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 this president has received
more disrespectful treatment during the past four years than any in recent
President Obama has weathered with dignity a torrent of
disrespectful actions, including:
racist language and signs at political rallies
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
dispersions cast on his citizenship that were tolerated and at times fueled by
the media for far too long
characterization by some as not being a “legitimate president”
the label “low level socialist agitator” by a member of Congress
the exclamation “You lie!” by another member of Congress at a state of the
taunts questioning his birth, citizenship and academic attainment from a
businessmogul and reality TV personality
consistent references to him as “Obama” by mainstream media representatives who
used the prefix “Governor” for his competitor in the recent campaign
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 wassetting
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 these dispersions for what they are.
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:
will show respect to President Obama and to all other public servants working
for our country and will call out acts of disrespect.
will state my objection to media representatives who engage in or encourage
disrespectful behavior or who report on such in an overly tepid manner.
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
Signatures for the pledge will be sought through the end of
December. At that time, and before the
inauguration on January 20, 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
John Barrow and Jim Pagett
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