Yesterday when I turned on the TV and the kids saw Barack Obama taking the oath, Michael reacted with a loud, "Boooooo!" Knowing, shamefully, that his reaction was based purely on tidbits of opinion he has gleaned from his mom and dad's conversations over the past year or so, I paused the ceremony to discuss with the kids the respect we are to have for our country's leader. No matter who he is. No matter how much we disagree with him. God has placed this man in a huge position of authority, and we are to honor the position and the person in that position.
Our former president deserves our respect and honor as well, I think, now more than ever. I didn't agree with everything he did during his eight years, but I respect him deeply for the man he was. He stood by his principles no matter what the opinion polls showed. And the gracious respect he extended toward Obama during transition has been, even according to learned historians, unmatched in history. Did you know some past presidents refused to even talk to the incoming president? Then of course there was the Trash-the-White-House-Clinton transition in 2001. But George Bush? He treated Obama with decency and respect, and I think, in light of how Bush has been treated by the Democrats, this goes a long way to show you the kind of man he is. As I watched Bush deliver his witty, heart-felt, genuinely warm speech last night at his Welcome Home celebration in Texas, I had to admire the grace and dignity with which he left office. I hope his legacy will be wrapped in that same grace and dignity.
As for our new president, I hope that despite all of the strong opinions my children have heard my husband and me issue, we will be successful in teaching them that we must support our leaders. I know I will support President Obama...and with much more respect and honor than was extended to our former president by those on the "other" side.