Criticizing presidents and politicians is the American way. It is our right as the people who these people are supposed to be working for. It’s our right as Americans to be able to express ourselves in a peaceful manner. We were given those rights in the constitution and we should be very thankful to have those rights, especially when you take a look at how people are being silenced across the globe. We shouldn’t take this for granted because I fear we may not have these freedoms for long.
When President Trump got booed at the Nationals game, it became a topic of discussion about how people should respect the office. I respect the office even if I may not respect the man holding it. But I don’t think that people should mistake blind loyalty as respect. There’s nothing respectful about blind loyalty. This is usually based on fear or ignorance, not respect. I get how an audience booing at a sitting president can be seen as disrespectful. I can see how chants of “Lock Him Up” can be disrespectful. But it’s not really about respect, is it?
When Obama got booed in public, conservative sites praised this. These were the American people using their God-given right to express themselves. These were true patriots. Now that Trump gets booed, these same people rant about the disrespect this president has received. The other side is just as guilty here because they have also flipped the script from taking one incident as disrespectful and the other as a proud moment for Americans. Make up your mind: is it disrespectful to boo a president or not?
It isn’t the act that is appalling; it’s the fact that these groups can’t get their story straight and the majority of people don’t seem to care. Would I boo a sitting president to their face? Probably not. But does that mean I don’t think other people should? I’m not entirely sure I like the idea of toeing that line of freedom of speech and disrespect. If it went to a side of violence or downright bullying, then I think there’s an argument for disrespect. Booing is something entirely different. You boo when you’re at a performance if you don’t like what you see; isn’t that all this president is? He performs on a daily basis, giving fodder to everyone around him through his unleashed Twitter account.
Now, what about the “Lock him up” chant? Was that disrespectful? I would argue “no”. I would argue that this is a precedent that he created himself when he did the same to Clinton as his political rival. This encouraged his followers to do the same. I’m all for the “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” approach. If it wasn’t disrespectful that way, then it isn’t disrespectful when it comes back to you. If it was good enough to say to another person, it’s good enough to be said to you. The point is, when you open that floodgate, you should accept it. Just like people who “applauded” Clinton’s deplorable statement about Trump supporters should accept the “scumbag” label from Trump. I think both people should be ashamed of themselves for this insulting approach because I think these terms help to further divide the country. We need to start working together, not growing further apart.
The problem is as long as people rationalize and blindly follow, things won’t change. The world doesn’t need followers right now; they need leaders. They need to know that disrespect doesn’t change because of what party someone follows. They need to know that if they say something awful that they should suck it up when it’s used back in their face. The people should stop rationalizing those grown-ass adults who are supposed to be running our country when they sling insults at each other. They should stop applauding something as “so powerful” on one side, but slamming it when it happens to “your side”. There shouldn’t be “sides”. There should only be “Americans”. United we stand… divided we fall…