Max Kellerman recently criticized Tiger Woods for saying people should respect the office of the presidency no matter who is in office. Per Kellerman, "[a]nd it either holds in contempt the intelligence of people who hear it or else it's just a stupid thing to say. ... To say you must have respect for the office – Tiger, be clear. Are you saying that the office, therefore, confers respect on to its present temporary occupant? No. Having respect for the office means principally, in my view, is the office holder should have respect for the office."
Not only is Kellerman wrong, but his argument is also illogical.
Mr. Kellerman appears to be saying that if a person holding a particular position does not "respect" that position, the position itself is not worthy of respect. Following this line of reasoning, if a Supreme Court justice is disliked or is removed from the bench for misconduct (i.e., disrespecting the position), does that mean that the position that was previously filled by justice is not worthy of respect? Should we then not respect the Supreme Court in and of itself? If, hypothetically, several high-ranking officials in the FBI or Department of Justice have allegedly engaged in improper behavior and are subsequently terminated or charged with a crime, does the office of FBI or the Department of Justice not deserve our respect?
These examples reflect the absurdity of Mr. Kellerman's argument. Mr. Kellerman is allowing his personal opinions and political bias toward the president to take the place of reason. According to Mr. Kellerman, "[w]e are held to a standard of behavior, we at our jobs, right, people in their daily lives. The president, if anything, is held to a higher standard of behavior. It is not such that we have such great respect for the office that no matter what the behavior of its occupant, we must respect the occupant because of the office. ... We must respect the office, therefore that confers respect to the occupant. Tiger, is that is what you are saying? If that is what you are saying, that is a stupid comment."
With all due respect to Mr. Kellerman, Tiger Woods's comment was not stupid, but exactly right. Tiger Woods didn't say anything about President Trump when he answered the reporter's question. Said Woods: "He's the president of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office." Other than having a personal or political bias against President Trump, what conceivable and rational reason would Mr. Kellerman have to oppose this politically neutral statement? After all, the office of the presidency deserves respect, no matter who is in office.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kellerman does not appear to see it that way. To the contrary, his response to Tiger Woods reflects his inability to distinguish between the "office of the presidency" and the current president, which he appears to lump together. Mr. Woods didn't provide his opinion about President Trump. Rather, he simply opined that the office of the presidency deserves respect. This response did not seem to align with Mr. Kellerman's political and personal opinions, which led to his unwarranted comments.
This isn't the first time that Mr. Kellerman has verbally blasted a player or team about opinions relative to the current administration. When the World Series champion Houston Astros accepted President Trump's invitation to the White House, Kellerman stated that the Astros visiting the White House made the team "on the wrong side of history." Apparently, "Kellerman does not believe that the Trump administration deserves to be treated 'normal' because 'all the President's men seem to be implicated.'"
Mr. Kellerman's reaction to Tiger Woods was wrong and misguided. The office of the presidency deserves respect, no matter who is in office. It doesn't matter if Mr. Kellerman dislikes President Trump or abhors his policies. He is free to voice his opinions and to vote for another candidate when the time comes. However, his personal opinions about the president should not in any way undermine the office of the presidency and the respect it deserves. America and country should always come before partisan politics no matter who is in office.
As Senator Steven Douglas said when he conceded to Abraham Lincoln: "Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism." Tiger Woods had it right!