I applaud the courage of the African-American grandmother for speaking out against the disrespect displayed to President Barack and Michelle Obama. The disrespect comes in various forms, but by sampling the anti-Obama letters printed in The Bee some generalizations can be made. One of the main themes is that the president somehow lacks American values, that he is a socialist, that he is a Muslim, that he is undermining the Constitution, that he wants to be a dictator, that he wants to take away our guns, that he wants to take away our freedom.
In the not-to-distant past such outrageous claims would have been considered the ravings of a lunatic fringe. Tragically, however, such views have become common and are embedded in the Republican Party, which apparently will say anything in order to defeat the president in November.
To have a functional republic its citizens must be well informed and possess civic virtue. Both are sadly lacking in today's society.