Respect must be earned.
Two of the reasons Trump supporters are outraged this month are that Democratic Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis called Trump an illegitimate president, and actress Meryl Streep criticized Trump in her speech at the Golden Globe awards. Trump is being disrespected in a way that no other modern president has been, we are told by Republicans and Trump supporters.
That may be. Conservative activists did begin holding Tea Party protests shortly into the first year of Obama’s term, and Rush Limbaugh did say that he hoped Obama failed, but Republican legislators didn’t begin making such attacks on the president until nine to twenty two months into his term. Joe Wilson Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell announced his goal of making Obama a one-term president in October 2010, and Rep. Joe Wilson interrupted Obama at his State of the Union speech to shout, “You lie!”
So it may be true that the Democrats are getting their unprecedented campaign of opposition to the new president started sooner than did the Republicans began unprecedentedly opposing Obama, but it’s also true that Obama and Trump are different people who got elected under different circumstances. By comparing Republican response to Obama to Democratic response to Trump, Republicans are implying that Obama and Trump are equal and should be treated equally. For a party that traditionally supports relatively unbridled capitalism, that’s a strange position to take. If everyone were equal in everything, shouldn’t everyone demand equal pay as each other?