Guest Column — We’re all witnessing the death of oaths

Date Published: 
Aug. 25, 2017

Every elected federal official — the president, vice president, members of the House of Representatives, U.S. Senators — take an oath of office prior to serving. In addition, appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court also take an oath of office.

Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution specifies the presidential oath. Article VI of the Constitution mandates the taking of an oath by others, but the wording to be determined by Congress. The oaths, enumerated below, are short, succinct and crystal clear.

• Presidential Oath of Office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.”

• Vice Presidential, Congressional & U.S. Supreme Court Justice Constitutional Oath of Office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take the obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: so help me God.”

• U. S. Supreme Court Justice Judicial Oath of Office: “I (name) do solemnly swear or affirm that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal rights to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as _______________, under the constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

(Merriam-Webster) “Oath: A solemn attestation of the truth of one’s words or the sincerity of one’s intentions; specifically: one accompanied by calling upon a deity as a witness.”

(Free Dictionary) “Oath: A solemn appeal to a deity or to some revered person or thing to witness one’s determination to speak the truth or keep a promise.”

These oaths are as intended by our founding fathers, knowing full well the immense responsibility of the office they were about to undertake and how much control over other people’s lives they held.

Another oath where lives may be held in the balance is the Hippocratic Oath.

The words “First, do no harm” (“primum non nocere”), while often quoted, are not part of the original Hippocratic Oath, but the concept was, and still is.

“I will use treatment to help the sick (read constituents) according to my ability and judgement, but never with a view to injury and wrongdoing.”

An excerpt from the modern version of the Hippocratic oath is apropos for federal elected officials: “I will respect the privacy of my patients, (read constituents) for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially shall I tread with care in matters of life and death (read health care and taxes). If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life (read abortion); this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.”

The taking of an oath is a serious matter but in Washington, D.C.; it has become window dressing, the price tag on a “I’m For Sale” elected official.

The sad truth of the matter is the majority of federal office holders break these oaths within the first months of taking office. They do so knowingly and willingly, and do it with impunity because they are beholden to and become part of the “Deep State.” They go from being representatives of “We, the People” to representing only themselves, whose primary mission is to continually get reelected and hold power in Washington, doing the bidding of their benefactors, lobbyists, regardless of political party. The “Deep State” are masters of chicanery and manipulation. Every day they are in office, they lie to the voters, conning them into believing what they are doing is for the “betterment of the constituents.”

The only thing elected officials truly fear is “losing the election.” The only ones who can hold them to their word are the voters.

There is another definition of oath. (“Oath: A profane or offensive expression used to express anger or other strong emotions.”) It is what the elected officials elicit from their constituents once they catch on to what the elected officials are doing to them and will continue to do to them unless voted out of office.

There is an easy standard to use to determine if an elected official should stay in office or be removed from office: Did they or did they not live up to their campaign promises? No ifs, ands or buts. A simple Yes or No. If Yes, they stay. If No, they go.

Unlike the Hippocratic Oath, which may be changed at will by the administering party, the federal oaths are founded in the U. S. Constitution, a document whose language is crystal clear, and may only be amended either by Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, or by a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of the state legislatures. Of the current 27 amendments to the Constitution, none were proposed by constitutional convention.

Nowhere in the Constitution itself or in any laws legally enacted does it say any elected official may ignore or interpret the Constitution. They may only uphold, support and defend the Constitution.

Keep in mind, the First Amendment right of free speech allows everyday citizens to complain about the constitution or any of its provisions. The First Amendment is a protection from the actions of the Congress granted to we the people. While elected officials have the same first amendment protection to complain, they do not have the right to act upon their complaints except as outlined under Article 5 of the Constitution.

It is time for We the People to insist that elected officials live up to their oath of office and support, protect and defend the Constitution. Those elected officials who make a mockery of their oath of office by ignoring, decrying, diminishing, besmirching and desecrating the Constitution need to be removed from office.