• Michael McGowan

An Oath of Service

This Veteran's Day I was thinking of the oaths our military and veterans had taken:

For officers:

I, [name], 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.

For enlisted:

I, [name], 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).

There is one difference between these two oaths: obeying orders. Enlisted persons must obey the orders of the President and military officers; trusting that their actions will abide by the the UCMJ and the Constitution. Regardless, all military personnel support and defend the Constitution.

That got me thinking about how well do we know our Constitution. I've read through it a couple times freely. In 8th and 12th grades, in history and political science classes, we studied the document. In college we studied the political theory. Now as an adult I am studying its real life impacts.


I can forgive Donald Trump for him saying he supports all of the articles:

I want to protect Article I, Article II, Article XII -- go down the list.

~ Republican Nominee Donald Trump


I can forgive Donald Trump for his views on the enomulents clause:

You people with this phony Emoluments Clause.

~ President Donald Trump


John Q. Public would have thought when asked if he supports Article I of the Constitution he might have been thinking about the Amendments to the Constitution. Honest mistake. Article I and II have to do with the Legislative and Executive Branches, respectivley. There is no 12th Article.

As for his "phony Emoluments Clause" articulation, I'm sure he was referring to how he felt about the investigations of him violating that clause because, in fact, it really is in the Constitution.

All that is being fair to him as a normal citizen of the United States. I don't expect people to know little intricacies of the Constitution, but I expect our elected leaders to understand the impact the Constitution has on our form of government and life.

The Constitution is our standard of conduct between the government and its people. If we don't live by the standards set by the Constitution then what, or better yet who's, standards do we live by?

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

By the way, I gave myself a little test to see what I remember from my school days. I still recall 4 of the 7 articles. I remember 5 of the original amendments by number and I can recall nearly what all the amendments to the Constitution include even though I don't remember what number they are. But I'm still learning. I've learned about the emoluments clause. I've learned about high crimes and misdemeanors not being the only thing that may lead to impeachment.

However, one thing I cannot forgive Donald Trump is on his thoughts of Article II:

Then, I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.

~ President Donald Trump

Since his remarks on upholding all of the Articles of the Constitution Donald Trump obviously learned about Article II. His only mistake was glossing over the oath of his office:

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.

The Constitution gives power to the president to enforce the laws...not supersede them.

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.

So help me God.

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