Feb 10, 2020

Wilson Yells "You Lie" Pelosi Rips Up Speech: What is the Difference?

As President Barack Obama addressed a joint meeting of Congress in 2009, he paused briefly in his speech when the unthinkable happened.  A Republican Representative, Joe Wilson, yelled out, "You lie."  The President glanced toward the voice before continuing the speech.  The nation heard the voice, the world heard the voice and certainly, other members of Congress heard the voice. 

Immediately both Republicans and Democrats in Congress condemned Wilson's action.  In the end, Joe Wilson apologized to the President, the President accepted the apology, the House of Representatives issued a reprimand to Wilson, and life went on as usual.  Some thought there should have been more action taken, but overall the general feeling was that the issued had been put to rest.  Consequently, the President's acceptance of the apology and desire to move on likely helped a great deal with ending the issue.

Now, we fast forward to 2020.  President Trump addresses a joint meeting of Congress.  He notes progress, praises heroes of the United States military, and praises other individuals for their contributions.  Like most Presidential speeches to Congress, some agreed with the President and some disagreed.  For the most part, Congress listened to the speech, applauded when appropriate, and moved on afterward.  Several members of Congress decided not to attend the speech - certainly, their right and those members should answer to their constituents as to why they were not represented in the joint session, but that is between the representative and the voters back home. 

As the President wrapped up his speech, one individual took a moment to stand up, look around the room and individually tear each page of the President's speech up not only in front of Congress but also for the national television audience to see. 

Since Pelosi decided to tear up the speech, an act being questioned by many, including people from her own district,  as destroying government property social media has been swamped with hashtags and statements.  Some of the hashtags have been such statements as #Pelositantrum #Pelosimeltdown and others.  Some in Congress have called for an apology or some other action, but as to date, nothing official has been done. 

Ironically, no members of the Democrat Party have condemned Pelosi's actions, there has been no apology to the President made by Pelosi, and there is no news as of this time of any official reprimand from any body of Congress. 

The question has to be asked to Democrats and Republicans alike, "What is the difference?"  When Wilson yelled, "You lie," it was viewed by almost everyone as a disrespectful action.  He had shown disrespect not only to the President, but also to both houses of Congress, to the American people, and to his voters in his district.  The call for action was swift and immediate.  Now, as Pelosi clearly shows disrespect to the President, both houses of Congress, to the American people and to the voters in her district, there is no real call for action.

The two actions, yelling and destroying a President's speech, have the same end result.  Both actions are a sign of disrespect for the President and the office.  It does not matter whether you believe Obama lied or whether you dislike Trump, the actions taken by these two representatives of the people were the actions of disrespect.  There is no difference and the consequences should be the same.  If we can not all agree and see that as a nation of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, then maybe it is time we reexamine some of our core values as citizens of the United States of America.