posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 01:18 PM
To the OP: what constitutes "class" or a lack of it in respect of behaviour is a matter of perspective and one that varies widely according to our
cultural and social circumstances. In this case, I feel that US citizens and residents are best placed to voice valid opinions as they are the ones
who best understand when "booing" is or is not appropriate at an American public ceremony.
There's another angle I'd like to mention though, which does in some way reflect on concepts of "class".
Yesterday I arranged for my English language students (all young adults) to meet in our school's computer room where we could access the internet and
watch the inauguration live via streaming video. I did this for two reasons: firstly, it gave them a chance to view the whole process as it happened,
in English, rather than some edited or over-dubbed version on local TV stations (complete with interpreter's "errors" -- accidental or otherwise).
I've found that they soon discover there is sometimes a difference between what the MSM reports here about major international events (especially
political events) and what the reality is. They're now learning what "editorial policy" means.
The second reason was that here in the Czech Republic, the people do not choose their President. Instead, they vote for candidates who form the
parliament, then various political parties nominate candidates for the office of President, and then the President is chosen by parliamentary vote.
So, the "supreme leader" of this small country -- the one who is best-known internationally -- need not be in any way the person that the majority
of the people want. You might argue that as the people vote for the members of parliament, then the one chosen by the politicians reflects the will of
the people. But there are many parties here, coalition governments are pretty usual, and it happens that members of parliament from different parts of
the political spectrum will band together to choose a certain candidate -- against the general will of the people who voted them in.
Sorry for being long-winded. My point is simply that I wanted my students to see that in the USA, even if the voting system is not perfect, at least
the President is someone who was (effectively) chosen by the people. I wanted them to see that power is handed over as the US Constitution says it
must be, precisely when it must be, and that whether people voted for the new leader or not, most of them are at least grateful for the fact that they
have a system where they have the right to make a choice -- and that they know exactly when they'll have the chance to exercise that right
again. Here, elections are often called early, when the ruling party/coalition feels they have the best chance of either making gains or
minimizing their losses. This means that the parliament that voted in a new president could have a completely different face perhaps just a few months
later, but the nation is still stuck with the same President that the old parliament voted for. (His term of office is fixed.)
This point was not lost on my students, all of whom are old enough to vote.
It was a great opportunity to remind them that they have the right to choose their politicians, and that if they wish, next time they can vote them
out and choose someone different. It also got them thinking about the fact that they can't choose their nation's leader, and whether it might not be
better to have a change in the law so they they could.
So in respect of "class" (while I'd rather not comment directly on matters of behaviour here), I will say that when it comes to citizens' rights,
the way the USA's Constitution enables you to choose your leader is "class" -- all the way. Even if you are not completely happy with it,
it's still a lot better than many other other countries have and we have a lot of respect for you for having it, using it -- and respecting it.