Respect public offices, both sides of aisle


I have gotten into a habit of listening to audio books each morning after breakfast. Reading is slowly becoming a part of my past due to a bad right eye (due to age and too many football blows to the head).

It has become an hour or more of pleasure and lately, I am listening to a history of Ben Franklin, maybe my favorite forefather. I have read or listened to several and I find something new about this great man in each one I get into.

Ben had many sayings, and one I heard recently made great sense in our current times. It went something like this: “He who fails to listen to the argument of one’s opponents soon becomes his own opponent.”

In light of this, I recalled President Trump’s State of the Union speech recently, and several of his opponents walked out. Tim Ryan, an Ohio Congressman, was one who left early.

I can only hope that those who live in his district noticed this. What an Un-American, childish thing to do. In fact I saw a number of childish things. It looked like a number of Congresswomen got lost and were in the wrong room. Do they know how really stupid they look, and the real elected members of Congress must also think the same!

And the topper was when the Speaker of the House tore up the president’s speech. Most of us who love our country recognize that Americans are electing some strange and uneducated people to some very important offices. There is a word — respect — that they do not understand.

As an American history and government teacher for many years, I realize that we have had a number of characters elected to public office in this great country. I always tried to tell my students that our process of free elections is the only way to make change.

I think many of the people I refer to need a refresher course in government and good manners. I have too much pride and respect for our great country to see this kind of disrespect…

Tony Lamke

Wilmington