Letter: Respect does not have to be earned

Regarding the April 2 letter by Bryan Davis “President Trump has to earn people’s respect”:

This fallacious idea that respect must be earned is loaded with myths and innuendos; what kind of respect is being discussed here? There is such a thing as “positional respect,” which does apply to the president. Just as in the training an enlisted person receives about rendering proper salutes to officers they don’t even know, they show respect for the uniform rather than the person wearing it. Respect was not “earned” by the performance of some noble act or even for lame approval. Respect should be rendered for any number of reasons, one of which might very well fall under the reason, “just because he’s president.” If respect always had to be earned, it would be in short supply, because there are not many who have earned the full approval of others and approval lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Respect is closely akin to fear, but is also close to honor and esteem. Parents, the elderly, judges, teachers, police and common folks are deserving of respect. It should be sufficient that even other humans should be respected, but of course we know they aren’t. We must always check our pecking order.

So let’s at least be honest here; there’s been no “stream of community letters” appealing for more respect for the president. A quick survey of the anti-Trump sentiments gracing these editorial pages are proof enough of that.

Steve Hufferd

Iowa City

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