Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PRESERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND

One of the ceremonial steps to becoming President of the United States of America is to take the Presidential Oath of Office.

Each president recites the following oath, in accordance with Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:


"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."

To begin with, notice that it is written in the first person, singular.

"I" makes the oath personal.

There is no one who can take the oath for the President. There are no proxies. There are no substitutions.

The newly elected President must take the oath, himself.

"Do" is a word meaning to carry out or perform an action.

"Solemnly" signifies that the oath will be carried out in a dignified and somber manner by one of high moral character who is committed to keeping his promises.

The word "swear," as used here, means to declare or affirm formally as true.

"That" is a demonstrative pronoun indicating an action about to take place.

"A fixed and persistent intent or purpose" is the definition of "will."

"Faithfully" indicates an unending devotion to something.

To "execute" in this sense means to carry out the legalities of something.

The executive branch of government, of which the President is head, is an "office," a function assigned by the Constitution.

The "President" is the elected officer who presides over the executive branch of our government. His duties are defined in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.

The prepositional phrase, "of President of the United States," defines the country to which his allegiance in office is to be committed.

"And" is the conjunction indicating that there is more to come in the oath.

Then there's "to the best of my ability."

This part is subject to variation, as some men or women are more able than others. Nevertheless, it indicates a determination to give 100% of oneself to the task ahead.

"Preserve" means to keep or maintain in unaltered condition.

This is a promise not to try to change the Constitution. The job of changing the Constitution lies with the people of the United States, at the recommendation of their legislators, not their President.

When he utters the word "protect," the President vows to shield the Constitution from danger, injury, destruction, or damage.

"Defend" means to act against a challenge or attack to the Constitution.

The "Constitution of the United States" is that magnificent document that lays out the jobs of the various branches of our government (the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch). It also establishes the restrictions placed upon the federal government with regard to its scope and powers.

It is this last part which President BO has most flagrantly ignored. Indeed, he has specifically stated that this is an inherent flaw in the Constitution, because it says what the federal government cannot do while not saying what the federal government must do.

That is the kind of rhetoric that could only be endorsed by a despot, one committed not to the preservation, protection and defense of the Constitution, but to its overthrow.

Or by someone so ignorant that he/she misses the point of the Constitution completely.

President BO has been touted as the most intelligent President we have ever had, and thus could not possibly be ignorant of the point of the Constitution.

The only explanation for his belief in its short-comings is that he wishes to get it out of the government's way.

I ask you: does an oath mean anything in today's society?

If you make an oath and break it, does it matter?

If you can make an oath and break it, what is there about you I can trust?

In your opinion, is President BO keeping his promise to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America?"

How is he doing that?

10 comments:

Mark said...

Violation of his oath of office constitutes a breach of promise and is grounds for impeachment. Some member of Congress needs to grow a set and introduce the legislation.

Bryan said...

"...Constitution of the United States."

That is a pesky varmint to some, right?

"I ask you: does an oath mean anything in today's society?"

To some, yes, but to others, no. I suppose we could say that for some, oaths end up being nothing more than a means to an end, but a different end than what the oath was compelling one to do.

ablur said...

So Sad. Gone are the days when a man's word was his bond. It once was binding, that what a man spoke he stood by. Right or Wrong, he would honor his word and take the credit or punishment that may be due.

Excellent summarization of the oath. If only we had honorable people taking it.

Joe said...

Mark: Yeah...but not likely.

Bryan: But if a man utters an oath he does not keep, what other things might he also not be telling the truth about?

ablur: In Shakespear's "Julius Ceasar" he writes: "Sure are they all...all honorable men."

His sarcasm melds with mine.

Dan said...

"In your opinion, is President BO keeping his promise to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America?'"

No

Joe said...

Dan: Congratulations! You got the right answer. (I knew you would).

Dan said...

Thanks Joe, where do I collect my prize?

Joe said...

Dan: Pick it up at DHS on the sixth Thursday of any month.

Janie Lynn said...

The oath was just a means to an end for our president. He had to say it to get to the position he is in. I don't believe it, or the constitution, mean a thing to him.

Susannah said...

Oath? what oath? He took an oath?
Isn't that the script that he flubbed his line on back in January?