“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.