Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Our most solemn duty"...

One of the most prominent soundbites heard from the President for many years goes like this: "Our most solemn duty in the federal government is to protect the American people, and I will assure the American people that we're doing everything in our power to protect you." Let me hereby dissect this soundbite.

According to the Constitution of the United States, the President recites the following oath upon assuming 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."
Nowhere in that oath is there a mention of protecting American citizens. However it clearly is incumbent upon the President to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. THAT then ought to be the most solemn duty of the President.

The mantra that the President and his lapdogs repeat endlessly is an appeal for America to live in fear, looking to the guiding hand of his administration to show the way to safety. Implicit (and at times explicit) in that supposition is that to stray from the path set forth by the administration is to invite disaster. With this fearmongering being the guiding principle of the Bush administration, one can hardly be surprised when the administration decides that Constitutional precepts are subservient to keeping America safe. After all the President makes clear time and again that he considers his most solemn duty to be protecting Americans.

Weakening our Constitution in pursuit of security is a danger to our very way of life. Taken to an absurd extreme, your safety could best be assured with your confinement in a cell surrounded by guard dogs with a drip tube feeding you the required daily nutrients prescribed by the FDA. You may not have any rights, but by gum you would be safe!

Let us not accept a dogma that allows us to forsake our Constitution because we have been driven by fear to do so. Let us rather hold the President accountable for what indeed should be his most solemn duty.

**P.s. This is my first post back from enjoying a somewhat lengthy time of newly wedded bliss. It's been great, but the status of affairs in the world is such that I just can't keep silent... So I'm back!"

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