Oaths and the Constitution

In a column titled "The danger of a government with unlimited power", George Will wrote this past summer that Woodrow Wilson "was the first president critical of the nation's founding." Wilson, "avatar of progressivism," rejected the notion that the purpose of the federal government was limited to protecting "the exercise of natural rights that pre-exist government, rights that human reason can ascertain in unchanging principles of conduct and that are essential to the pursuit of happiness." Will wrote that "the name ‘progressivism' implies criticism of the Founding," meaning, quite literally, progressing away from the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Many Democrat politicians, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton included, proudly describe themselves as progressives. Others, including some Republicans, are progressives who do not label themselves as such (at least not outwardly).

As we near the commencement of the 112th United States Congress in January 2011, it is important to keep in mind the oaths our representatives will take and the pledges they will make. Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, shown below, requires members of Congress to support the Constitution:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution...

At the beginning of the new Congressional term, Senators-elect and all Representatives take the following 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 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: So help me God.

Both the House and Senate open their daily sessions by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands,
one nation,
under God,
with liberty
and justice for all.

To me, the words of the oath and Pledge resonate like never before amid the progressives' relentless assault on our founding principles, our values, our beliefs, and our liberty. It is apparent that too many members of Congress simply utter these oaths aloud in rote fashion and give them short shrift -- or worse -- without any consequence.

Reflecting on the Congressional customs above and re-reading the oath and the Pledge, how can it possibly be that those who revere the Constitution are somehow "extreme"? The answer is, of course, we are not, but progressives and their sympathizers in the mainstream media are determined to cast us that way in their effort to "fundamentally transform America" in pursuit of some sort of post-Constitutional socialist utopia.

We should expect and demand our elected representatives to uphold their solemn oaths. We should remind them of their sworn statements, their promises of loyalty, their pledge of fidelity to our founding doctrines and principles. Those who endeavor to dismantle or subvert our Constitution and undermine our liberty should be deemed what they are in the oaths: "enemies", be they "foreign or domestic."
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