The office of the President, no matter who sits in the oval office, deserves our respect. If we so belittle the office through excessive partisanship we lessen the authority that the office deserves.
Partisanship can go too far. There is an old story about President Franklin Roosevelt’s dog, Fala, that illustrates the point. After the election, as the story goes, the President was asked about what he thought about it. He replied by saying that it was tough,that everyone in his family had been attacked, including his dog, and Fala did not like it very much.
The President of the United States is our leader, our chief executive, the person who the rest of the world looks to as representing the United States. How far do we take partisanship before it becomes demeaning to the office? Is our political system so warped that what is best for the country becomes less important than partisan gain? The phrase the loyal opposition, is important to consider, in that it implies that a person from the opposition party is still loyal to their oath and their nation while still opposing when it is appropriate what the opposition party or in this case the President of the United States has done. Is anything fair game? Is it okay to lie about them? Is it okay to personally attack the wife of the President or his or her children, or even the dog? What are the limitations?
When I started studying the Presidency in college, I was taught that it was proper to use the phrase, Mr. President or at least always say President ___ and then the person’s last name. It just seems to be good manners and a matter of respect. President Obama never was given that courtesy. From the start members of the Republican Party and members of the media referred to him as Obama.
I don’t know about you but I don’t like any stranger to call me by my last name, without a Mr. in front of it. It is just rude.
You hear the statement that a President needs to earn respect. No, for the office, to maintain the respect it deserves, one should always say, President____, no matter whoever is in office.
Never in our history has a president’s legitimacy been questioned even before he has been sworn in as this president has had to endure. His citizenship became a settled issue when, a person from Maryland brought the issue before the Supreme Court, and the court held that there was no merit to the case. But no, the ridiculous allegation that he was from Kenya continued. The forgery that was presented as proof of his Kenyan citizenship stated his place of birth being a town that was not even a part of Kenya in 1961.
This President, President Obama, has been the Rodney Dangerfield of Presidents.
Political campaigns have always been rough. Lincoln in political cartoons was portrayed as an ape. More recently, sex has become an issue. For years the press, had an unwritten rule that sexual behavior and sexual relations were off-limits. That unwritten rule was thrown away when President Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. The main allegation regarding an attempt to impeach President Clinton, was that he had dishonored the office of President by having sex in the oval office. He then escalated the situation with his denial and then he further muddied the issue by claiming that sex is, is? Sorry, but the American people got it, they knew that what counted was his performance in office. The American people re-elected him, easily.
I personally think the old rule of ignoring information about what a President did or did not do sexually is and should be kept private, and keep it there because it is no one’s damn business. Nobody is perfect! We are not electing a Pope.
You would think that we would have progressed as a nation. After all, being a Catholic was no longer a pejorative for most of the public when we elected JFK. When Mitt Romney was running for office, hardly a word was said about his being a Mormon.
Whatever happens under President Obama’s watch is criticized immediately. Mitch McConnell and company decided before the oath was given that they were going to be against whatever President Obama was for. It has not mattered what has happened from the killing of Osama bin Laden to the improved economy, no credit will be given. To the not loyal opposition, they spin everything. This week the release of Bowe Bergdahl became another example of the lack of respect for the office and the man who occupies it. If we were to withdraw from Afghanistan tomorrow, the President would have been criticized for leaving an American soldier behind. But no, the decision was made some time ago that if the release of our lone POW was accomplished, a controversy would be created.
If he talks about climate change they say there isn’t any. If we need infrastructure we can’t afford it. If a hurricane hits forget getting help.
The President has been called a communist, socialist, fascist dictator. Sorry, clearly confusion reigns as no one can be a communist and a fascist at the same time.
Senator Joseph McCarthy ruined people’s lives by accusing them of being a Communist, and even accused President Eisenhower of being a communist.
Things that have happened in our history where we have used the event as a time to mourn the loss of life, are now used for partisan controversy. Our government is at a standstill. Are we happy with that? Are there no limits in the level of discord that we are willing to permit under the guise of partisanship?
But never and I do mean never has the level of vitriol and hate been so consistently leveled at a President. The American people deserve better and so does the office of President and the current occupant of the White House. My hope is that if a Republican should become President, respect for the office will be offered by the opposing political party. Our Republic can not survive if the public loses respect for not only the office of President but for each branch of government.