Home / Fall 2012 / 2012-11-08 / When civility takes a back seat

When civility takes a back seat

Congratulations, Mr. President, on maintaining your seat. Now that the election is over, we can get back to normal.

What is normal?  I ask this because normalcy as it pertains to the highest office in the land has taken a definite turn in the last decade.  Sure, when Nixon staged a burglary, the office took a bruise.  When Clinton “didn’t have sexual relations with that woman,” the office suffered the equivalent to a broken bone.  When baby Bush took us into a war based on misinformation, the office of the President appeared to suffer a nervous breakdown.

Sure, there were people who weren’t happy with Nixon and Clinton, but they still respected the office of the President. It wasn’t until George W. Bush made questionable decisions that the president started losing the respect of the country.

Looking at how Bush and Obama have been demonized by their critics, the disrespect of the office took a blatant turn for the nasty. Bush had shoes thrown at him by reporters in other countries and commentator Ann Coulter call Obama “retarded.”

The game of disrespecting the office of the president has become a national pastime, like baseball.  But in these instances, the disrespect has greater negative impact on the office because of the ease and prevalence of social media, the saturation of news into the general population, and the speed with which these comments are spread through the Internet.

Just take a look at the amount of money that was poured into the presidential campaign. Almost $1 billion in ad money was spent on the presidential race.  With that money, almost every Super PAC used it to attack the other opponent – not to tout what their own candidate actually accomplished.  The negativity in those ads only generates further and greater negativity in the general populace.

The amount of venom and distain towards Obama has spurred people to actually hang Obama in effigy, on their front lawns.  Their negativity is out in the open, out in public where the world sees that we aren’t respecting our own leaders.  Now, we aren’t advocating taking away your rights to free speech, but we do suggest that you think about how you utilize the First Amendment.

It’s time to draw a line in the sand. We talk about being patriotic, but act in exact opposition to that ideal.  We are no longer expressing our love for our country when we disrespect the face of the nation.

We understand if you don’t care for the candidate who won – in any election. However, there’s no need to continue these dishonorable acts.  Is it any wonder that there is a huge split between political parties in this country today – which seems as great as it was during the Civil War?

Let’s reclaim the word ‘civil’ and bring civility back to our country.  If change really is coming to America, it will be by our own hands, holding one another’s.

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