Tuesday, September 20, 2005

On "respecting" the president

Almost every week, there is a letter to the editor chiding someone for not "respecting" the president. Usually, it is Maureen Down who is being chided, which is funny, because none of these letter-writers criticized her when, for years, she was busy ripping Clinton apart. Some of the letter-writers believe Bush should be respected because he is the president (which, in my opinion, he clearly is not, since he was not duly elected to the position), while others ask for respect for the office itself.

I do not respect the office because it is an exclusive club for white Christian males, and I do not respect institutions that discriminate against people on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, and religious belief. I especially do not respect it now, since an unelected person was appointed to hold it.

But the presidency aside, why on earth am I obligated to respect George W. Bush--an ignorant, amoral, murdering, child-poisoning, misogynistic, imperialistic Philistine?

This concept of always respecting the nation's "leader" comes directly from the equally dangerous concept of always respecting one's parents. In my practice, I constantly see adults who were treated cruelly and inappropriately by their parents, but they want to make sure I know that they "respect" them. I always ask them what their parents did to earn their respect, and they are often stunned by the question.

What has Bush done to earn my respect?


There's some jerk in the Milwaukee area complaining because one of the stores in the biggest mall is selling shirts with a picture of Bush & Cheney, with the caption "Meet the F*ckers." He wants law enforcement to make the store stop selling them. It's disrespectfull of the president! Can't have that! And you're right, where were these people when Clinton (and his daughter, and his wife [still]) were the brunt of this?!

By Blogger YAMB, at 1:20 PM  

What has bush (intentionally left lower case to illustrate my growing disrespect) done to earn *anyone's* respect?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:01 PM  

Respect has to be earned. Bush hasn't made an effort. I suspect that he mistakes the fealty and servility of his courtiers for genuine respect and therefore thinks he's done his bit.

By Blogger KCB, at 6:21 PM  

Those who are complaining about how we aren't respecting the office of the POTUS NOW were attacking the previous office holder as a draft-dodging adulterer, his wife and his daughter. If Bush has earned anything in his miserable lifetime, it's our disrespect.

By Blogger Pinky, at 6:37 PM  

We should each get an opportunity to spit at him. Cheney, too. Cheney, especially.

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