areas with highest rates of painkiller use,” Business Insider’s “Trump supporters explain why they’re not worried about the president’s ‘authoritarian’ talk,” and Bloomberg’s “Inside the pro-Trump effort to keep black voters from the polls.”

Sanders’ own relationship with the White House press corps is the epitome of political polarization. Since its beginning, that relationship has been marred by insultsemotional meltdowns, andcrude jokes.

Whatever you think of her or the liberal media, America is longing for a more amicable time, when the relationship between White House press secretaries and inquisitive reporters was defined by mutual respect, understanding, and even admiration. We come to appreciate the decent men and women of the past, who never let their politics sabotage their civility. Today’s divisiveness only makes us more grateful for the unifying voices of the past.

We said goodbye to one earlier this week, when former Washington Post columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer lost his battle with cancer. Thoughtful and soft-spoken, Krauthammer was beloved by even his political opponents. President Clinton described him “a brilliant man.” His former Fox News colleague and liberal commentator, Juan Williams, called him not only the “leading conservative thinker of his generation,” but also one who “touched so many of our lives here.” Newsweek observed: “Krauthammer’s success is a triumph for temperate, smart conservatism.”

We lost another in Larry Thomas, a Republican who served as press secretary for Vice President George H. W. Bush and former California Govs. George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson. He was also my father-in law, so I grew intimately familiar with Larry’s brand of compassionate conservatism and his insatiable sense of humor.

In every sense, Larry Thomas was a gentleman, and commanded respect from everyone around him.

And it showed in his work. Larry always welcomed reporters’ questions and encouraged them to ask more, projecting the utmost confidence in his abilities and unwavering respect for those who sought to challenge them.

During Wilson’s re-election campaign in 1994, Larry insisted on setting up endorsement interviews with the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle, despite his boss’ (reasonable) belief that a sitting Republican governor had a “snowball’s chance in hell” at securing the endorsements. Until Larry did.

According to the TimesLarry “[developed] a reputation as an accessible spokesman who wasn’t shy about letting reporters and editors know when he felt a story had been unfair to his boss.”

But the access never waned. And the respect never wavered. Where is that respect today?

At a time when politics define many of us, family meant everything to Larry. He eventually left the Vice President’s office to spend more time with his daughter (now my loving wife), Leigh. In her words: “He came back because he didn’t like being so far away from me.”

He also left Leigh with his signature humility. If Larry was at a glitzy fundraiser, he knew every politician in the room. He knew every CEO and vice president and campaign bundler.

But Larry never bragged. He never name-dropped.

America is a house divided by hyper-polarization, but Larry’s memory can shine a light in the dark. I’ve been in my share of political battles, and his life’s work is an inspiration even when—especially when—the fight is at its ugliest.

Only if we forget the likes of Krauthammer, Thomas, and the other decent voices among us does our division become permanent. Remember their words, and we can find unity once again.