My 89-year-old Mom called me in tears. She picked up a neighborhood newspaper and read that schools gave parents an option to have their children NOT hear “Our President Obama’s back-to-school message”. Through her enraged tears she demanded, “What is happening – I don’t understand – why wouldn’t Americans want their children to hear our President?”
My Mom is from what Tom Brokaw called “the greatest generation” – the World War II generation. For her, respecting the President of the United States trumps every other consideration – including race, ethnicity, or gender. Mind you, my mother used to stand in the living room when they played “Hail to the Chief” and Republican President Eisenhower came to the podium.
Isn’t this basic respect what is behind the outrage about Joe Wilson yelling “you lie” as the President addressed congress? I beef as much as anybody about politicians, but yelling disrespectfully at the President as he formally addresses congress feels like desecrating the flag.