With the Memorial Day holiday quickly speeding towards the Fourth of July, it’s clear that summer is the season when we celebrate America and the actions of Americans. The freedom, integrity, sacrifice and democracy we celebrate are just a few of the attributes that make America great. And among the country’s other virtues, a deep and abiding respect for our rich history and the values that inspire people to keep dreaming the American dream is something most Americans cherish.
But it’s clear from their actions in recent weeks that Conservatives have lost sight of this essential value. The public perception of our President has been hijacked by a right wing intent on streaming offensive caricatures of Obama across the airwaves 24/7 and boldly, repeatedly disrespecting Obama. The most recent American Crossroads Private Equity ad portrays Obama as a bobble head stockbroker making bad deals with American taxpayer funds. Rush Limbaugh’s website has Obama wearing a tacky “Spending King” crown against a bright red background of money, making the president look like a cash-flashing, burger-hawking Lucifer. This is absolutely outrageous. The man is the President of the United States of America, not a cartoon. Frankly, he should never be portrayed as such.
How can we expect to be taken seriously when our nation’s most iconic figure is constantly portrayed as a cartoon character? There’s a reason a picture is worth a thousand words – the right has begun using imagery in a way that lowers the value of the presidential office. If conservatives are touting themselves as the party of American ideals, as the people who honor our forefathers, how can they consistently disrespect the station of the President? The constant attacks detract from a connection that unifies Americans: Just as the vast majority of Americans would never burn a flag, they should never desecrate the presidency no matter who holds the office. No American is forced to like Obama or his politics, but all Americans should respect the position he holds. That’s as American as apple pie.