Class vs. Classless


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Unlike many other countries, yesterday we in the U.S.A. witnessed a peaceful transfer of power from President George Bush to President Barack Obama.  Most of us don’t realize it or, if we do, even act like it.  Other nations go through bloody battles, fighting foreign nations or even amongst themselves in civil war.  Bloodshed is not uncommon in the transfer of power from one national leader to another.

Yesterday, both President Obama and former President Bush showed great class towards each other and their nation.  In the days leading up to Obama’s nomination, President Bush was gracious and humble, not arrogant  and hateful like some of his detractors.  However, just because there is no violence in our customary exchanging of leaders, doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some who act in a shameful manner.

Case in point, this video from yesterday’s festivities…Listen closely to what the crowd is singing as President Bush approaches the podium:

We, as a country of free people, have a right to act in any manner we wish.  However, having the freedom to do it also means having the self-restraint to not exercise that freedom on all occasions.  Just because I can be nasty to someone doesn’t mean that I should be.

As I’ve stated numerous times elsewhere and perhaps in a post or two here on this blog, I’m not a big fan of Bush as a President.  He’s disappointed me over and over again on several issues, including his lack of use of the Presidential veto, his stance on border security and illegal immigration, execution of the war on terror, etc., etc.  However, my opposition to some of his policies doesn’t give me the moral right to act like an imbecile and treat him like a piece of crap.

Bush has been called just about every name under the sun, including criminal, evil, dictator, etc., and, for the most part, has ignored it without returning the favor, much to his credit.  I’ve personally heard him referred to as an idiot, dunce, and even a cancer.  Some Senators and Representatives have accused him of purposely air raiding villages and killing women and children.  He’s had every label in the book applied to him and probably some that aren’t.

This doesn’t extend just to politics and political figures.  Just drive on your local highway for any length of time and I guarantee you that you’ll see an example of it before too long.  Hang out around the water cooler at work and see how long it is before the office gossip starts up their daily routine.  It’s an epidemic.

Anyway, my appeal is to those I spoke of earlier who have the right to say and do these things but the responsibility not to.  Why not show the same kind of self-restraint and dignity that President Obama has shown towards George Bush?  Suck it up and actually display that “change we can believe in” that Obama has spoken so much about.

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