As we get closer and closer to election time, more and more people are going to bad mouth the folks they want out of office. I don't see anything inherently wrong with that. Where I see things going too far is when people attack the individual(s) on a personal level. And, worse comes when folks just make things up to sling mud.
I disagree with a lot of things our President does. I disagree with a lot of things our national, state, and local officials do. I am very proud that, for the most part, we can freely express our dislikes (and our likes for that matter) in America. But, whether I like someone or not, I always respect the POSITION they hold.
I hope I would never disrespect the President should I ever get to meet him face-to-face and shake his hand. He is the President of the United States. No, I didn't vote for him. No, I don't care for automotive "too big to fail" loans. No, I don't think Obamacare is the answer. But, if I had the opportunity to meet the leader of our country, you can bet I would be there. I would smile, shake his hand, and have all the butterflies in my stomach as I would meeting a superstar singer, movie star, or athlete. It is the respect he deserves for the position he holds.
I have known Congressman Mike Ross for about as long as I have lived in Arkansas. I consider him an acquaintance and family friend. My mother-in-law used to work for him for many years and I've done computer/networking work for him in the past. When my family took a vacation to Washington DC and he met us to escort us up to the White House and then later we met in his office, it was like being backstage with a favorite group. Through it all, I respected the position he holds.
I grew up where were were taught the President should be addressed as "Mr. President." Elected officials at state and national levels should be addressed by their title and last name: Congressman Ross.
Respect is not always about the individual in a particular position, but about the position despite who holds it.