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August 17, 2008

So normally I don’t find myself very interested in politics.  On occasion, I have been know to go on streaks where I only watch news channels.  Now (although it probably should be) has not been one of those times.  But today while catching up on some of my friend’s blog posts (thanks John), I came across something that really bothered me.  We all have heard about his stance on the American flag and we all have our own opinions on how we feel about his patriotism.  But this was something new to add to that.  Saddleback Church recently had a civil forum for the two Presidential candidates.  Obviously one of the main topics that is on everyone’s mind is that of the state of the United States economy.  Well, it’s not doing so hot (for those of you that didn’t know).  The thing that bothered me though was a quote from Barack Obama.

The Associated Press is reporting that when talking about the this topic Obama called the U.S. economy a disaster thanks to “John McCain’s president, George W. Bush”.  What?  Are you serious?  How can you say that he is John McCain’s president?  Is he not yours?  Is he not mine?  Does the presidency now depend on whether or not we agree with him or like him all the time?  I think not.  How disrespectful of the President of the United States is that?  Is he not running for that same office?  Seems like he of all people should have more respect for the Commander in Chief.  This just really gives me concern for potentially electing someone to be MY president who doesn’t consider the current president his.  It doesn’t matter if you like him or not.  It doesn’t matter if you agree with him or not.  The fact is that you have chosen to live in the United States of America.  If you don’t accept the president as THE president of the United States, why are you here?  
I don’t care if you agree with the president or not, give him the respect that he deserves.  Why should we give Obama if he becomes president the respect of the office if he can’t do the same?  
I guess we will because we truly love our country and the idea of a true President of the United States.
6 Comments leave one →
  1. David permalink
    August 17, 2008 10:03 PM

    No matter who is in office you have to respect the position. The president of the United States is the most powerful position in the world. A position that deserves the utmost respect and honor. It doesn’t matter if the president is an adulture or a poor public speaker, who’s presidency will be defined more by congres’s poor decisions than his own. The position demands respect, but I agree, how can you respect a presidental canidate who doesn’t respect the president? You can’t demand respect, without giving it.

  2. kev permalink
    August 17, 2008 11:07 PM

    Here’ the story, for anyone who wants to read it:

    And I think this is a total overreaction. The article doesn’t provide any context for the quote, but it’s pretty clear from the comments in the rest of the article that Obama was simply trying to point out McCain’s near-unconditional support of Bush’s economic policies. There was no statement that Obama did not consider Bush “his” president, or even a clear statement of disrespect of the person or the office. It’s more like a case of fantasy football trash talk, where you might refer to someone’s QB as “your boy Peyton.”

    This is a clear example of the telephone game in politics, where one quote is taken out of context, repeated, then repeated and reacted to, then reacted to again. By the time it goes three steps from the source, it goes from “Obama refers to Bush as ‘McCain’s President’ the day after the Saddleback Summit” to “Obama said he doesn’t consider Bush his president during the Saddleback Summit.” See the difference? See how easy it is to distort?

    Another case in point: recently ads went up referring to a quote from Obama saying “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.”

    Pretty arrogant thing to say, right? But it turns out, the quote was incomplete and re-redited. The actual quote was “It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.”

    See what happened? Obama made a statement that actually downplayed his role, and by cutting off the beginning of the statement and the word “just,” a statement of humility becomes a statement of arrogance.

    Obama’s quote about “McCain’s president” is a different deal, and without a real transcript it’s hard to say exactly what he said. So to jump on this one quote as some kind of summary of Obama’s respect for the presidency is a pretty big stretch.

    And while we’re on the topic of stretches, I wonder what you mean by “we have all heard about his stance on the American flag.” To what stance are you exactly referring?

  3. I'm Brook James permalink
    August 18, 2008 12:22 AM

    Hey Kev. You may be completely correct. That’s what happens when quotes are sent out and taken out of context. I still don’t agree with the comment. Again, as I said before, I am not much for watching and listening to politics. I don’t like the constant cutting and stabbing at each other. Just not a fan of the whole campaigning process. The topics revolving the flag are that of not wearing the American flag pin like it has been customary to wear since 2001, wearing a Che flag pin, and not covering the heart during the national anthem.

    Granted, he always has excuses for everything, but I’m not sure that makes everything better. I don’t think it matters who you are, if you are continuing to do things that are bringing you into question, you would think that maybe a little more than excuses would be good.

    I just believe that the flag is a huge symbol for our country and it should be respected. Take Michael Phelps for example. Blah, blah, blah, won lots of races, BUT after one of the gold medal ceremonies someone threw him an American flag. The toss wasn’t up to gold medal standards and fell to the floor. While trying to catch it, Phelps didn’t make it. The flag hit the ground. Out of respect for the symbol of our nation the flag is never to touch the ground. Phelps obviously new that. With all the things that have happened with Obama, it just seems that he doesn’t respect it like many others do.

    I am not going to say he isn’t patriotic. I’m not going to say that he doesn’t love his country. I have no idea. I have never met the guy. I don’t know him. All I’m saying is that with all these things continuing to come out, how are we to feel comfortable to following that.

    Thanks for your comment Kev. I wanted to get some idea of the other side of the comment as well.

  4. kev permalink
    August 18, 2008 1:34 AM

    I hope I didn’t come off as too confrontational. I don’t mean to be snippy, but I’ve been trying to be really on guard about this with this election.

    As far as the flag stuff goes, I think you’re in danger of falling into the propaganda machine.

    The Che flag thing was an instance of one campaign worker showing poor taste in decorating, something like someone working in a campaign office hanging a confederate flag. Obama didn’t even know about it until Fox News ran with it.

    The supposed photos that show Obama not putting his hand over his heart have been discredited as being taken before the pledge (video showed him with his hand over his heart; the photo was before the pledge began), and the flag pin thing in my opinion amounts to not wearing enough pieces of flair to work. Patriotism is more than a lapel pin. It’s political legalism.

    You say “if you are continuing to do things that are bringing you into question, you would think that maybe a little more than excuses would be good.” That’s true on principle, but virtually all of the “things” that he has done have been discredited as either false or distorted.

    It’s very easy to let your perceptions of a person get distorted by being hammered over and over by someone else’s view. All these memes, the “Obama isn’t patriotic,” “He’s arrogant,” etc, are pre-planned ideas that his opponents want you to believe, so that you’ll filter everything he says through that idea.

    Both sides do it; that’s why we all need to pay careful attention.

    That said, I’ll stop hammering you with my point of view. 🙂

    Thanks for having an open mind…


  5. John Snyder permalink
    August 18, 2008 2:08 AM

    Here is the entire thing. All 18 minutes of it. He says it around 14:14. Form your own opinion. Either, way it is a stupid thing to say. I am sure McCain has said a lot of stupid things as well. I was just making a point.

  6. I'm Brook James permalink
    August 18, 2008 1:53 PM

    Not too confrontational at all! I don’t mind someone expressing their opinion to me. Like I said before, I am in a slump news and politics wise and have been for a good while. I don’t have all the information and unfortunately have to form my own opinions from what I see and hear which isn’t much. I am absolutely not saying there aren’t issues with McCain too. There just seem to be more headlines about Obama. This election is going to be very different than anything that I have ever seen and the candidates both have plenty of faults. I completely agree that we all need to be more careful and get more informed. I have been trying to do that in my time off and this last blog post was just a result of that. Thanks again for your thoughts! I really do appreciate it!

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