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.



  1. Pingback: Something to think about … “The Office of the POTUS”!! | It Is What It Is·

      • You’re welcome. It was nice to hear some positive feedback on President Obama for a change instead of all the bashing. No one is perfect, for sure, and no doubt, given the Washington environment, one has to learn to play the game. Seems more like he’s not been playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.

        I like how you emphasized respect no matter what side of the fence we hail from. Typically, I normally don’t read or comment much on political issues and tend to keep my views private. But, I do like to talk about values..I find it interesting with why and how we all believe what we believe.

        Hope our paths will pass again and get to exchange and share once more. There’s certainly always more to learn and glean wisdom from. Take care — all the best! 🙂

  2. Yes, I really believe that we need to have respect for those who are trying to serve we the people. We may disagree with them but we need to listen to what they say with a respect for the person and the office irrespective of their political party. It is the hardest job in the world. I frankly find it hard to believe that anyone would want to have that kind of pressure. But then again, the office offers to the person occupying it the chance to do good. I can’ recall any president whose intent was to do ill to the nation. We can disagree without being hurtful. We need to end the politics of personal destruction. A man in Missouri just committed suicide and he was a Republican running for Governor. Their was a whisper campaign about him being Jewish. I want there to be more people willing to serve us we the people and not want to serve themselves. Thanks for your comments. I hope you enjoy another essay or two.

    • So true in all that you say, Garland, with respect to respect and disagreeing. We’ve come so far in developing technology, culture and medicine. It’s now time to catch up in spirit where we’re more kind and look out for one another instead of self-interests.

      A lot of people have the right idea and are doing much good in the world. Thank God for them. It will happen — I believe this, too, will come to pass.

  3. Pingback: Respect for the office | Shechaim Ohjieshans word of the day·

  4. Disrespect for the president whom ever it is these days is escalating. It makes me sad to see it happening. The people who are really pulling the strings in America should run their own candidates and really solve the nations problems by pulling together for the good of everyone rich and poor. I am not political just ordinary person speaking from the heart. Disrespect of the president is just the symptom. My only wish is for a strong leader to take control of the “children”.

    • We must distinguish between the office and the person who happens to be president at the time. We also need to repect the president whoever it is, even if their opinions or policies differ from our own. They are trying to do their best. Our institutions are only as strong as the respect we give them. People sometimes make the mistake of wishing that some strong man would make things better. This can be a mistake if you have a democracy because the strong man can turn out to be a dictator.

  5. I am 60 and I was raised to respect the office,
    You may not like person holding the office, but
    Respect is a Must. I agree with this article whole heartedly.

  6. By your statement: “My hope is that if a Republican should become President, respect for the office will be offered by the opposing political party.” How you feel about the treatment that President Trump is receiving?

    • With the office comes an almost overwhelming responsibility, where one can see that a sense of awe and humility comes with it normally. We will see if the new President respects the office and is humble enough to realize the enormity of the responsibility. We should all give President Trump a chance to grow into the job. In a way, Reagan’s admonition rings true about accepting his being president but taking care to verify whether in fact he is respecting the office.

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