The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

January 28, 2013

Respect the office, even if you don’t respect the official

ENID, Okla. — An elderly reader recently called to criticize our lack of front-page placement of President Obama’s inauguration.

Her complaint stemmed from the fact that we relegated post-inauguration coverage to page A6, and not A1.

The reader said her father taught her to respect the president, regardless of his politics, because he’s the president.

Her point is valid. It’s always a good thing to show respect for the office — even if you don’t respect the current commander in chief.

This foolishness started a dozen years ago, when certain celebrities claimed they would leave the United States if George W. Bush became president. Here’s a recap of the irreverence in 2000:

• “I’m moving to a different country if little Damien II gets elected,” Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder told USA Today. (The rocker only got as far as Hawaii.)

• Director Robert Altman reportedly threatened to move to France, but later clarified he was referring to Paris, Texas.

• Attending President Clinton’s final formal dinner in December 2000, Barbra Streisand reportedly said she wouldn’t be seen for “at least four years.” The singer later amended her remarks, specifying that she was referring to the White House, and not the country.

These discourtesies are bipartisan. In 2010, Rush Limbaugh reportedly said he would move to Costa Rica after implementation of Obama’s health care law. And just last March, our state’s top officials were oddly out of pocket when President Obama visited Cushing.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. When did it become acceptable to only respect presidents of your particular party?

Our children are being exposed to your outspoken irreverence. Young eyes and ears are watching and listening. Stop acting childishly and set a better example.

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