On Tuesday night facebook managed to uncover something that the Secret Service could not; uninvited guests at the White House standing mere inches from the president.

Sure, this was an alarming breakdown in defense, and something that cannot be looked over, but we must also recognize that an event such as this does not happen often.  Every day and every night the Secret Service does their job and gets little thanks for it.  In the long run, President Obama came out of the situation unharmed and the world has in fact, continued to turn.

On Thursday night, I was busy leaning something that the Salahis clearly had not.

Sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table I was practicing a lifetime of learned habits.  I kept my elbows off of the table, I chewed with my mouth closed, but there was one habit that carried more weight than these.

When I addressed my mother, father or grandmother, I did so with respect.  In my grandmother’s kitchen, I did as I was told when we were preparing dinner.

Perhaps I am a little old fashioned, but in my world, you respect your elders.  You respect your teachers and your bosses and all the other authority figures in our lives.  It is even customary to show respect for those who have not earned it, because a little courtesy can go a very long way.

Perhaps nobody ever taught the Salahis the meaning of the word respect.

The pictures of Michaele and Tareq Salahi that were posted to the social networking site, facebook, were nothing short of a blatant slap in the face of President Obama and his security team.  They have made a mockery of our country’s leadership and security.

The aftermath of those photographs is a far greater threat than the couple themselves ever posed.  As our country stands mired in economic turmoil and war, a united front is crucial.  By no means am I proposing that Americans need to consent to a single opinion or don a mask of blind acquiescence, but rather that we must have enough pride and trust in our own system to respect it.

Abigail Adams once wrote in a letter to Mercy Otis Warren, “A house divided against itself – and upon that foundation do our enemies build their hopes of subduing us.”

While it is the diversity of our nation’s people that makes this country great, there must be some common ground.  In this particular case, it is a sense of decency that should link us as fellow citizens.

I suppose that the Constitution never plainly states the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of a secure and private party, but it is my belief that common sense and courtesy already imply just that.

In the coming days and weeks, secret service employees will likely lose their jobs, the Obama family will lose their sense of security and the Salahil’s will likely lose should they face charges for their actions, but we as a nation have already lost the ability to save face on the national stage.

All of these could have been saved if somebody along the line had taught the Salahis how to be respectful.

It seems that in this day and age, many people are willing to do literally anything for their moment in the spotlight.  This is a poor reflection on our country to say the very least.

You may be a Democrat, you may be a Republican.  You may support the war, and then again, you may not.  You may practice any one of a thousand religions and your skin may be that of a thousand different tones, but we are all a part of something larger, something that encompasses all of these things.

We are all Americans.  We pledge allegiance to one flag.  We believe in one constitution and one inalienable set of rights.

If we cannot appreciate the sanctity of our own president, who do we believe will?