Tuesday, September 4, 2007

US Presidents - Buffoons or Leaders of the Free World, You Choose

Is it really okay to make a mockery out of the United States presidency?

I don’t care for George Bush and will happily wave goodbye to him at the end of next year but I wonder if we, as citizens of this country, have completely lost respect for the office and not just the man. We have become so accustomed to Bush’s blunders and watching “news” outlets/shows dedicated to showing us what a fool he can be, that I wonder if when it’s over we will be able to recover some modicum of reverence for the highest office in our land.

I feel bad for the candidate who wins in 2008. Will the media set the newly elected president up for a big fall? Will they search through hours of tape to find those unfortunate moments when our new president stumbles over a thought during a speech or eats a bad bowl of soup and throws up? I hope not. I’d rather hear how he or she is cleaning up the messes made by the previous administration and restoring our reputation around the world.

For me, the important thing to remember while the media dumps my president (and the 2008 candidates) into the same paparazzi category as Brittney and Paris, is that we are all human. We all say stupid things. We ALL look clumsy at times and that’s just how it is. No one can be a media robot and would we really want that anyway?

To point this out, Reader’s Digest complied a list of head-scratching gaffes made by the men who’ve run our country. They are nothing, if not, humanizing. I can live with the knowledge that my president is a real person, making mistakes and plodding through every day just like me.

But I hope we move beyond the dehumanizing attacks and back to a healthy sense of humor coupled with respect for the president who occasionally trips on the podium in the rose garden.
Try to read this list of lighthearted ramblings from famous presidents without saying, Huh?

“People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.” Abraham Lincoln

“There is a mandate to impose a voluntary return to traditional values.” Ronald Reagan

“This is still the greatest country in the world if we just will steel our wills and lose our minds.” Bill Clinton

“If Lincoln were alive today, he’s roll over in his grave.” Gerald Ford

“When a great many people are unable to find work, unemployment results.” Calvin Coolidge

And my personal favorite HUH statement – “Solutions are not the answer.” Richard Nixon

As we wade our way through this last year of the Bush administration, I will do my best to remember that respect for a person in higher office does not equal blind support. I don't have to like them to respect the enormously difficult job they must do. I don't have to agree to respect the weight they carry on their shoulders every day while in office.

10 comments:

Bob Johnson said...

Hear hear, they are all only human, I'm Canadian and I can't really speak for Americans, but it seems to me all the Presidents have screwed up somewhere along the line so why Americans think the grass is always greener , I mean the people always think the next will be better, not gonna happen , I don't care who is your next president, they will have faults, and the press will pick up on it, work with em people. I always in my life have gone for the underdog, hence every President youv'e had I side with them through every scandal.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Thanks Bob,

I can only hope that our next president will do better than Bush. As far as I'm concerned, he's set the bar pretty low. I'm just tired of the "knock them down of their pedestal and stomp on them" mentality in our country. I don't know why anyone would want to hold office. Look what we do to them when they step out of the crowd.

Best Wishes,
Lisa

Anna said...

Hi Lisa, personally I hate politics, I tried once and I got stressed every time I read or watched or listen politics related issues and scandals, so I detached myself and I am just the observer now. Great post though, and love the quotes. Anna :)

Lisa McGlaun said...

Anna,

Until a few years ago, I felt the same way. I was happy being a silent observer. My parents never voted. I only voted in the presidential race and then not every time.

Then something happened and I decided if I wanted to complain or expected anything I cared about to happen then I should at least exercise my rights as an American.

Things have changed so much in our country in the last eight years. I want to be part of the movement that helps to turn it around.

I understand completely. Sometimes I get frustrated, like you said, then I take a deep breath and start again..:)

Thanks so much for your contributions. You input is important.

Hugs,
Lisa

Davidlind said...

Good points. I believe we need to revive respectful political discourse to move ahead in this country. Right now not much is happening that's constructive.

Lisa McGlaun said...

David,
I feel the same way. The candidates and the people who already hold office treat each other badly (when the cameras are off). The media makes it even worse. It's hard to find reliable information to make decisions. I fell like it's all hype, soundsbytes and spin.

My hope is that the best candidate will rise to the top of the bunch and it will be clear who we need in the oval office next.

Thanks for participating,
Lisa

In a NV Minute said...

Great post, Lisa. I fell victim to the "hate the man, disrespect the office" syndrome when Clinton held the job. I feel guilty now about the disrespect I showed then for the person who the majority of Americans elected. But, you touch on a systemic fault, not just one involving our presidents. American's have demonstrated time and again that they enjoy watching humiliation, degredation, violence, and dehumanization. I point to the TV and movie ratings as evidence of this sad trend. Maybe if we start respecting our presidents, it will translate eventually into respecting our neighbors and other fellow human beings. Thanks for the enlightening and insightful post.

Lisa McGlaun said...

NV Minute,

I completely agree...you could have written this post for me..:)

Thanks so much for the comment..come back again and leave your thoughts.

Lisa

NeoAuteur said...

It's hard to make everyone happy.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Neo,

It is hard to make everyone happy. It's downright impossible. A president's job is to carry out the wishes of the majority and to lead wisely by example. What more could we ask?