Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Showing Respect For
The New President

Maybe it’s a generational thing. The previous generation was fighting two unpopular wars: a combative one in Vietnam and a civil rights one on the home front.

More than 40 years ago, that young generation was split into two groups: one showing respect for the establishment and the other spitting in its eye.

And as time went by, it seems as if each new generation grew bolder in showing disrespect with elected leaders to the point where it went beyond petty remarks to downright nasty comments.

These new attitudes have become increasingly brazen and shameful towards the president in recent years.

Many Americans, sadly, were atrocious and downright belligerent to President George W. Bush these last eight years, as a recent example.

Many have allowed their political bias to take over, causing them to call Bush stupid, a murderer and a warmonger, with little regard to the fact that he is the President of the United States of America.

A lot of these same people have childishly said that he is not their president because they did not elect him.

And sadly, this same immature demeanor has unjustly been aimed at President-Elect Barack Obama. Because certain people cannot see beyond either his skin color or simply his political beliefs, they have already said that he is not their president.

This type of ignorance is being spread far and wide, from liberals to conservatives, from politicians to voters. It’s the increasing political bias of the people that is creating this near socially accepted disrespect for any elected official.

Believe it or not, there was once a time in this country when saying a discouraging word about any U.S. president would result in a bloody nose by anyone, despite his party affiliation.

But where is that respect now? We must respect whoever is in office, whether we have voted for that person or not. Yes, we can disagree with the president. We would not be called Americans if we ignored our First Amendment rights and kept silent about things we do not agree with. It was not what our forefathers fought for.

However, there is a strong, bold line between disagreeing and being disrespectful. We must bring back that level of respect to our elected officials, especially the ones we disagree with most. If not, it just furthers hateful feelings and severely slows the healing process this country desperately needs.

So I welcome, respect and honor Barack Obama as my new president. But I will also respectfully disagree with any of his policies and decisions with which I may take issue.

Hopefully, all of my fellow Americans will do the same in welcoming Barack Obama into the White House as commander-in-chief. After all, it’s the respectful thing to do.

(Editor's Note: This editorial has been edited for clarification.)