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Respect the office, if not the man
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Many of us remember the disgraceful showing our nation suffered through late in 2008 when the TV talking heads, elected officials — you can’t call them “leaders” if they refuse to lead — and even security officers refused to react when our president was attacked in public.
It’s true that President George Bush was not injured when Nuri Al-Maliki tried to hit him with a shoe.
He was, of course, not physically injured when this attacker screamed at him, calling his a dog.
But it was clear from both actions that this was an intentional insult in public.
And the public reaction was that it was humorous, because Bush was at a low ebb in popularity.
Right now, those of you who did not care for his presidency may well be scoffing that Bush got what he deserved.
If that is your stand, then stop complaining that there are those who are equally offended by President Barack Obama.
As the military has been teaching for a long, long time: You salute the uniform, not the man.
And it is time that Americans remembered this and respected this office, whether we respect the person holding it or not.
This past week, U.S. Judge J. Thomas Marten, in Wichita, ruled that Michael Ramsey is competent to stand trial for making threats against Obama.
And, for those who are jumping to the conclusion that Obama deserves some threats, refer back to the preceding explanation.
You salute the office, not the man. You honor and respect the office, not the man.
Ramsey and others who are offended by the current administration are wrong when they take that step beyond disagreement and into threats and into disrespect.
Just as the public officials were wrong in 2008 when they did not back up our president, whether they liked him or not, people are also wrong when they show disrespect for that office today.
Whether Ramsey is guilty of threatening the president or not is up to a court to decide.
But whether it is wrong for us to disrespect this office is up to the rest of us to decide.
Americans need to respect our officials and hope that will encourage them to become “leaders” again.
And we need to do it because it is the right thing to do.
— Chuck Smith