Over the last four years, I have found myself shocked and amazed at the things that people have said and done regarding our current president, President Barack Obama. From the proud display of very racist bumper stickers that encouraged citizens to simply “vote American” and public demands that President Obama produce a birth certificate to prove that he is, in fact, American, to tweets from 16-year old girls proclaiming that “someone needs to assassinate [him]…like ASAP,” the disrespect has truly been plentiful.
I watched, in horror, the governor of Arizona literally step into the face of the leader of the free world and point her finger at him as she spewed out terse words as if he were the subordinate. I wondered, as I am sure you did, how she was even able to get her hand that close and for so long without being tumultuously tackled by Secret Service agents. I was ashamed and appalled at the news that the Kansas House Speaker referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as “Mrs. Yo Mama” and circulated an email referencing the President that prayed that his days would “be few,” his wife a widow and his children fatherless. I am still confused about how both have been able to keep their jobs with seemingly no political fallout. He is the PRESIDENT of the United States for God’s sake. And speaking of President, I cringe every time (every. single. time.) I hear political pundits refer to him as Mr. Obama. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure you address a sitting president as President or Mr. President but never Mister alone. What gives?
If these—arguably treasonous—acts are not egregious enough for you, then I’ve got something that is. In a recent interview on a North Carolina radio program, The Bill Lumaye Show, Tagg Romney told the listening audience that he wanted to scurry down to the stage and “take a swing” at President Obama. Tagg, the eldest of Mitt Romney’s five sons, told Lumaye after being asked about hearing President Obama call his father a liar that hearing that makes one want to “jump out of your seat and you want to rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at him. But you know you can’t do that because… Well, first there is a lot of Secret Service between you and him but also because this is the nature of the process.”
Can we get one thing straight? This isn’t about Secret Service or any process. One should be compelled not to assault the President of the United States maybe because he’s the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES…and that’s kind of a big deal. There is no mention in Tagg’s speech that the respect for the high office, the very office his father aspires to, would keep him from taking a swing. His paramount concern appears to be the inability to do so because of the barrier the Secret Service presents. It troubles me that the son of a government official is comfortable speaking so cavalierly in public and on record about the President of the United States with no fear of recourse. His words reveal blatant disrespect for the Commander-In-Chief. It is one thing to feel a certain way; who can argue with feelings? However, not having the good sense to refrain from vocalizing those feelings is an entirely other thing.
Mitt Romney is Tagg’s father, and there are some things kids just get honestly. We’ve watched the governor bulldoze his way over debate moderators and behave as if he is an equal to the President, another case where he displays faulty arithmetic. Governor equals President said no one ever. But I’ll stop here because I don’t have it in me to address both Mitt Romney’s issues and those of his son’s at one time. His grown son. That would take all day.
This Tagg incident is upsetting in ways untold. As I think on his words, I am reminded of the comedian, Cedric the Entertainer, who taught us that there are some people who live by the “Wish Creed.” And on that note, Tagg honey, I’m calling your father a liar. You want to take a swing? I wish you would…
Am I alone in this, or do Tagg Romney’s words unsettle you as much as they unsettle me?
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.