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Civility should not be abandoned for political arguments

            When Donald Trump was president, there was a song often heard at protests with the title and chorus and maybe only lyrics “_______ Donald Trump.” And as the old Christmas Story movie says, it was the queen mother of all obscenities.

            Now that Joe Biden is president, his critics have flags repeating this phrase but with Joe Biden instead of Donald Trump, obviously.

            And there are vehicle stickers showing the cartoon kid urinating on the Biden name.

            Presumably if Mr. Trump retakes the White House in 2024, we’ll see new anti-Trump messaging follow along.

            Free speech, particularly regarding politicians is pretty much wide open and apparently even displaying the F word on a vehicle is both legal and tolerated.

            Going back literally to ancient Rome, passing through the Founding Fathers, there is a proud tradition of political jokes and creative statements including the Let’s Go Brandon phrase, which are funny and creative. Some of the imitations of both Trump and Biden on Saturday Night Live and other comedy shows are hilarious precisely because they pinpoint the shortcomings of our politicians.

            But, it’s hard to imagine George Washington publicly being so crude as to let fly, “that John Adams is a real _______ing *&^%.” It would have lowered our estimation of Number 1 as much as the target of his verbal gut-punch.

            Having the right to speak truth to power, to state your political views in the strongest words possible is sacred in this country but we’d encourage a little thought on whether some of the more crude depictions are appropriate in a public setting?

            Admittedly there is a fine line in expressing political disagreement and still be respectful of our nation. After all whether it’s Trump, Biden, or maybe Trump again, they are the commander in chief of our armed forces and the elected head of the United States of America – and that still means something, so a little respect please, if not for the men, then for the office and the nation and its history.

            A few questions we might pose regarding some of the more crude depictions of any of the top political leaders.

            • Would the people still have their flags and stickers if it said “F*** the President of the United States” rather than someone’s name?

            • Would people find it amusing if they saw on cable news,  people in the Middle East waving some of the same political flags or wearing t-shirts showing some kid peeing on our country’s president’s image? Or what about if Russians were doing it? Would the foreigners then be considered political allies?

            • Is it still funny to see jokes about our nation’s president or past president made by a snobbish guy in Europe?

            • Do you pull up at church with a flag that has the F-bomb on it?

            • Do you buy a “urinate on someone” sticker for your grandmother’s car?

            • What do our international rivals, such as China, think when they see the jokes and stickers? Is it, “What a great country America must be with so much freedom of expression?” Or is it, “The cracks are forming over there and now is our chance?”

            If you are answering negatively to any of these questions, might we suggest, you maintain your freedom of speech in the strongest terms possible and stick to your political views but  express it in ways that wouldn’t give hope to other nations wanting to see America fall apart and offend the crowd when you pull up at a Sunday School cookout.

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