>Washington, DC.- Yes, I love the U.S. And I love it for many reasons, but in this case, I’d like to point out one specifically: the institutional respect their people have for their national institutions and symbols, especially in politics.
Across the partisan line, lawmakers and representatives from one extreme to another of the ideological spectrum share one thing in common: they love their nation and respect for its main authority, the President.
Last night, in an angry and very audible outburst, Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, interrupted President’s Obama’s speech shouting at him “You lie!” after Obama said that no health care benefits would go to illegal immigrants (watch video).
Whether true or not, Mr. Wilson regretted his outburst and apologized right away saying: “This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”
Look at that! “While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable…”. Moreover: he blamed himself for his “lack of civility”. Of course, dear representative, Mr. Obama is the President of the country, and even only for this simple reason, he should be treated with the due respect.
In a parliamentary dynamic, murmurs of disapproval are part of the political theater, like applauses or exaggerated body language, but the respect to the other is critical. And more important: be quiet so that the opposition can explain their point of views about a concrete policy or issue.
The Spanish parliament could learn a lot from the American legislators. In Madrid, rarely there is silence in the Congress, and the behavior of their lawmakers seems more a kindergarten than a parliament.
In Catalonia, the parliamentary dynamic is quite different. At least, they respect each other more than in Madrid’s. Some times, I would expect more appropriate recognition for the Catalan President. If we (The Catalans) don’t do, who then?
Photo: The New York Times