Thoughts On The Use Of “45”

James Cantu

October 25th, 2017

Samantha Geimer, the woman who was the 13-year-old victim in Roman Polanski’s 1977 sex case, is surrounded by cameras as she arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court Friday morning June 9, 2017. – Photo Provided by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

With Donald Trump winning the electoral vote and Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, it should come as  no surprise that the country is rightly divided on the current president.

From this division comes many different ways to address the president, from blatantly disavowing the man in office by proclaiming, “Not my president,” or “Your president did …” to referring to him by a number, “45.”

The term “45” refers to the numeration of presidents. For example, Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States, but depending on who you ask, he may still be the current president in their eyes.

To some people, referring to the leader of the free world as anything other than his or her title is seen as childish, disrespectful, or a sign of their unwillingness to accept reality.

To me, I find it ingenious.

Do not get the refusal of calling the 45th president of the United States as “45” confused for fear; He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is incomparable to Voldemort. Although, they are both supported by the wealthy elite and have a dedicated following…

Jokes aside, when referring to the current Oval Office owner in such a way, it allows for the constituents to voice their political ideology in one word, “45.”

It states that, “I do not support the current leader of this establishment, his ideals, or him as a person– so much so that saying his name is akin to a personal insult.”

Through refutation of his title, it allows for bonding between like minded people, a solidarity of sorts formed through mutual distaste, or through suffering endured under his administration.

In my experience, there is no more unifying moment that could occur between a group of individuals than having similar dislikes. We may not always like the same things, but boy, don’t we dislike X,Y, and T.

The use of 45 is also a way to poke back at those who refused to acknowledge Barack Obama’s presidency.

The difference between not acknowledging the current office warmer by calling him “45” and those who refused to acknowledge Obama is that racism isn’t the driving force for calling 45, “45,” and there are slightly more pressing concerns under this administration than the last.

Instead of worrying that, “Obama’s going to take away our guns!,” it’s “45’s going to separate my family,” or, “take away my life-saving health insurance,” or, “ignore my basic human rights.”

It’s like comparing apples to oranges with a bad haircut.

“But Trump won, he deserves the respect of the title. By doing so, you’re disrespecting the United States.”

Should any person, given enough power, by virtue of that power require the respect of his or her constituents, or should that respect be granted upon the judgement of the constituents based on their leader’s actions?

I lean towards the latter. The big guy in the Oval Office has not followed the precedent of the presidents before; his bigotry towards minorities, both in actions and words, along with his lack of respect towards fellow human beings form my judgement on whether or not I find it suitable for me to use his given title.

As for it disrespecting the United States, maybe consider that his actions are disrespecting the United States rather than worry about what terms are used to refer to 45.

45, to me, still should receive all the basic respect and dignity all human beings deserve, but not of that reserved for the President of the United States.

James Cantu

Opinions Editor

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