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Swear or Affirm, Protect and Defend

The presidential oath of office, per Article II, Section One, Clause 8:

“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.”

This is the oath to be sworn by a man who has repeatedly criticized citizens and the press as they exercise their creator-endowed right of free speech, protected by the First Amendment.

This is the oath to be sworn by a man who has repeatedly violated laws including infringement of civil rights and fraud.

This is the same oath a man one heartbeat away must be prepared to swear — a man who has violated the civil rights of Indiana citizens by denying them equal rights based on their gender and sexual identity, denying effective approaches to disease control and endangering lives, denying their right to privacy in seeking medical care.

The vice-presidential oath of office, as prescribed by statute:

“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.”

This the oath the man one heartbeat away from the presidency will swear, the same one that members of Congress also swear. This is the oath by his own acts as governor the vice-president-elect already violates by refusing to treat all citizens of his state as equals under the law.

This is the oath a Senator has taken though he continued to treat fellow citizens as less than equal under the law. His legal education and experience has been inadequate to the task if he cannot understand that grabbing a woman’s genitals without her consent is sexual assault, or that calling African American men “boy” during the execution of his duties as Senator is a discriminatory practice violating Constitutionally-protected civil rights. He has fought against treating all citizens as equals in so many ways throughout his career.

The oath of enlistment in U.S. military, according to federal statute 10 U.S.C. § 502:

“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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

And the oath of commissioned officers, according to the U.S. Army:

“I, _____ , having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ 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 upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

These are the oaths a man has already taken — a man who called an Abrahamic faitha malignant cancer,” claiming it was not a religion but a political ideology, in opposition to the First Amendment

These oaths require them to act without discrimination, to uphold the Constitution as it exists today, not the Constitution they wish they had written themselves.

How is the entire U.S. population — including the plurality who did not vote for these officials — to believe these men will uphold the offices to which they will be sworn?

How are we to believe any other elected officials who’ve sworn the same oaths to serve as our representatives when they appear ready to aid and abet acts of bad faith and corruption?

— — —

As it’s a holiday week and many of us have more time to ponder, I’m going to republish over the next few dasy some progressives’ ‘roadmap’ posts I once wrote after a disappointing election. How quaint that time seems now.

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
4 replies
  1. Desider says:

    Guess we should have supported the lady more when we had the chance – warts, cankles, charitable Foundation and all. It’s gonna get ugly.

    • Rayne says:

      Pretty sure if we’d looked inside the trouser legs and boots of many past presidents we’d have found they had cankles, too. Just hairier. I don’t recall reading ‘must have hairy unshaved legs’ as a criteria for the presidency.

      The foundation, too, with its published Form 990s like all other legitimate 501c3 charities — yeah. How quaint it seems now as Little Paws solicits personal profit from other countries under our noses.

      Yes, ugly. It already is.

  2. bloopie2 says:

    Powerful post—original and insightful—thank you so much.

    A ways off topic, but somewhat related—how we got here perhaps—the ‘sophisticates’—yesterday heard this classic Simon & Garfunkel song—Dangling Conversation—and it resonated. Discusses another kind of alienation, but the words work here also.

    And we sit and drink our coffee
    Couched in our indifference,
    Like shells upon the shore
    You can hear the ocean roar
    In the dangling conversation
    And the superficial sighs,
    The borders of our lives.

    Yes, we speak of things that matter,
    With words that must be said,
    “Can analysis be worthwhile?”
    “Is the theater really dead?”
    And how the room is softly faded
    And I only kiss your shadow,
    I cannot feel your hand,
    You’re a stranger now unto me,
    Lost in the dangling conversation
    And the superficial sighs,
    In the borders of our lives.

  3. seedeevee says:

    “their creator-endowed right of free speech”
    “So help me God”
    “So help me God”
    “oath”
    “oaths”
    “a man who called an Abrahamic faith “a malignant cancer,”
    “opposition to the First Amendment”
    “Constitutionally-protected civil rights”

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . .

    This kind of stuff happens when we pick and choose the data in our religion/Constitution applicability matrix

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