If you have been paying
attention to what is happening to our country, particularly
during the last 6 years, you know that our Democracy is in
deep trouble. In many ways, elected representatives are
no longer being held accountable to the people who put them in
office. Our Constitution and the rule of law is being
attacked on many fronts. I have written extensively
about all of this.
In this commentary, I am going to
suggest one strategy that could reverse this trend, although
it will require a great deal of courage on the part of those
who accept my thesis.
We have often been told that to effect
political change we need to organize and band together
otherwise we won’t be heard. I am going to suggest
that to make the kinds of changes we need to preserve our
Democracy requires something more personal than that.
What is needed now, in my view, are not
citizens banding together to identify themselves with a
particular group, party, or organization, but rather
individual citizens having the courage to exercise their own
best judgment independently and responsibly without regard to
what everyone or anyone else might be doing.
In other words, we need citizens who
have the courage to stand alone, if need be, in coming into
alignment with their own clear values. Specifically, I
propose that there is one clear value to which each of us must
align if we’re to save our country: we all must, as
individuals, be willing to preserve, protect, and defend the
Constitution against all its enemies foreign and domestic.
And here’s how we do it:
I suggest that when voting for any
elected official, regardless of the office they hold or want
to hold (whether it be local, state, or national), that the
primary criteria for selecting the person who will ultimately
get our vote, comes in asking this question: which
candidate running for this office can we trust with confidence
to honor his or her oath of office. Bear in mind, that
the only oath any elected official takes before assuming the
responsibilities of the office to which they were elected, is
their sacred promise to preserve, protect, and defend the
Constitution against all its enemies foreign or domestic.
If they can’t be trusted to do that above all else, they
don’t deserve to hold public office… any public office.
Framers of the Constitution and their
successors had great wisdom when they made that oath a
prerequisite for holding office. They knew that the only
security we really have as a people is our ability to trust
one another. It is our ability to trust the word of our
elected representatives that allows us to go about our daily
lives and concentrate on our jobs and other responsibilities
with confidence; we can’t do that unless we are sure that
our children’s freedom are in the sure hands of people we
Certainly, we face difficult choices
when it comes to solving our political differences, meeting
challenges, or taking advantage of opportunities. But no
matter what lies ahead, surely we will only succeed if we and
our elected representatives share one sacred value that is
common to all of us: The preservation of rights and
freedoms that our forebears gave their lives and limbs to
secure for all of us. The preservation of those rights and
freedoms are spelled out in our country’s founding document:
So I am not suggesting that you vote for
any particular ideology. Nor am I suggesting that every
citizen will interpret every clause of the Constitution in the
same way. But there are some aspects of the Constitution
that are inviolable: the right to a fair trial, the
right to defend yourself and be represented by counsel, the
right to face your accusers, the right to be considered
innocent until proved guilty, the right not to be mistreated,
the right to your privacy, the right to speak your mind, the
right to pray or not pray as you see fit, the right to vote
and have your vote properly counted, the right to expect that
your government will operate at all levels with integrity and
transparency, the right to expect that no person in the land
will be allowed to hold him or herself above the law, and the
right not to be lied to or cheated by those who took an oath
to defend these principles with their lives...
What I am suggesting is that before you
consider any candidate for public office that you satisfy
yourself that that person in question can be counted on to
preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. If in
your best judgment you don’t think they understand what is
required of them or if you think they don’t consider that
oath as the single most important job they have, then I
suggest you not consider them eligible to hold public
office… any public office. Do not vote for anyone no
matter what their stated agenda or policies are if you are not
convinced they understand what their primary job is and have
the character to do that job... which is to say, keep their
word by honoring their oath of office.
It is my personal belief that if a
critical mass of citizens were to vote only for qualified
citizens as I have suggested, it would transform our
government from what it is today to one that would be
competent to find realistic solutions to problems that
currently threaten our way of life. It is not terrorists
who threaten our way of life; what threatens our way of life
are persons who haven’t the character, vision, or integrity
to tell the truth or keep their word of honor.
If we are honorable about voting as I
have suggested, we will choose representatives who are
honorable… and our Democracy will endure. If we do
not, I don’t believe our Democracy will endure.
What I have suggested above doesn’t
require anything of you other than that you vote with
integrity. Easier said than done.
If you find candidates in the next
election who measure up to this standard, then by all means
vote for them. If they do not measure up, don’t vote
for them. If you don’t believe that any of the
candidates running are qualified under this criteria then you
might consider running for office yourself. If you
don’t want to run, then work to find qualified people who
are willing to run. But never vote for any person who
you do not believe has enough character to keep their oath of
If we fail at this task, the great
experiment of which we are all a part will also fail.
The character of the country you live in will be a reflection
of your own character. How much courage do you have?
How honorable are you to your own pledge of allegiance?
I will leave you with one ancillary
reading (see link below) that is part of the argument I am making. Near
the bottom of that reading are additional links. Follow
each of those links. They explain and expand my thesis
and its implications. If you care about your freedom and
can understand what I have written here and there, I think we
have a chance. If we fail to elect representatives who
will honorably defend our freedoms, we will, through
negligence or ignorance, elect representatives who will not
honorably defend our freedoms… and in my opinion, if we do
that, those freedoms will be lost.