September 10, 2009

The Winter Of Our Disrespect

I hardly ever get political on here because that really brings the light, funny mood I'm workin' toward way down, but there's something that's bugging me this week and I've just got to talk about it.

I am disturbed by the pervasive lack of respect our country exhibiting as of late. When I was a kid, I had absolutely no idea what my parents' political ideologies were, I didn't know whether or not they liked the President or even voted for him. What I did know, is that he was the President and that in and of itself meant that we all had to respect him.

This week President Obama gave a speech aimed at school children and encouraging them to work hard, stay in school, set and achieve goals, and use their educational opportunities to do great things. It was not in any way dissimilar to speeches that many of our past presidents have given to school children over the years. It was supposed to include a lesson plan encouraging children to write an essay about what they can do to help the country and the President. The same lesson plan that George H. W. Bush included with a back-to-school speech when he was president.

Out of nowhere came controversy over the political agenda of both the speech and the lesson plan. People implying that what President Obama was trying to do was recruit future Democrats. I don't quite know how writing an essay asking for their opinions sways their political beliefs but that's kind of beside the point. The point is, why is it ever a bad thing for children to listen to what their President has to say? Especially when what he has to say is "stay in school"?

I was still stewing about the hypocrisy of that political posturing when, during a speech about health care reform to a joint session of Congress, the President was discussing the things he does and does not advocate in health reform legislation. He stated that final legislation (which by the way, probably isn't even written yet and sure as hell hasn't pbecome law. In fact, there are several plans being discussed and it seems as though none has the requisite support to pass) would not include coverage for people who are in the country illegally. That's when Rep. Joe Wilson-R from South Carolina shouted "you lie!" at the President in front of all of Congress and the nation.

That kind of outburst is rude and disrespectful not only to the President, but to all of the men and women with whom he serves in Congress, to his constituents in South Carolina, and to the country as a whole. It is perhaps most disrespectful to his fellow Republicans who do not need his outburst to detract from their ideology by an association with someone who can not be counted on to behave in a civil, professional manner.

I do not share the same political beliefs as everyone I know and love, but I respect the rights of every person in this country to have their own opinions. It's why I live in America. I respect the office that each person in our Federal and State governments hold because while they might not all have been my choice, they represent the voice of the majority where they're from and that is what a democracy is.

If we can't teach our children that, then what will become of our country in the future?