Welcome back! To start off the spring semester I am going to do something uncanny, which is to talk about politics. I am not a big fan in that regard. Never have been and I don’t suspect that I ever will be. In that concern, the word “hate” comes to mind. So imagine my excitement when my professor revealed that this entire semester I am required to follow the Democratic primaries. Joy. (No offense, Dr. L.).Now, I swear that this will be the only time that I bring up anything that has to do with politicians. After this, it will be back to more important topics a.k.a. why Philadelphia professional sports have such a hard time closing the deal.
That said, let’s consider “The President of the United States.” When you consider this position, what comes to mind? Honor? Intelligence? Trustworthiness? Or do “conniving,” “dishonest,” and “greedy” ring a clearer bell?
It used to be that at one point in time, “the president” commanded undeniable respect. Granted, this may have ended as soon as it began, (i.e. the Washington administration), but I am almost positive that it did exist at some point in time.
When did this change? Because, let’s be honest, it did. Our duty as citizens is to question our leaders. When did mocking and scorning become acceptable and widely practiced? Nine times out of ten, Jay Leno and David Letterman will open their shows cracking a joke on the current president. Saturday Night Live capitalizes on this better than any other single organization.
This Catch-22 feeds off the negative attention that the president receives from the American population, and the world’s as well. People form opinions about the man in office based on character flaws, political actions and other discrepancies. Then, those same people’s views are only reinforced after watching said shows because they see that others agree, thereby creating a cyclical process that has, over time, jeopardized the integrity of the position.
I have friends in Australia, Canada and Columbia. It is interesting to hear non-American opinions about our country. In this case, the president. Seeing as how I do not have the ability to produce earmuffs for the entire student body and faculty, I will refrain from sharing the previously mentioned opinions except to say they were not favorable.
My question is this: how can the world, and ourselves included, respect the United States of America when we do not even respect the man we elect into office? It seems to me that we are digging our own grave.
Watching the process of the primaries just raises this level of awareness. Campaigns seem to generate negative energy in all directions. Often the candi-dates will stoop to name calling, verbal attacks and other disgust-ing actions that have much in common with petty elementary school disagreements.
Shouldn’t it be that we as citizens look up to our leaders for guidance and direction instead of down upon them? Shouldn’t the person whom we elect focus on what needs to be done to make our lives better instead of keeping his place in office? At what point did we start to trade our childhood teachings of humility, generosity and congeniality for a government position? When speaking for the people, shouldn’t one maintain these three characteristics? That is my belief and even though I shy away from politics, I understand the meaning of character.
So, grab a shovel; it should be an interesting next couple of months.
Jaylyn Bergner is a senior majoring in communication with a minor in creatiive writing.