Thursday, June 28, 2012

POTUS – The Impact of Lower Standards

After the Supreme Court ruling today that President Obama’s Healthcare Plan would stand, there were three tweets from the Democrat camp that really surprised and disappointed me.

The first was from Patrick Gaspard, Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee:


The second is from Greg Greene, the Media Outreach Director for the Democratic National Committee:


Being gutless about standing behind what he said, Mr. Greene deleted the tweet when it started to circulate around the web.  Unfortunately what is said on the web is forever, even if the source is deleted.

The third, and most surprising, was from President Barack Obama’s own twitter account:


Now don’t get me wrong.  Having worked on Wall St. for many years, I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination.

However, hearing the President of the United States (or someone speaking on his behalf) imply the F word in an apparent taunt to citizens against Obamacare sets the bar to a new low in my mind.

No President is perfect and in private, Presidents have no doubt had much to say that reflected their gratitude for certain slices of America and their disappointment (or disgust) with other slices.  However, I’ve never seen a President so confident that he (or one of his representatives) would insult or taunt Americans.

In fact, in an election year, we usually see Presidents and candidates alike try to balance keeping everyone happy, promising what they can deliver while being vague and elusive (but without a definitive no) regarding things they can’t or won’t deliver.

When phrases such as “bitches”, “mother f’ers” or “still a BFD” are used, it lowers the sense of decorum and dignity of the Office of the President, the Office that represents the values and ideals that America stands for.

Values like courtesy and respect.

When the bar of respect is lowered, the nature of the dialog between the Office of the President and citizens changes also.  With the veneer of decorum and dignity further tarnished by these tweets today, I was amazed at how many people on Twitter responded by throwing the F-bomb right back at the President.

I remember a time when few people would dare say such a thing to the President.  Whether you liked the man in office or not, and whether you swore about him in the local coffee shop or bar, if you were addressing the President, you had the respect to address him as Mr. President.

It seems that once the bar was lowered by the POTUS (or his campaign staff), the level of conversation and dialog took on a new disrespectful tone.

And in times like these, with many challenges still ahead of us, this is not the time to establish a diminished standard of dialog that produces nothing but taunts and insults.

We still need to pull together and set the standard for decorum, dignity and respect to solve these challenges and to provide an example of citizenship and leadership that we want our children to model.

It is, after all, their future that we are creating, both in our choices of word and action today and the standards by which we wish them to live by tomorrow.

Standards that are established by how we live today.

In service and servanthood,


PS I’m aware that the twitter account for the President is shared by the President and his campaign staff and because of this, every tweet that appears isn’t necessarily typed by the President.

However, if I authorize someone to post tweets on my behalf, I make sure that such persons are in resonance with my values and beliefs since they are representing my values and beliefs with every message they post.  I am also responsible for any content that appears and if negative content is presented, I am required to address the matter appropriately.

For this reason, every tweet that appears under the President’s twitter account in fact represents the President’s values and beliefs unless he takes action to the contrary.

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