Sunday, January 20, 2013

Politicans, the oath of office, and voters

This morning (Jan 20, 2013), in compliance with the US Constitution, Barrack Obama took the oath of office for his second term as President of the United States:
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. (US Constitution - Article 2 Section 1)
Tomorrow (Jan 21), he’ll repeat the oath at a public ceremony. A few days ago, newly elected and reelected members of Congress were also sworn in (I also have taken this same oath as a military officer and as a federal law enforcement officer):
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 this 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. (US Constitution - Article VI)
Note that both oaths of office require loyalty to one entity, and one entity only: The Constitution of the United States. There is no sworn loyalty to a political party, a political leader, a religious leader, a political agenda, a king, or anything else.

An oath of loyalty to the US Constitution is also required of state and local elected officials; federal, state and local judges; members of the Armed Forces; and of civil servants.

Why did the founders require such an oath from our nation’s leaders? They broke away from a nation where loyalty was sworn to a monarch rather than to ideals of liberty. From sad experience, they knew that accreting loyalty in one individual or group of people, tyranny is almost always the result. Hence, the revolutionary concepts of a declaration that human rights come from the Creator – not by government edict and a Constitution which describes and authorizes a central government with clearly defined and limited powers and a prohibition from infringing the God-given rights of the people.

They knew that majority rule inevitably results in the majority infringing the rights of the minority, so they established a representative government – a republic rather than a democracy. They expected that we would elect men and women of sound character who would live up to their oath to the Constitution. They expected that by demanding loyalty to the Constitution and the principles of Liberty that it enshrines, our government officials would protect the human rights of every American – not merely the members of an aristocracy, a particular party, persons of a certain skin color, or other special interest.

Sadly, our elected leaders, judges, and civil servants have lost with the concept of loyalty to the Constitution rather than loyalty to a person or party. How did this happen? Because the voters themselves do not understand the Constitution and how it would work if followed. Few Americans have read it and consequently fail to elect public officers who have the courage and integrity to follow it.

Voters are willing to be bribed with their own money or, worse, with the money of their neighbors. Voters cast ballots based on selfishness, covetousness, party label, personality, emotion, even skin color -- everything the founders fought against! Voters think that their lives will improve because of government programs -- they fail to understand that their lives only truly improve when they accept responsibility for their own success and only demand of government that it protect their right to succeed.
[I]f the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted....If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. — Noah Webster (History of the United States)
We need smarter voters!

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