Public Service the Washington DC Way
At what point did public service become an occupation? For those of us outside the beltway we have a distinct impression that our government is doing business as usual. We see it in the self-righteous way that our legislative branch of government continues to do business.
Politicians make outrageous promises in order to get elected. When “We the People” vote we are pledging our support, our loyalty and our trust when we send elected officials to congress to defend the constitution and fight for our constitutional rights and we expect honesty and loyalty in return.
Yet what we see happening is newly elected officials are placed on low level committees or seemingly insignificant “busy work” that allows the more experienced to become more powerful. It doesn’t surprise me that they would be told to sit down, shut up and toe the party line. Once they realize that it is futile to go against their peers, or against their party they become disillusioned and choose to return to their home state without fulfilling their campaign promises. What I seem to notice is the inaction of congress as business as usual grind “The Swamp” to a halt. I attribute much of this to those who see politics as a career and no longer a public service.
Under the constitution the legislative branch is charged with creating laws which affect every American citizen. Congress also writes laws which affect only congress. Laws concerning congressional pay at different levels within the congress (majority speaker, minority speaker, majority whip, minority whip, etc.); congressional retirement pay; medical and health care; retirement accounts in lieu of social security. Leaving congress should not be called or considered retirement, is should be just leaving.
Both houses of congress (House and Senate) and both major political parties (Democrat and Republican) have become infused with hostile and subversive factions that are working to undermine the workings of our constitutional republic. We have radicals on the left and on the right; political zealots (Islamic, Communistic, Fascistic); religious fanatics (pro God, anti-god, atheists); globalists and nationalists all wanting America to cater to their demands.
There are many within the congress who either did not take their oath of office seriously or maybe had their hands behind their backs with their fingers crossed to nullify the oath.
“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article VI, clause 3
Members of the House take an oath to uphold the Constitution in a group swearing-in on the House Floor on the opening day of a new Congress. Often, they pose for ceremonial photos individually with the Speaker following the official swearing-in.
Oath of Office of the House of Representatives has not changed since 1966 and is prescribed in Title 5, Section 3331 of the United States Code. It reads:
“I, AB, 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.”
In contrast to the presidential oath, where it’s used only by tradition, the phrase “so help me God” has been part of the official oath of office for non-presidential offices since 1862.
Upon taking office, senators-elect must swear or affirm that they will “support and defend the Constitution.” The president of the Senate or a surrogate administers the oath to newly elected or re-elected senators. The oath is required by the Constitution; the wording is prescribed by law.
“I 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.”
It is beyond me how anyone attains public office, partakes of or administers the oath and can simply ignore or disregard that oath?
Maybe it’s the result of many contributing factors, like having been taught respect in the family unit. That is respect for parents, siblings and others; respect for property; or the rights of others to either agree or disagree with a stated point of view.
I know that the military drills into each member the importance of honoring the oath, obeying the lawful orders of the officers appointed over you, and that disobedience is not tolerated, but punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
So where did it begin and where does it end in relation to “Public Service”?
Maybe our legislators should consider term limits for starts, maybe 2 terms maximum then return to private life.
Another consideration should be serious cuts in the salaries of legislative members so that public service becomes a sacrifice.
When considering legislative actions to create laws, should the laws benefit American citizens and make their lives better, easier to navigate the legislative maze?
Do the legislative actions endorsed by congress make our nation a safer place to live and work?
What are the consequences of violating our nation’s laws? Does the punishment fit or deter crime? Are criminals rehabilitated in order to return and become a productive member of society? What about habitual criminals?
I think it’s time that the legislative branch of government get back to taking care of business, not business as usual, but the business of taking care of American citizens regardless of which political party is in power.
America’s motto is “In God We Trust”. It must be more than a slogan or simply words on the back of our currency. – I am the Real Truckmaster!