‘We owe our political heads an open mind and the chance to lead’

Jan 12, 2020
This community writer is concerned about a lack of respect for elected leaders, saying constant condemnation is doing no one any good. Source: Getty Images

Recently I was wandering around the shops looking for a unique novelty type of gift for a special friend. I came across a bottle brush with a plastic Donald Trump’s head … It was called Mr President. I walked a couple more steps and their was ‘novelty toilet paper’ with his face on it. I thought, ‘Really? Why is this allowed? Where is the respect?’

I don’t recall the current United States president ever claiming to be a politician, but I feel he was immediately expected to have the attitude and mindset of one. However, from what I do know about Trump, he has been a successful businessman. Americans voted him into the White House, however tight the margin, yet the condemnation of him never ends. He must be doing something right … America has not imploded or fallen off the face of the earth.

When other world leaders were busted gossiping about President Trump at NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), their behaviour — which I saw as nothing more than that of children in high school — was swept under the rug and the emphasis was quickly back on Trump and his actions (which were to leave the event early). Was he expected to stay there knowing that other leaders not only disrespected him but also the multitude of people that voted him into office? Maybe they are jealous because he does not huddle in a corner talking behind others’ backs … He seems to have the intestinal fortitude to say what he thinks.

According to global media he has done absolutely nothing since being voted into office. Nothing positive is ever said about the man, but when he makes even the most trivial of mistakes it is worldwide news.

In Australia, where I live, I find the same behaviour starting the cement itself into our society. Whoever is voted in as prime minister is immediately heckled, belittled or attacked. It would appear, based on those who make the most noise, that our elected representative should be removed from office as soon as possible. It no longer appears in the realm of political parties to do everything possible to throw a spanner into the operations of the sitting government; social media and its keyboard warriors play their part too.

I believe anyone who is voted into representative office deserves a degree of respect. An elected leader, regardless of which side of the political fence you sit on, should be given some opportunity to carry out the responsibilities of their position without constant negativity, which seems to extend to not just their position but their personal lives, the family members and private associations.

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Are we troubled by an absence of respect in politics? Should politicians ever be accorded respect?

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