The position of president of the United States is one that has long demanded respect. Forty-four men have served as the head of state and government of the U.S. since the office was established in 1789, when George Washington won the unanimous vote of the Electoral College.
From Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt and George H.W. Bush, each came from different walks of life, represented different political parties and entered their presidencies with different agendas. Some found themselves with a country on the brink of war, while others were confronted with issues of slavery, nuclear weapons, succession and immigration.
Despite the uniqueness of each presidency, these 44 men—for better or worse—retained one common goal: the desire to do what they felt was best for the nation at the given time.
These men were not saints, superheroes or saviors. Their numerous blunders, scandals and mistakes cost many men and women their jobs and, in some cases, their lives. Despite their shortcomings, however, the presidents are men we respect and admire to this day.
That is, until now.
It is more than two years since President Donald Trump took office and became the 45th president of the United States; more than two years filled with “offensive” tweets, a government shutdown and enough Make America Great Again red hats to last a lifetime.
The past two years have also seen the best unemployment rates in the past decade, immigration enforcement increased by 30 percent and a historic push for peace with North Korea.
The impressive statistics from President Trump’s first two years in office are buried so deep under the masses of editorial headlines and anti-Trump posters, however, that the majority of Americans cannot see how our country is better off in many ways than it was two years ago.
Do I agree with every tweet President Trump has sent out during his first two years in office or nodded my head in agreement with every decision he has made? Of course not. But, when President Trump addressed the nation during Tuesday’s State of the Union Address and encouraged the people of America to choose greatness, I looked forward to hearing his “agenda for the American people” that he hoped would “achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans.”
As President Trump laid out his plan for healthcare, border control, international trade and a united Congress, however, he was met with groans, eye rolls and smirks from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders in attendance.
I can only imagine the founding fathers of this nation rolling their eyes and groaning as George Washington first mapped out his plans for the 13 colonies in 1776 or during Abraham Lincoln’s historic Emancipation Proclamation, which freed over 500,000 people from the bondage of slavery. Or, just picture what the media response would have been if former House Speaker Paul Ryan had behaved in the same manner as Pelosi during Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address in 2016.
Somewhere during the last 230 years, it seems we, as a country, have lost respect for the position of president, something I fear is a grave injustice to the men who helped shape this nation founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As Tiger Woods said during a news conference in August, “You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
I am not asking you to vote for President Trump in 2020. I am not even asking you to like the man, but I am asking you to respect the position he holds as the current president of the United States. Whether you bleed red, blue or something in between, President Trump is the leader of the free world and therefore worthy of your respect, just as much so as the 44 men who walked before him.