Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Feb 16 2007

What makes respect?

Marty Kaplan at the Huffington Post reports that a recent poll shows one-word descriptions of President Bush becoming increasingly derisive. I never know how to react to things like this, because I grew up in a time when we were encouraged to have respect for the office of President. There were sometimes harsh words and criticisms for those in office, but we were usually able to separate the dignity of the office from the idiosyncracies and foibles of any given individual who had been elected by a majority. We certainly heard negative things about John F. Kennedy following his assissination, but we still held the notion that the office of President could be an honorable one. Presidents still coaxed respect and fueled patriotism among our nation's diverse population, for the most part.

But somewhere, something changed. Maybe it was the blow-by-blow accounts of Watergate that began the change. Maybe it was an assumed familiarity with the office that we all experienced as technology allowed the press to get more information out right away so that we heard and saw more inconsistencies in our leaders. Whatever it is that changed, we somehow no longer feel the need to hold the office of President just a bit in awe. And we don't seem to mind saying so.

If we continue down this path, we might just get where we're headed. Those who can't take the heat we give them may just get out of the political arena altogether. What we're left with may be candidates who build a political career based on manipulation who then move into the office of President feeling entitled to demand raw power with minimal accountability. If we don't want that, we may want to stop what we're doing right now and take a good look at just what it is we expect from one who sits in the office of President. We may need to stop our sniping and and be willing to give, and expect in return, a sense of respect and dignity from anyone who dares to think they can win the privilege of our votes to the office of President of the United States. If all it takes to becomee President is enough wealth to run a huge campaign, then part of the fault lies with us, for allowing ourselves to buy into that system with our allegiance and our votes.

posted at: 10:57 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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