It is no secret that I want Mitt Romney to win tomorrow. Maybe even more than I wanted the Portland Trailblazers to win the NBA title in 1990, which is saying something. I want Romney to win because I see him as a man of character, integrity, humility and goodness. Plus our country is pretty screwed up, and Romney is a proven problem solver . To be honest, if he doesn’t win, I am not sure I will be able to get out of bed on Wednesday.
But no matter what happens tomorrow, I am going to call the man that wins President.
It will be either President Obama or President Romney.
It is not Obummer or O.B.A.M.A (One Big Ass Mistake America) or BO. It is President Barack Obama.
Likewise, it is not Mittens or Williard or Mutt, or my personal favorite, Mitt. It is President Mitt Romney.
My observation of titles was piqued during past elections. I listened to news anchors, journalists, reporters, lay men, etc in the media and I would often hear “President Obama” and then “George Bush” or I would hear “President George W. Bush” and “Barack”. Leaving off “President” was a subtle jab and an indication of the commentators’ allegiance.
But here is the truth:
No matter what your political affiliation, you use the title President for former and current Presidents of the United States.
And this is why:
The title ‘President’ is an indication of your respect for the office, not the man. So it is always President Obama and President Bush- always. And crossing my fingers– it will be President Romney.
The use of titles goes past the office of President. It goes into our schools and into our churches as well.
There is the growing trend for kids, especially teenagers, to leave off titles from their teachers and leaders. And the leaders and teachers go with it because it makes them feel hip and young. It makes them think the kids like them more or they are connecting or they are special somehow.
But all the adult leaders are doing when they don’t expect titles is disrespecting the position and the relationship. Remember, we aren’t buddies or bffs, we are teachers and leaders.
And no one would argue that kids respect adult authority like they used to. Maybe the decline in respect isn’t the kids fault? Maybe it is ours. Maybe the lack of respect has something to do with the lax attitude we adults have towards titles and the permission we give them to call us less than we are.
Here is a personal example:
When my husband was asked to be the Bishop of our church ward at the age of 28 it was hard for many, including me, to use the title of Bishop. Chad was younger than every guy in our ward, but one. And some of the people had a bit of a problem with a younger guy with bleached tips having a position of authority over them. And the youth had a problem with putting such a old, formal title on someone they didn’t really see as old or formal. It was hard to call him Bishop Erickson.
My husband was too nice and too humbled and didn’t really want to be called Bishop anyway, so he didn’t push it. And then it was even more awkward when people would ask, “What should we call him?” as if he were different than any other Bishop.
So I became his title advocate. I first had to convince Chad that he should expect people to call him Bishop. I told him it wasn’t him they were respecting, but the office and position of Bishop. And to discount his position was to discount revelation.
(And you should know that once a Bishop always a Bishop. They are ordained to the office of Bishop not just called to a calling. So when your Bishop gets released you still use the title Bishop.)
And now that Chad serves in the Stake Presidency, his proper title is President. But people still can’t get it down. In fact, last year, we were at a church function and a man in a leadership position who knew better (he is a punk anyway and I would punch him in the face if I weren’t such a lady:)) said, “Is Chad here?” I looked him square in the eye and replied, “President Erickson is right over there.” He smirked at me and I smirked back, but he got the message.
Now I don’t insist on Bishop or President because I think my husband deserves these titles or because I have some ego about it.
Frankly, I hate it.
I couldn’t kiss my husband for a good month after he got called as Bishop. The title and calling was an instant turn off. But I insisted on the titles because I want to show respect for the position … no matter who holds it.
And the same goes for our United States. It is President Obama and (crossing my fingers and bending my knees) it is President Romney. Whomever. It doesn’t matter. Anyone who is President of the United States, whether you like him or not, whether you respect his policies or not, whether you agree with him or not, is charged to do a great work and deserves the respect of a proper title.
So teach your kids that there is President
and Mr. and Mrs.
or Miss or Ms.
and in my church there is President, Bishop, and Brother and Sister.
And maybe when more adults start using proper titles and showing respect for the President of the United States, as well as our teachers and our church leaders, then our kids will too.