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Regarding the photo with the Sept. 4 article “In first big test, Obama overrules new team“: This photo of the president of the United States, which has appeared in newspapers and on television around the world, deserves a few words of criticism. The photo shows the current president with his left foot atop the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office of the White House, and his right hand held in a typical “gangsta rap” pose emulating a handgun.

To begin with, the Resolute Desk, which was originally made of wood from the British Navy ship HMS Resolute and presented to President Rutherford B. Hayes by Queen Victoria in 1879, is the same desk that was used by Presidents John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and others prior to its use by the present occupant of the White House. As such, it could well be considered a national treasure, and certainly not an object to be used as a footstool. However, in today’s immature “hip-hop” age, I fear that such actions are just considered another example of the president’s “coolness.” I, however, consider it to be, at the least, unpresidential, if not downright boorish.

As to the hand imitation of a gun, while in this age of idiotic political correctness, adults have been arrested for assuming such a pose, and children expelled from school for using it, it would appear that for the president of the United States to use the gesture before the public is just another example of his being a “cool dude” in the eyes of his admirers. It makes one wonder just what has happened to the sense of decorum that once existed in America’s leaders, and why the American public refuses to demand a return to more appropriate behavior on the part of its elected officials?

john e. marquardt
tokyo

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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