Happy Presidents’ Day! This holiday was originally created to honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, two men who led the nation during very difficult times. Any president who led our country while we were at war had a tremendous task – to make sure that America was secure. Over the years, the day has been changed to honor all of our presidents. Men who chose and were elected to the highest position in the world.
I won’t talk politics, but will say a few things about the position of the President of the United States:
1. It is not just the president who makes the decisions. He has numerous advisers, cabinet members and even family members and friends who affect what he does and says. However, it is he who ends up taking the blame for his entire administration, which I guess is only right since he does have the final say. But his decisions are based on information gathered and given by others. He is only one man with many things to handle in American and overseas. He must base his decisions from intelligence and the experience of others. He does not and cannot possibly know every single thing about every single issue. He relies on others to do this for him.
2. No matter how you feel about a president, he deserves respect. He is the most powerful man in the world and he represents America. I cannot stand when people publicly bad mouth our leader. While we do have freedom of speech, hearing someone call our president a “baffoon” or “idiot” on TV or in the newspaper makes our entire country look bad. Even if we think that, it should not be said publicly. You can certainly say it in your home or when you are with friends, and everyone is entitled to their opinions, but statements that degrade our president in front of the world make us look bad.
Years ago, while touring in England, the Dixie Chicks said they were “ashamed” of President Bush. I had a ticket to go see one of their concerts and immediately sold it. I think it was disgraceful that they bad-mouthed the leader of our American family, especially in another country and especially during one of the most difficult periods in American history. Say what you want about Bush, but no other president was ever put in the situation he was and many would agree that 9/11 was by far, the darkest day in our history. We needed to stand together, not blame one person for the response. The same goes to those who blame President Clinton for not having Bin Laden killed when he had the chance or who feel that Bush knew there was a hijacking attempt in the works. If you want to blame one man for 9/11, go ahead. But blame the person who was really responsible – Bin Laden.
I am glad that all of our presidents are honored today. While some certainly did more than others for our country, we have to remember the time period in which they served. If it was a peaceful time, they did not have to do too much. But those who served during crises in America and abroad are the ones we really remember. Their ability to lead was put to the test.
A president’s legacy is all about timing. And they have no idea what may happen while they are in office. We have to hope and trust that whatever does happen, our chosen leader will assist and protect us to the best of his ability. So, please – at the very least, respect the position of being President and while you can say and think what you want, remember who might be listening…