President Barack Hussein Obama, who won the presidency in a landside in 2008, has been reelected decisively to another four year term. It is time for him to be shown the respect that he has earned and that the office of the presidency merits. He is a highly intelligent man who has been able to rise from difficult early circumstances to stunning success in his educational and career endeavors through hard work, discipline and an open, curious mind. He is a wise and loving family man who has worked hard to be an exemplary role model for husbands and fathers. He is a man of faith who is guided by a strong moral code and has true compassion for others’ struggles. While those with opposing political philosophies may disagree with his beliefs and policies, no one can offer credible denial that he has worked diligently and tirelessly for our country. Yet more public displays of disrespect have been directed toward this president than any in recent memory.
President Obama has weathered with dignity a torrent of disrespectful actions, including:
a) racist language and signs at political rallies
b) an air of chilly disdain projected by some of his political adversaries that implies their inability to accept the legitimacy of the nation’s choice
c) dispersions cast on his citizenship that were tolerated and at times fueled by the media for far too long
d) characterization by some as not being a “legitimate president”
e) the label “low level socialist agitator” by a member of Congress
f) the exclamation “You lie!” by another member of Congress at a state of the union address
g) taunts questioning his birth, citizenship and academic attainment from a business mogul and reality TV personality
h) racist baiting by a high ranking official of the opposing campaign and former governor who should have been more cognizant of the kind of example he was setting for younger political aspirants
Not all disrespectful treatment endured by President Obama has been racist in nature; however, some of it has been, and we need to have the courage to label racist behavior for what it is.
All political leaders, media representatives and citizens should show President Obama the respect due one elected to the highest office in our country. Respectful treatment does not negate others’ right to disagree with his ideas or policies. Commitment to one’s principles, opposition to political agendas and vigorous debate are bedrocks of our democratic system of government. However, this dissent can be offered without treating the president as someone who is not entitled to the office he holds.
Please join this call to Respect Our President by signing the pledge below:
1. In my public behavior, I will show respect to President Obama and to all other public servants working for our country and will call out acts of disrespect.
2. I will state my objection to media representatives who engage in or encourage disrespectful behavior or who report on such in an overly tepid manner.
3. I will characterize racist acts for what they are and note their unacceptability.
This pledge is being circulated not because President Obama needs this help. He has proven his toughness and has shown remarkable equanimity in the face of these actions. However, disrespect of our president insults all of us - certainly those who have voted for him and share his ideas, but even those who have not supported him yet love the United States and our system of government. Yes, this pledge is offered not because President Obama needs it but because he deserves it and because our democracy functions best when spirited debate is offered within the bounds of mutual respect.
Signatures for the pledge will be sought until President Obama’s inauguration on January 21, 2013. At that time, the results will be distributed to the major media outlets, political parties and branches of government.
Please help us spread the word, and thank you very much for your pledge!