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KATIE ZERR: Respecting the office, not the man

One of my tirades against something the president did or said this week brought a comment from my friend and co-worker Jay Davis that set me back on my heels a bit.
“Show some respect,” he said as I went on about the president.
I stopped and clarified that I respect the office and always have. I don’t respect the man who now holds it.
Jay told me that because he holds the office the president, he deserves respect.
We then had one of our classic back and forths and ended up agreeing on some points, but his words stuck with me.
Later that day I thought again about the context in which Jay’s words were spoken. I probably used Rex Tillerson’s description of the president during the discussion, prompting Jay to reprimand me.
I was raised to respect my elders, respect the law and respect those of authority. I was also raised to believe that those who show me they don’t deserve that respect should not receive it.
This president has shown me time and time again he does not deserve my respect. From the manner in which he campaigned, calling his opponents on both sides of the aisle, demeaning names like a 10-year-old bully, to his blatant disrespect of women and most of all, his demeaning comments about John McCain, who gave so much in service to our country, this man does not deserve my respect.
I have tried to temper my attitude toward the president, but his words and actions show me he is exactly the kind of man I think he is, and my disgust for him deepens.
The hypocrisy of some who support the man would be hilarious if it were not so dangerous.
I listened to conservative Christians call him a man of great faith this week and it nearly drove me over the edge.
I wondered how a man who cheated on two wives, having multiple affairs, can be a man of great faith.
I wondered how the people of New Jersey and Puerto Rico felt when they heard this man, who refused to pay contractors for the work they did on his hotels and casinos, destroyed contractors and bankrupted their businesses, being called a man of great faith.
I wondered how women who have been degraded, threatened and called liars for coming forward with their Weinsteinesque encounters with this man felt when they heard that phrase.
I wondered how the families of those who gave their lives in Vietnam felt when the man who dodged the draft calls out fellow Americans for disrespecting the military.
My decision not to respect the man who holds this office has everything to do with his words, his actions and his total disrespect of others.
Respecting the office does not mean I have to respect the man.