Should all US citizens take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States? The President, Vice President, Federal Government officials and employees of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches, the military, State officials plus individuals sworn in as new citizens all must take an oath supporting the Constitution. This requirement has its genesis in Articles II and VI of the Constitution. Our Forefathers clearly saw the need for an oath for certain officials and put that requirement in the first law passed by the very first Congress. Taking the oath establishes a publicly sworn personal pledge and commitment to support the Constitution and democracy.
Given the historical significance of the oath, the time has come for all US citizens to take a public oath similar to the following example: “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 take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.” I personally took an oath comparable to this one when I went into the US Army as an officer and then again as a Federal Government employee. As citizens of this great Republic, we all have a personal and collective duty to protect and defend the Constitution. It can be argued that since our Republic is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, as citizens we are therefore, all government officials in a fundamental sense and thus subject to the requirement to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. The oath formalizes our citizenship, our belonging to one nation and an appreciation of the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Taking the oath is also a historic and solemn event that binds us to the men and women of past generations who fought and died for our independence and freedom. Our Constitution is worth swearing to and fighting for “So help me God.”
Paul Okum has 40 years’ experience with the Federal Government in the Departments of Transportation, Interior, Army, and Defense in leadership positions, including being a US Army officer. Okum has written “Leadership DNA,” a guide book about identifying, selecting, and developing natural born leaders.
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