In the middle of my morning 5-mile walk, I met someone whom I have not seen since the start of the pandemic. He happens to be registered as an NPA (No PoliticalAffiliation).
He said to me ‘I have looked forward to seeing you and talking about the pandemic, all that is going on, the November election and President Trump.’
He respectfully placed the emphasis on the word President, then smiled, and said ‘See, I remembered what you told me!’
We both shared the moment of a positive lesson learned and then talked about the difficult job of leading the Country or a state through these unchartered waters. We also talked about living through the polio epidemic when we were in elementary school, our parents’ fears for us then, and the difficult time ahead for all our elected officials waiting for a vaccine and then the potential issues with a vaccine.
While this person is still undecided for whom he will vote in November, he recognizes the importance of respect for the office of the President, and for any office held by an elected official, based on a conversation he and I had 5 years ago during the Presidential Primary.
About 10 years ago, I had the privilege of meeting and having coffee with the former White House Pastry Chef who served under 5 Presidents. He grew up in France, moved here, and is extremely proud to have become a U.S. Citizen. It was from him that I fully internalized the concept of respect for the office that is due the officeholder . He had served under Presidents of both Parties. He was clear that he disapproved of anyone saying ‘Bush,’ ‘Clinton,’ or calling any President by his last name only. It is Mr. President, or President Bush or President Clinton.
We are all accustomed to campaign slogans of ‘Women for Trump’ or ‘Trump for President’. We hear supporters frequently saying ‘Trump this’ or ‘Trump that, ‘ but in a supportive and affirming manner. However, when I hear someone saying ‘Trump did such and such’ in a derogatory tone, I stop them and say politely ‘Excuse me, it’s President Trump.
While you may disagree with him. He is the President and is due the respect of being referred to as such. The office of the President is representative of every American Citizen. When you disrespect that office by merely calling him ‘Trump,’ you are not only being disrespectful of him but of every American citizen.
I would appreciate your referring to him as President Trump.’ About 90% of the time, I have found the message works. When it doesn’t, I just reinforce the next time, politely.
I suggest that you try this with those who upset you with their anti-Trump talk. Bullying never works, it just creates a wider-divide. Be reasonable and respectful. The more people say “President Trump,’ the more they will internalize that he is the President and that he should continue to be the President!