Wednesday, January 21, 2009

About that Promise...

"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."

See, this here sentence is key. It is here that I find some serious issues. Now, I preface this by saying that my forbears signed the Declaration of Independence, and I fully get that the rights and privileges afforded me by the documents which are keystones of our culture are many, and are important.

But, it strikes me that the Constitution was created as a socio-political manifesto for a time which has been eclipsed by our progress. The Right to Bear Arms was originally intended for a culture and social environment that was steeped in personal protection against the terrors of the time. We don't, as a rule, bear arms for the same reasons we used to. We can get our food from a store, and we have police and military protection against Evil Doers, for the most part. While we can argue back and forth about Constitutional Law all day, I would just like to point out that the Oath of Office SPECIFICALLY addresses the document and laws and their protection. The President does NOT say anything about protecting the people, or the Good of the Nation. While that may be implied, many a Presidential Decision has turned on the phrase regarding the document and protection thereof.

Go take a look at the link provided. Look at the Amendments. Not one has been added since 1992. What's with THAT? So much has happened since then. Our entire National Outlook has altered considerably over the past 17 years. So much damage has been done in the name of the Constitution. That which the President is held to protect. Subject to interpretation. Interpretation that is many, many years out of context from the original intent, which was to in response to dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation and the need for a strong centralized government.

It is a tool. A tool to be wielded by a "strong centralized government". Which, in my humble opinion, we have not had in many years. What we have had is a circus of inept clowns who are playing chess with our future.

I stood up in my livingroon yesterday as Biden and Obama took their oaths. (for the record, I thought the rest of the Event was really quite awful...I mean what was with all that God talk? The poetry was horrid and simplistic and while I like Aretha Franklin, I had to leave the room when she sang that song. That is a beautiful song best sung simply, not dragged all about the Soul Connection). Not once, aside from Obama walking down the hall towards his end goal, did I find myself moved. I waited for that soaring feeling. It never came.

Still, I hold optimism for the next 4 years. No Messiah, Obama will throw himself wholeheartedly at the ills of our time, and with luck and hard work, begin to unknot the massive tangle that is the American Experience.

Still, part of me wonders, how long it will be before we dust off the Constitution and add some more relevant Amendments.