President deserves respect, no matter the party

Laura Shannon, Features Editor

People have the right to an opinion. They also have the right, granted in the First Amendment, to express this opinion. However, just because they have the right to share their belief does not mean they should––especially when that view is slanderous, the forum is public, and the subject is someone who warrants respect.

When I was a child, I was taught to respect my elders, especially authority figures. One look at my Facebook newsfeed on election night will show that many people had never been taught the same. I cringe every time I see someone refer to President Obama as “Barry,” or squirm when President W. Bush is called a “no good redneck.” My respect for our country’s highest leader causes me to be endlessly uncomfortable when a picture of any president is defaced, whether it be for humor or out of malicious intent, or when people make disparaging remarks about any past or present commander-in-chief.

No President of the United States, no matter what party they are from, what their background is, nor what their policies are, deserves the blatant disrespect President Obama was receiving this past Tuesday. Being President is probably the hardest job in the nation, even the world, and the President is the United States’ highest individual authority. Insolence towards him is also an insult to the country and to the American people.

It isn’t acceptable to libel George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Why would it be okay to defame a living president?

Elections create an environment full of defamation; it is their nature. Party lines encourage fierce rivalry, and each group must outdo the other with insults. With ads pointing to a candidate’s every mistake each commercial break, it’s easy to get swept up in all of the negativity.

When a candidate you support loses, it’s obviously going to be disappointing. However, Romney-fans should take a cue from Governor Romney himself and concede gracefully, rather than dramatically claiming that our country has no chance now (although knowing anything about our country’s government would make clear that it’s set up to prevent a single person from ruining it) or that President Obama is an awful person, intent on killing our freedoms. The leader of the free world should never be called a socialist, terrorist or tyrant.

I personally was supporting the incumbent this election, but I know that if Governor Romney would have won, I would have accepted it and looked towards the future. I would respect that the American people had spoken.

While you may disagree with the President’s methods, it is impossible to deny that he is trying to do what is best for the country in the way he believes is best. He would never intentionally hurt this nation. If for no other reason, please respect President Obama for trying his hardest to do what’s right.