No, I Do Not Have to Respect the President.

Ashtyn Britt


I already know this article is going to provoke some outraged emails. Before everyone gets to their email accounts to chew me out though, let me start by saying I am going to do my best to not actually talk about the current president. Despite the title, this article isn’t really about the United State’s current president, but in fact all of the United States presidents.

I believe that our first amendment gives us the right to criticize whoever is in office, or celebrities, or even each other as citizens. We as Americans have every right to feel and believe what we feel and believe. This right is, in fact, the greatest freedom in the United States. In fact, the subject about whether citizens have to respect a president just because they’re the president was literally an argument that our founding fathers had often when deciding on what should become a part of the United States Constitution. It was eventually decided that our right to criticize the government, and the people who hold office, should be protected at all cost to avoid tyranny.

This is because if any president gained too much power and blind obedience from citizens, it could allow a president to commit heinous and illegal acts against the American people while also having the American people’s complacency. It could allow a president to quickly become a dictator, and for citizens to lose their rights, just because they “respected” that president too much to speak out against them. Even if the theoretical president was doing something clearly wrong and unjust. Keep in mind, anyone could become president, and anyone could become a corrupt president. It is important to always remember that president or not, evil is evil and should always be fought against.

It seems that lately, everyone has forgotten that little detail. I have noticed an alarming amount of people saying they support or respect the current president simply because of his title and blindly support anything he does without even looking into the effects he may cause. These same people are also quick to criticize others who don’t fall into the same line of thinking.

I am very patient and typically don’t ask them if they respected the previous president in the same way, often because I already know that they haven’t. In fact, when once questioned, the other person confirmed they hadn’t respected our previous president because they didn’t agree with his policies or beliefs. I was quick to point out how it is exactly no different than my feelings, or anyone else’s opinion, towards the current president.

If you respect the current president because you like him as a man, then at least have the guts to admit that instead of trying to hide behind some faux sense of patriotism. Most patriots remember our right to criticize the president as we please, and some even fight for you to have the same right to criticize other presidents. In short, next time you think about making a status complaining about how everyone should respect the president unconditionally, remember the loyalists to King George all those many years ago. Also, remember to not be a hypocrite if you know for a fact that you openly detested previous presidents. Hypocrisy isn’t becoming.

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