Thursday, January 8, 2009

Politeness and Respect

Have you noticed that society is becoming less and less respectful of everyone and everything than it used to be? I fear that as the world spins faster and faster, we are becoming a ruder people.

Case in point: The American presidency. I remember when newspaper stories would always refer to the United States president as “Mr.” In fact, I remember reading this dictum in the very first Associated Press Stylebook that I owned. Whenever people referred to the president in everyday conversation, we’d also pay him that respect.

No more. Now it’s “Bush,” and “Clinton” and “Reagan” and “Carter” and lately, “Obama.”

The American news media are the instigators of this change. Do you remember when they changed? It was when Richard Nixon’s shameful Watergate cover-ups were being reported. That’s when the news media dropped the respectful “Mr.” title. President Nixon’s actions lost the respect that our nation’s presidents had enjoyed.

I guess as a people, we are our own worst enemies when it comes to being polite and respectful.


Montee said...

Yes, Watergate caused disrespect for the Presidency. That's my opinion too. Obama is sometimes even referred to as, Barrack. Craig, I gave you an award on my blog because you are so "refreshing."

My husband is receiving an award from the Braves on January 31st. We are going to Atlanta. I hate flying, but I will suck it up. Did you see the Braves have lost Smoltz now? The fans in Atlanta want the GM's head.

casch said...

You are oh so true, the other thing that drives me a little crazy ~~when they refer to "Bush" and President Obama. He's not the prez until 1/20 and until then, I think we should still refer to "Bush" as Mr. Bush or President Bush. Just me venting.

Toyoki said...

Thanks for the award, Montee, and congrats to your hubby! Give the Atlanta GM a slap on the face for me.

You're abba-solutely right, Carolyn, Just because one doesn't like Mr. Bush, there's no reason not to respect the office.