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by Paul Kiser
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Paul Kiser

I happened to catch a West Wing episode while traveling this week, which was one of my favorite television shows. One of the things that I liked about the series is that when a character spoke to the President, no matter what happened in the discussion, before the person left they always said, “Thank you, Mr. President.” It reinforced the respect for the office and for our Country. Regardless of how the person felt about the Jed Bartlet or what he said, they still respected the office of the most powerful leader in the world. It was a fictional show with fictional characters, and yet the concept of respect of our Country’s leader is fundamental to our Great Society…fiction or not.

Martin Sheen as President Jed Bartlet (image thanks to CNN.com)

Today we have some who people have forgotten that part of their citizenship because they have shown disrespect to the Office of the President of the United States of America. This includes people who should understand respect (e.g.; some military and former military), but who show a complete lack of respect, disgust even, for our President. You can debate ideas, you can have contrary opinions, but the moment you speak ill of, forward an email, or in any way promote the idea that our President isn’t really worthy of respect, you have crossed the line. Those who have gone so far as to make up falsehoods (e.g.; he is not a citizen, Christian, etc.) are violating a sacred duty as a citizen of our Country to honor the Office of the President of the United States.

The lack of respect boils down to a few who are: 1) either completely ignorant and don’t care, or 2) intentionally attempting to deceive others for their own purposes. This type of behavior is common for a lynch mob consisting of people who are focused on satisfying their own lust for power. Lynch mobs don’t need facts or reason, because they are driven by emotions. They are the most gullible of all humans and they don’t regain their common sense until they have done something horrible. We have come to a point in our Country where people have to choose whether they wish to be decent citizens who respect our Country and value truth, or become part of the lynch mob driven by lust and hate.

President Barack Obama and the Oval Office (image thanks to acclaimimages.com

If I had been given an opportunity to have an audience with President George W. Bush when he was in office I would have still been proud to say, “Thank you, Mr. President,” when he was done with our conversation…even though I strongly disagreed with many of his policies. Respect for the Office of President isn’t governed by the political whim of the day, but by our love for our Country and all who live in it.

For me, it would be an honor to be in the same room as President Obama, let alone speak to him. In fact, my bucket list would include having the opportunity to stand with him in the Oval Office and at the conclusion be able to say,

Thank you, Mr. President.

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