R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Aretha Sang It, Obama Shows It

For all you can say for or against Barack Obama as President, there is one huge thing can be said in his favor. He has returned a forgotten key ingredient of crucial diplomatic etiquette to the forefront and that is RESPECT (say it loud just like Aretha Franklin did).

The idea of respect, (or, if that is too much to ask, then at least its little brother REGARD) has been trounced and forgotten in recent decades and even ridiculed.

Simple, common respect or regard for each other is the basic fluid needed for a society to have cohesion and to even function. Without common respect you end up with a ghetto environment where there is little or no cooperation between neighbors and an atmosphere of fear and suspicion sets into a community.

People remain behind walls both physical and mental and anger becomes the commonly used modem of communication. A respect-less community is a lonely one.

When Obama took office the respect quotient for the U.S. soared. The Bush administration (and Dick Cheney in particular) had set new lows for showing regard for the U.S. citizens and for the world society in general. An aggressive arrogance and lust for domination was masked (at least in Bush’s case) by a gee-whiz, I’m just a plain old guy pretense (Cheney made no such pretense. He was just plain a mean, old SOB and made no effort to hide it).

Civil liberties, especially after 911, were undermined or eliminated in our country, and international laws and agreements that had been built up between the world’s nations over hundreds of years were gutted, ignored and shredded in the pursuit of what ever our nation’s hidden power mongers wanted. Respect for the US in the eyes of the entire world was lowered, a fact that the Bush administration showed no interest in as long as it had other countries by the balls economically and politically.

Obama showed by natural grace that he intended to give respect to those who had been denied it in years past. He knew what respect was and gave it to all he came into contact was. The world responded immediately. They recognized it in him and returned it to him. The US’s stature in the eyes of the world was greatly elevated. He showed true concern for the difficulties of the non-moneyed in this nation and others because he had lived it himself as opposed to the phony, manipulative sentiment that had been spread around like fertilizer in the past.

Of course, there were those who found fault with that- mostly those who were specialists in character assassination and social manipulation themselves. The biggest accusation happened when Obama bowed before the Emperor of Japan which is the normal tradition in that country. Obama showed them the proper respect. The detractors claimed loud and hard that this showed weakness and kowtowing to our political ‘adversaries’. No, it didn’t. It restored the trust that the US would show the necessary regard to other nations that is needed for international relationships to function.

Showing dignity to others has become a thing of the past in many areas of America these days. The working class has been treated more and more like farm animals to be used until they are worn out and then discarded. The London of the Dickens novels of the 1800’s are now being revisited in modern form upon the American everyman. Immigrants and foreigners are being brought in to work cheaper and then herded to their appropriate slum housing conveniently well away from the homes of the overlords.

We are being ordered about more and more by people who think they are superior to deny us our natural rights. International agreements were trod upon in pursuit of American security. 3,000 were killed on 911- multiple more innocents have been torn apart by our soldiers and drones on foreign lands and their numbers are not counted. A new low in political disrespect were the rabid attacks on John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election.

Veterans who had served their country were considered to have paid the ultimate price and were taboo as far as slamming goes. But the powers that wanted to be in that year decided that anything goes and even decorated veterans could be dragged through the mud for political reasons.

Kerry’s military medals and war wounds were trivialized and disgraced. The bigger disgrace was the character assassination that can now be leveled at any vet. Nothing is sacred to those who insist on being in the top echelons of power. Elements in our political and media environment are ruthless in their propaganda and character assassinations.

It is well that an individual like Obama came along to remind us of the need for individual respect. Few others seem to remember what that is.

Author: rfreed

I was born and I died. Being a disembodied entity makes it very cheap for me to get by. Not having to worry about eating or having a place to live gives me a lot of freedom to squander my time writing occasionally funny articles. See more almost funny stuff at http://inyear252509.wordpress.com/

3 thoughts on “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Aretha Sang It, Obama Shows It

  1. Well duh, I got your intent! You should be proud of the passion you’re able to bring to this genre; I sure couldn’t write along such lines.

    While I wouldn’t as President (or private citizen) bow to Japan’s Emperor, England’s Queen, or the Pope, I do get the gesture Mr. Obama is trying for.

    It’s about ‘US just wants to be your good neighbor nation.’ I wish him luck with that. The gesture (and I don’t judge it as insincere) plays very well with some US voters.

    …and it plays very poorly with other US voters. Division exists, it gets exploited for profit in the media. If Olbermann was making $7M, I imagine Beck’s getting paid well too.

    BTW sir? You’re wrong about McCain’s service record not getting attacked in 2008.

    I gotta go make fun of Donald Rumsfeld now.

  2. OK LB, ya dragged me into it again:

    First let me say that the intent of this article was that Obama returned showing respect to both individuals and to other nations as a whole. That was its main intent. I am sure that had McCain won he would have been similar in his attitude. He certainly would have been a lot better than a phony, ignorant Bush II and a snidely Macbethesque Cheney.

    Yep, you are right. Obama is going along with the Patriot Act. Your mentioning it made me aware of it. Thanks. I wonder who talked him into that one.
    I feel Obama has the right intents, but is caving in to much to people and institutions putting pressure on him that we cannot see.

    Again you are right on the advisers. It is scary how these SOBs slither their way in to where they want to be. I became aware of it seeing the movie ‘Inside Job’ which I highly recommend to anyone trying to make sense of the financial meltdown. Excellent documentary. And they even show pictures of these weasels sitting in Obama’s Cabinet.

    The bowing was overrated claptrap by the you know who press and politicians so fossilized they should be in the British parliament instead of ours.

    The Viet Vets throwing of their medals was a reaction to the military and political tyranny of the time. I remember it first hand. These guys were considered heroes at the time because they were standing up to forces that wanted to keep them and the American people in ignorance of what the war was all about. Soldiers were drafted then, not enlisted like now. They had no choice. I remember reading of a recruit in training camp writing of how his drill sergeant ordered everyone to vote for Nixon. So much for civil liberties.
    My point was that before all veterans were treated with respect. The Swift Boat menagerie lowered the bar and now has made it OK to tear down people who had served our country in its most demanding capacity. Although it is interesting that no one went after McCain’s service record. The politicos behind Bush’s Campaign (and this is most certainly Karl Rove in particular) had no scruples in their quest for planting a corporate puppet in the top pulpit.

  3. Serious commentary merits thoughtful rebuttal.

    Paragraph 6: I presume refers to Patriot Act? President Obama now appears to think it’s just fine. The world’s respect is lost when US fights a war with the National Guard and private contractors, where reason for war seems to change every 3 months and there’s no exit strategy. World respects strength.

    Paragraph 7: His true concern for the non-moneyed involves just about all his economic advisers being Goldman Sachs alumni. Why is Wall St. bad when GOP is in WH but good when Dems are in WH?

    Paragraph 8: I’ll give him a pass on bowing. Maybe he dropped something and the Emperor was just nearby. I do think gifting the Queen of England an I-pod with some of his speeches pre-loaded was a bit gauche. And his Cairo speech strained to draw some very thin equivalencies between US treatment of women and some Arabic culture behaviors.

    Paragraph 12: You almost had me there. Brilliant satire, brilliant! John Kerry disgraced his own military medals in 1970. There’s footage of him, as a VVAW leader throwing medals over WH fence. Implication being he regretted service and rebuked authority that gave him those medals. That was for TV though. He explained in 2004 those weren’t really his medals… what a simp!

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