Respecting Our President
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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Respecting Our President

“The King is dead.  Long live the King.”  The man is dead, the office lives on.  Separating the man from the office is a constant struggle in troubling times.  President George W. Bush has had a troubling eight years as our Chief Executive.  Many of us did not agree with his decisions – and that is putting it mildly.

Yesterday an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at our President.  My first reaction when witnessing this horrific crime was shock.  George W. Bush is my President.  Like it or not.  Any of you can take your shoes off and throw them at anyone you want – but not at my President.  Not even George W. Bush.

We voters in America have repudiated the Presidency of Bush – and we did so peacefully by marching with determination to the ballot box.  We cheered when President Elect Barack Obama gave his election night speech.  But we were cheering Obama – not throwing shoes at Bush.  There is a big difference.

History judges our Presidents.  Some fare better than others.  There is no precise measuring stick.  Each of us has his own perception of success or failure.  And we have the right to express that perception.  We can even burn our flag in protest against actions by our government.  But we do not belligerently throw things at the Office of the President.

Many folks call me a liberal – and as a liberal I am happy that they have the right to call me names.  Name calling is permissible – but throwing sticks and stones – or shoes – is not permitted.

The United States of America is my country – and George W. Bush is my President.  When some flake throws something at the office of the President of the United States I can feel my blood begin to boil.  Like Bush or not – we must require and demand respect for the office.

Criticize the man.  Criticize his policy.  March in organized protest.  Burn his likeness in effigy.  Write editorials and publish them around the world.  But never ever throw your shoes at that office.

There Are 6 Responses So Far. »

  1. He deserves more shoes thrown at him.

  2. Thank you for a respectful statement regarding this incendiary action by the Iraqi ‘reporter.

    I followed your link from HuffPo, and would like to state here that I am appalled by the comments I am seing made on that website. I realize most who patronize HuffPo do not like ‘W’ . However, as you so eloquently state, he is OUR president, and that is a fact.

    I wonder how these same people would react if – heaven forbid – the same action were taken toward Obama once he is President. I, for one, will be as upset as I am today that this happened to our current President. I think it is a shame that these people, who consider themselves good citizens of The United States, cannot see the error of their ways in thinking this to be a funny or deserved incedent.

  3. Darn right. I expect respect regardless of who is president.

    However, my reaction was one of glee. First that he nimbly dodged the shoes, and that frankly, Iraqi insults are just dumb. He had an opportunity to speak forthrightly to our President, and did not. He wasted a rare his time if he thought the insult would be felt, regarded.

  4. Given opportunity, I’d have thrown a brick at the mass murderer.

  5. Like Bush, you failed to understand the significance of the tossed shoe. it’s an insult. The lowest of the low. It was a statement, protected by free speech – under the so-called democratic rights our soldiers have died for in Iraq. better you should ask why would this journalist feel compelled to chuck not just one but two shoes at the president of the United States? Why should this journalist be expected to respect someone or an office or a country that has mobilized against his country? Should the Jews respect Hitler? Should we respect the leader of Al Qaeda? What makes the POTUS deserving of respect is that it stands for honor and a strong moral compass. Under bush, however, the honor of this country has been stained, our moral compass gone awry, and our Constitutional rights erased in exchange for national security – we have lived under a terrorist regime – that supposedly was protecting us from terrorists. How ironic. And if Bush were any kind of national leader who believed in democratic values, he would have ensured that journalist came to no harm for simply speaking out and chucking shoes. I’m surprised that Gitmo doesn’t have a special Presidential suite reserved for people who dare speak out against Bush and his cronies.

  6. Tess –

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I agree with almost everything you wrote – but this: Hitler was not my President. I don’t belong to Al Quaeda. But I am an American – I championed Obama for President and I dutifully marched to the polls to cast my vote against everything that George Bush stands for – and I did not have to throw anything.

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