Monday, September 2, 2013

Preserve, Protect and Defend What in Syria

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 oath has been taking by every President since George Washington took the first oath of office as our country’s first President. It is a requirement before the President can assume office and must be taken at the beginning of every four year term whether the first or second. This oath presents the President’s primary duty and obligation. This promise first states that the President is to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and the duties of that office are delineated in the Constitution.

 According to historians, the framers of the Constitution spent much less time on delineating the powers of the President. Instead, when defining the Presidential powers in Article II of the Constitution, the framers wanted to create a chief executive whose power came from the people rather than heredity or force. The Constitution provides little basis for what the Office of President looks like today as compared to what the framers intended. The framers assumed that the legislators would be far more influential. In fact, James Madison wrote that it would “rarely if ever happen that the executive as ours is proposed to be would have firmness enough to resist the legislature.”

Well Mr. Madison, despite all the precautions you and other Founding Fathers took with all the assurances you gave the American people who ratified the Constitution, it has happened. The United States is now run by the Executive Department with a leader (and I do not intend this to be personal toward any President) whose sworn duty has become to his political party, corporate executives and the military. 

In the past week, I was encouraged that the voices of the American people seem to have been heard by this sitting President when he became willing to take the action needed to make sure the voices of the people were heard by letting Congress approve his actions before making a decision on the Syrian crisis. I was appalled to hear the news casters from every major network announcing that the President’s decision to turn over decisions to the will of the people of this free country was somehow a victory for Assad. What are we doing in Syria – are we trying to support people in every way to help them have a democracy like ours where the will of the people is the government and not the will of one person or the military and all of his group of advisors? What is the example we are setting for the free world if the President of the most powerful free country ignores his own Constitution and uses his power to show Mr. Assad that it is our military that makes us strong and not the fact that our people are free? Sadly, this is the state we have come to. I am concerned that the American people and the so called “free press” have come to this state. If the President does not carry out his primary obligation as stated in his oath of office to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” how can we support and protect and defend the rights of other countries who seek to have the same freedom?