We need to keep criticism civil
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:00 PM
Inscribed in black permanent marker above the door in the men's room of one of our classier convenience stores is a phrase that indicates President Barack Obama engages in a specific homosexual activity.
Frank Phillips first covered an election in 1972 and has followed and reported on politics every year since. He has reported on the news, events and people of west-central Indiana for years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm sure the author of this pithy note is not the least bit concerned with our President's sexual orientation. I am sure the men's room author is frustrated with the current state of affairs in America in general and with Obama's political ideals.
A men's room inscription, even in black Magic Marker, is not going to change anything, other than prompting the owner of the building to repaint the men's room.
I am bothered by such pranks not because I have nothing better to read but because of the lack of respect it shows our leaders and our country.
I have said this before but as the Southmont coach said after Friday's game, some things have to be repeated.
My concern is not to defend Mr. Obama. Indeed there are things he has proposed that are of grave concern to me.
Apparently, and I have not verified this, but I am told by a good source that the IRS will oversee the portion of Obamacare that keeps your medical records in the Internet cloud.
While I like the idea of one doctor being able to see all the prescriptions I am taking and my medical records that indicate I am allergic to all members of the 'cillin family (penicillin, amoxicilin, etc.) I do not want the IRS, which has tremendous power already, to have the ability to look more closely into my very personal medical records. In fact, I would be much happier if the cloud medical record program was administered by the American Medical Association or some other non-government entity. In other words, Uncle Sam, butt out!
Having said that about Obamacare, Barack Obama is still the elected President of the United States and deserves our respect as such.
Everyone who knows me knows I was not a fan of George W. Bush. In fact, he will go down in history as being much worse than Richard Nixon, in my opinion. But, when he was President I respected him as President because of the office to which he was elected.
If we refuse to give proper respect to our elected officials until they "earn our respect" as a Facebook friend stated, our country will be weakened.
We may even change our opinions about an elected official.
Several years ago, I was invited to ride to a regional government meeting with the mayor of Crawfordsville.
When I arrived at his office, I was amazed and amused to find he had pasted Post-it notes everywhere. On the inner door to his office, on his desk and even on the dash of his car. I was tempted to be concerned about his health.
Guess what? Today I have a Post-it note dispenser on my desk. My current color of note is hot pink. I post those notes to my computer monitor, my desk and, yes, I have even put them on the dash of my car.
Can we criticize our elected officials? Sure and we must have a healthy debate about the current state of affairs. But personal attacks should be out of the question.
I have a videotape of coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The TV network anchor reminded the audience that a popular idea in 1963 was that "those Kennedys should be killed." Appropriate? Not at all.
President Bill Clinton faced impeachment, though not convicted. Years later, he worked closely with President George H.W. Bush and Clinton is considered today to have one of the best minds of any President of the 20th century.
Personal opinions do change. Our country must adapt and evolve as the world changes. But that can only happen if we show proper respect for our elected officials because they are our elected officials.