There’s a new Facebook fan page that’s been gathering steam over the last week:
Dear Lord, this year you took my favorite actor, Patrick Swayzie. You took my favorite actress, Farah Fawcett. You took my favorite singer, Michael Jackson. I just wanted to let you know, my favorite president is Barack Obama. Amen.
Never mind the fact that the charmer who started this page can’t spell (Swayze and Farrah) and provides no other information about themselves than their city/state/ZIP (Marysville, Ohio – a rural town in an area that I know from experience isn’t particularly worldly). Never mind the disclaimer that "we are not really praying for the death of obama [sic] it is just some humor to show our disapproval of our current president" and the obvious lack of basic knowledge of the English language. It’s not funny, and it’s not okay.
I don’t care if you voted for him or not; he’s the president. Alluding to a hope that the Lord takes him in the same way that he ostensibly took Swayze, Fawcett, and Jackson is disrespectful and despicable. This sentiment makes Rush Limbaugh’s desire to see Obama fail look tame.
Way to go, Marysville. You upstaged Rush Limbaugh.
But wait. Before all the Obama supporters start fist-bumping each other, let me ask you this: What trash did you talk about George W. Bush?
Perhaps you never became a fan of a Facebook page that denigrated him, but did you dress your baby in a "President Poopyhead" onesie? Those were pretty popular in the last administration — and also disrespectful and despicable.
No, displaying your feelings about the president on your kid’s chest isn’t the same as wishing him dead. Liberals are generally nicer people anyway, I’ll admit. But even though I wasn’t a fan of George W. Bush myself, thanks primarily to his utter lack of fiscal conservatism and his injection of religion into public policy, I accorded him the respect that our president deserves.
I served in the military during Bill Clinton’s presidency, arguably my least favorite president. In retrospect, he was actually more fiscally conservative than his successor (Bush), but he was also a draft-dodging philanderer whom I felt I couldn’t trust.
He was the president. As a member of the military, I ultimately reported to him. When I had the opportunity to take a tour of the West Wing courtesy of the Secret Service, I was thrilled. When I attended an event at Dover Air Force Base, I snapped pictures like a fangirl when he made the rounds, shaking hands. He was the leader of our country.
I understand that many people disagree fundamentally with President Obama, just as many others disagreed fundamentally with President Bush. My Libertarian views put me at odds with both of them in some regards.
But I don’t think it’s funny to joke about the death of our president or to revel in blatant disrespect of the man or the office, no matter what party he may be.