I received an email yesterday that asked me if I had a "problem with authority". It's taken me until today to perform sufficient self-examination to answer that question.
Yes, I have a problem with authority.
However, I don't think this is a bad thing. I don't disrespect authority for the sake of disrespecting it. I disrespect perceived authority. Now, allow me to explain. In my eyes, respect is earned. Just because you are placed in a position of authority, does not necessarily afford you my complete respect. I will respect the position you are in, and until you display to me otherwise, I will assume that you deserve said respect. However, when you think that merely because you are IN the position that you DESERVE the respect, therein where you and I will have an issue and where I will have a 'problem' with your authority.
When I was in the Marine Corps, we had a platoon commander who was a gunnery sergeant (E7). This guy was a complete shitbag. I'm honestly not sure how he got that high in rank, but obviously it had something to do with chapstick and the "don't ask/don't tell policy". He would show up to inspections with his uniform jacked up, he'd skip PT because he had a 'bad knee' (yet wouldn't bother going to sick call to get that knee fixed or examined), and generally was a bad Marine. He and I had issues. I was a squad leader and would regularly butt heads with him. Not enough to get an article 15, but enough to where he knew that I knew that he was a LIFER (lazy ignorant f*&$*!r expecting retirement). When he was first named to the platoon commander position, I was unfamiliar with him and afforded him the respect the position deserved. Once I saw him fall out for an inspection wearing utilities that were obviously bleached, not sun-faded, I knew that this guy had spent about as much time in the field as my dress blues. Then his actions, disrespecting the platoon, throwing guys under the bus to save his own ass, and volunteering us for duty just to make him look good, certified it for me that he would get the respect the position deserved, no more, no less.
Fast forward to today. I respect the position of the President of the United States. I respect the position of Senator or Representative. However, many of the current occupants of these offices have done absolutely nothing to EARN that respect. In fact, many of them have denigrated the very offices they hold and if true legal scholars would examine their actions have proven themselves to be a domestic enemy of the constitution (part of the oath that you take when you enlist in any service promises to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign & domestic), which I am attempting to defend the constitution against.
When President Reagan bombed Libya after they bombed the United flight over Lockerbie, he earned respect. When he promised to defeat the Soviets in the cold war and then took action to do so, he earned respect.
When President Bush promised that no hostile actions against relatively unarmed countries like Kuwait would go unchallenged and led us into Desert Shield/Storm, he earned respect.
When President Clinton worked to reform welfare and held fast to the no-fly zone in Iraq, he earned respect.
When President Bush (W) took the war to the Afghans after 9/11, creating the Bush Doctrine (that no terrorist action would go unpunished), he earned respect.
I cannot think of a single thing that President Obama has done to earn my respect. I've tried. Since yesterday afternoon, while I was composing this post, I've gone over the things he's proposed, even the things that failed, and yet, I cannot come up with a single thing that he's done to earn my respect. Not one thing came to mind. I'll acknowledge that I'm sure there's SOMETHING, he's done that would gain him respect, but thus far, I'm drawing a blank.
Now, each and every one of these presidents, including the several before them as well, starting with Johnson, also did one major thing that caused them to not only lose respect in my eyes, but also significantly weaken this country: They've all spent OUR money like drunken sailors.
- Johnson started with the "War on Poverty" (which has worked so well).
- Nixon with, well, the War in Vietnam (continuing the Johnson policy, btw).
- Ford...well, he wasn't in office long enough to do much damage,
- Carter created the Energy & Education departments, collosal wastes of money
- Reagan spent money blindly on Defense, albeit much of that was in response to Nixon/Ford/Carter making huge cuts, but there was zero accountability. If he wanted to do it right, he would have made sure that every PENNY was spent making us stronger, rather than making defense contractors richer
- Bush kept spending and told us to "read his lips", meanwhile his actions said "read my hips (aka kiss my ass)" while he raised taxes.
- Clinton spent money like a wild man, only saved by the fact that the economy was ridiculously robust (No thanks to him...the real Bill that should be thanked for that robust economy is Bill Gates, who Clinton went after as if he stole his tricycle), and let China steal our technology
- W- again, spent money like a drunken sailor, let China steal more of our technology, and got us involved in a war that had no real end-game and where politicians once-again were allowed to run the show rather than military leaders. I have no problem with blasting Iraq, honestly, since I think we should have been allowed to do so 10 years earlier in Desert Storm, but the fact that the rules of engagment were ridiculous and politicians were allowed to whine, cry, and call our troops terrorists, murderers, etc., is unacceptable.
- Obama - Not only spent money like a drunken sailor, but made the other presidents before him look like pikers in this particular skill. Additionally, has implemented a healthcare plan that will make everyone wish that he'd go back to the spending levels of his first term.
So, essentially what I'm trying to say is, I don't have a problem with authority per se. I have a problem with idiots (and their supporters) who abuse authority and then tell me I'm supposed to respect them.