"I remember a time when wishing harm or death upon the President of the United States was unthinkable; I think it's both sad and disgusting that it has reached the point where some people are disappointed when the president wasn't harmed by something."
It was in response to a friend of mine who was disgusted when observing some people's reactions to the ricin letter sent to President Barack Obama which was intercepted; she was horrified to read about people expressing frustration that the letter did not reach Mr. Obama and kill him. This attitude towards the president is as disturbing as it is saddening: Everyone expects the president to receive criticism, regardless of their political party, but a few years and another president ago, a desire for the President of the United States to die would have been, as I said in my text above, unthinkable.
My friend disclosed that she voted for another person in the 2012 election; despite this, she opposes wishing harm on the president. Why? Because, as she said, Mr. Obama is a human being and he has a family; she also doesn't agree with killing people because they don't share her — or anyone else's — views. I agree with her: I was vehemently against Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy last year and I have friends with different politics to me, but I do not wish for death and despair to befall them and their families.
What makes this behavior worse is that it comes at a time when the United States is still in shock over the Boston Marathon bombings. It is beyond inappropriate to wish for someone's death at the best of times, but doing it at a time of national tragedy when the nation needs to heal? And against the president? It's grotesque and should not be tolerated — I support the 1st Amendment and I welcome people sharing their views, but there is a chasm between valid criticism and hate speech.
I wrote a piece relating to this subject a month prior to the 2012 election. I am disappointed that my concerns in the first sentence of that post's last paragraph were warranted.