I’m an expert at a few things. I can deal cards, play guitar, and rock a machine gun pretty well. I’m not an expert at law, constitutional or otherwise, but who is? Fortunately for all of us, there is one simple constitutional principle which is easily understood without having the benefit of a law degree. This principle lies in the oath of office that citizens take when they are elected or appointed to a position of public trust. Local police and lower court judges, soldiers and military leaders, as well as anyone involved in the creation and prosecution of our laws – such as our state legislatures, Congress, and Senate, all swear an oath of office in accordance with the position they hold.
Considering recent occurrences and disclosures, one particularly pertinent clause in these oaths which our leadership take is one that states that as a function of office, it is their sworn duty to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Our constitution begins with the words, “We the People,” which is appropriate because under our representative form of government, it is ultimately the people of the country who are responsible to the constitution for its defense. It is the people who are responsible for cleaning house when those who hold positions in government overstep their bounds and act beyond their authority as prescribed by the constitution. The caveat is, that even though the people are responsible for their leaders who take oaths to defend the constitution, the people do not.
I would like to encourage anyone not familiar with the oaths of office that our elected leaders, police, and military members take prior to serving the public, to read, recognize and understand the importance of the oath, and the implications regarding what happens when our leadership fails to uphold it. Also understand that ultimately, the citizens of this country are as much as responsible for the failure of our leaders as our leaders themselves.
Considering human nature, it is impossible to completely eliminate all corruption from social, political and economic systems which humans create. But there IS an unacceptable level. In light of recent revelations as well as events long past, it is no longer a question whether there are some in our leadership structure who are acting illegally and in contravention of the constitution.
Case in point, the release of information by Edward Snowden – information that the government had no intention of being public. I no longer indulge in debate over the merits of what Mr. Snowden did. Whether he is an American hero or a traitor is yet to be decided, and not by me. Snowden the man is no longer an issue. The cat and the bag from whence it came are the real issue.
The recent IRS scandal, and the obfuscation of facts by accused parties surrounding the affair stands as testament to the fact that our government is not completely honest with its citizenry. Many documented instances of malfeasance on the part of government leaders and parties exist through the last six decades. The Gulf of Tonkin, Watergate, The Iran-Contra Affair, and more recently Fast and Furious. And these are just at the top of the pile of public domain. Any fourteen year old who is so inclined can peruse the internet and find numerous cases of our government creating false narratives for events, obfuscating facts, and generally acting in ways not in accordance with the will of the people. This is putting it nicely.
Eisenhower warned a long time ago the folly of allowing the military-industrial complex to gain too much power. Kennedy warned us of nefarious secret societies who were gaining influence in social and political structures. These warnings all came over fifty years ago, and we are seeing now the results of our inaction. Many would still say that these are concepts in the realm of conspiracy theory, but I say that Presidents do not have the luxury of being conspiracy theorists. Military Industrial Complex is a phrase that Eisenhower himself coined, and would have Kennedy really addressed the National Press about ‘secret societies’ if he didn’t have substantial evidence of the fact?
Many great Americans have taken the oath, but many more great Americans have not. I have taken the oath twice, and while I no longer serve, I never untook the oath. I still believe in the fundamentals of our constitution, and I also believe that there are those in positions of power who seek to circumvent or even completely disregard the law to meet their own collective ends. These criminals need to be held to account.
There are many people in positions of public trust who are true to their oaths and are doing what they can to protect the constitution. There are activist police, activist judges, and activist legislators, as well as a small army of private attorneys willing to challenge the merits of our leaders. But these people are too few in number, and require the will of the people to accomplish the task set before them. Only by the will of the people will change occur. Change begins by sending a message to those who have things other than the good of the people in mind, and holding them accountable for their actions. Simply voting out the offenders, and replacing them only sends the message that these types of criminal activity can be gotten away with. We must first eject the corrupt leadership, and then focus on the corrupt system as a whole.
The thin line between a regular citizen and our public servants is drawn by the oath. Local police forces are the last bastion of defense for the people against tyranny, because they are the lowest citizens on the judicial totem pole who swear the oath to uphold the constitution. There are ‘bad’ cops in all police forces, but there are always more good cops, as there are always more good people. But when a cop goes bad, and commits crimes or rights violations, it is incumbent upon the good cops to arrest the perpetrator and it is on the courts to prosecute the law in accordance with their oath.
I for one contest that the government of the United States is illegitimate under the law. Too many instances of government fraud, waste, abuse, criminality, and corruption have been established and documented as fact to be denied. If those who do not take action to uphold their oaths and bring the corrupt, criminal elements in our government to justice, then they are complicit in those crimes, and should be held accountable as such. I feel justified in my contention, despite my lack of knowledge and understanding of law, on the basis that there has been too much corruption for too long now. It no longer requires an understanding of law to see what persists. All that is now necessary for one to see the reality of the situation is for one to look.
Americans should recognize their responsibility and civic duty in doing what they can to preserve the liberties they enjoy as citizens. There are more than 170 million people in this country between the ages of 18 and 65. With those numbers, our job should be quick and easy. At most, anyone should only have to miss a week of work to do what needs to be done. The question is, how many of those Americans really understand what is at stake, and of those, who are willing to sacrifice their time and energy to the cause of cleaning out the District?
To the average citizen, these things are no longer important. We only have a cursory understanding of our representative form of government, and that is because we are taught nothing about civic responsibility, and how to secure and maintain the liberties and freedoms granted us by the constitution. Nor do we have any concept of what life was like under tyrannical, oppressive rule prior to our country’s inception.
Average citizens, in general, have more pressing matters to deal with than the maintenance of a government by the people and for the people. They have the myriad forms of entertainment, sports, celebrities, fashion, computer games, movies, television, and the internet. And if we’re not too busy entertaining ourselves, we’re commuting longer in heavier traffic to work more hours at jobs which largely produce nothing in order to put food on the table, and then dealing with the fatigue that results. It is the freedom, the creature comforts, the diversions and distractions which we all enjoy daily that, ironically, will lead us to fail to uphold that which allows for said freedom.
I personally adhere to a strict policy of non-violence. I also abhor capital punishment because I believe it contradicts natural law. I understand that the punishment for some crimes of treason is death. People are inflamed enough and impassioned enough to call for the heads of those who have committed treason. Luckily, those so enraged are very few in number, but the number grows as our feet are held closer to the flame.
I believe that there is still time to take steps to correct the malfunctions of our governments, both local and federal, but it will not be rectified by vote. This problem will only be solved by inflicting the consequence of law on those who break the law, and in so doing, sending a message that such behavior will not be tolerated by the people.
The more time passes, the nearer comes the day when litigation, prosecution, and protests will lose all effectiveness, and we will be faced with a choice as individuals – to fight to secure our freedom, just like our founding fathers, or live on our knees under an oppressive regime. I say that we hold the members of our leadership – our police forces, our judges, and our military – responsible and individually accountable for the faithful execution of their oaths of office. We make THEM make the choice on whose side they will stand – with the failed, corrupted system – or with the People!
And should they choose to go against the will of the people, then all of the might and will of the people in all their numbers should be brought to bear on them.