The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
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by Ron Cruger
Some civility please
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        Bill Clinton got the stuffin’ kicked out of him for his indiscretions and then got in more trouble for trying to weasel out of what he did. One of the reasons that George W. Bush got such bad press was because he didn’t come across as a smooth, fast-on-his feet orator.
        Now it’s Barack Obama’s turn to get slammed around.
       Our president’s have become targets for every unhappy, disgruntled, “knee-jerking” coffee addled partisan soul in America.
        Seems that Americans now have no boundaries when it comes to disagreeing with their fellow citizens and especially their presidents.
        The venomous anger that we used to spout against our enemies is now being used internally. The animus that was directed towards President Bill Clinton was equaled as that routed against President George W. Bush.
        There’s no wonder that American prestige around the world has vaporized and continues to lessen as the vitriol against the current president reaches skyscraper heights. What must the residents of Hungary or Brazil or Lichtenstein think of our country when they watch their television sets and see this Joe Wilson, a representative from South Carolina, sit in the halls of Congress, during a speech by our president and yells out, “You lie!”
        On one hand Wilson’s cloddish behavior illustrates to a citizen of some far off land what breadth of freedoms we have in our country. Ah, freedom of speech.
        On the other hand, Wilson’s boorish scream clearly shows the rest of the world what crass behavior we can now display.
        Differences and disagreements have always been part of the American way, but bitterness, hostility and acrimonious personal insults are not.
        There is a difference between respectfully disagreeing and disrespecting the president. Isn’t it possible, for example, to hope that the president’s policies don’t succeed, but still hope that overall he succeeds in making America better.
        Our lack of respect has grown to all areas of the land. A man in Philadelphia flipped off a police officer. The cop gave the man a citation for disorderly conduct. The case is now in court. Should we be able to show such disrespect for our officers of the law? Is this the behavior we want our children to adopt?
        In reading and listening to those hostile to our presidents it appears that they would be pleased if the president and his policies fail. Despising the president or your neighbor destroys your ability to have honest discussion for our greater good.
        There should not be a vested interest or a joy in seeing our president fail. Our president is the most powerful person in the world. Differ, disagree, argue, wrangle, quarrel –do whatever is necessary, but don’t do it in the gutter.
        When people around the world see Americans differ with their president, with their Congressmen and women they should see a mutual respect and a mutual ambition to overcome America’s problems.
        Whether our president is a Republican or a Democrat our dialogue should be held with dignity and consideration, refraining from antagonizing personal attacks.
        It is time for the return of civility – in agreement or disagreement.
        It is time to root for what is right regardless of political affiliation.
        Regardless of the person, regardless of the political party let us root for what is best for America.