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  • Writer's pictureGregory N. Austin

Oaths and Pledges

The election denying "no" voters in the House and Senate may have wanted to simply keep their jobs rather than lose sleep over the oaths and pledges that they may have violated. History and truth have a very long tail and all will be revealed most likely as time passes. In the meantime, for the sake of our children, we should want them to believe in the efficacy and impact of the oaths and pledges that are needed to maintain a well-structured, lawful, and just society.

Donald Trump being sworn in, but thinking about how to defy the constitution
Donald J. Trump swearing to uphold the U.S. Constitution on Jan 20, 2017

Oaths and pledges are suffering disuse atrophy in the United States in some political circles.


An oath usually is given before God to do a solemn attestation to a truth. A pledge is a binding promise to do or to forebear. Many elected officials including the military actually ascribe to both, a pledge and an oath. They are duty bound to practice each one. The U.S. Constitution and the flag require an allegiance of all law-abiding citizens as well.


Many elected officials take an oath with their hand on the Bible, swearing to uphold the U.S. Constitution (they do not swear on the U.S. Constitution to uphold the Bible, nor do they ever swear allegiance to an individual). Pledges are given to clubs and fraternities, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts all give pledges.


In Germany in 1934, citizens had to swear allegiance to Adolf Hitler, not to the country of Germany. Married couples were given Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, as part of the ceremony.


We do not offer allegiance to individuals in the United States. Our Founding Fathers wanted no individual nor any religion to be superior to the U.S. Constitution. The rule of law as contained in that document is enforced by elected officials who the people have chosen. We, the people, have been blessed to control our own destiny through the election process.


The average American still does not realize how unique and politically special our U.S. Constitution remains after 240 years. Since its very beginning, it has been tested, partially broken, bent, twisted but never overcome by any unlawful malcontents.


Over 1,000 rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021. They intended to “stop the steal.” The problem was, nothing was really being stolen and over 700 of those rioters are now convicted felons. Did they violate their oath and their pledge to the flag? The threat to hang Vice President Mike Pence and in some cases, brutalize the Capitol Police, was a form of mob hysteria. There was no proven fraud upon which to send misguided followers of ex-President Trump into action. The so-called "steal" had no foundation. The ex-President and his followers only provided positions that “believed” there was fraud. No facts or evidence were ever given to support their laughable contention. If the voters thought there was a grand theft of the election just based on these groundless and capricious accusations by self-serving operatives, well that is just creating a mob born to lose. It reminds me of the film from 1943, The Oxbow Incident. In this movie, 3 innocent cowboys were hung because some zealous misfits tasted blood and acted on rumor. The rule of law in our country attempts to avoid and turn away from emotional mob rule.


After the mob at the Capitol Building was dispersed, Vice President Mike Pence chaired the vote to ratify the Electoral Certification. Eight senators and 140 congressmen voted no, out of the over 500 total votes cast. The question is twofold—did the "no" voters have facts or evidence that Joe Biden was fraudulently elected as President? Mind you, there were already over 60 adjudications finding no evidence of fraud before the date of the riot. Secondly, the question is, did any of the no voters in the Senate or the House ever offer evidence of why they voted no? Did they violate their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution? Did they vote no out of fear of their constituents? Two of the U.S. Senators that voted no were graduates of Harvard Law School. Harvard is our first American university, founded in 1636. We should all be curious if past graduates of such an esteemed law school employed anything like this mind bending trickery? Harvard Law review students should look into this situation if they have not done so already.


Plato suggested 2,300 years ago that democracies pass into despotism. Well, maybe modernly, it is because oaths and pledges have lost their clout. Now truth is simply another political opinion. If some disagree with the truth, then they twist it and shape it like a cheap piece of plastic to accommodate a self-serving political stance. Sean Hannity is a well paid commentator at Fox "News" who employs this method quite well to please his viewers. The election denying "no" voters in the House and Senate may have wanted to simply keep their jobs rather than lose sleep over the oaths and pledges that they may have violated. History and truth have a very long tail and all will be revealed most likely as time passes.


In the meantime, for the sake of our children, we should want them to believe in the efficacy and impact of the oaths and pledges that are needed to maintain a well-structured, lawful, and just society. A rebirth, a revisit, and a new look at the U.S. Constitution and enforcement thereof should now be the thought every day in America. God will it to be so, for several more centuries.


Let us join together to recapture the spirit of America, spelled out so well by those 55 Founding Fathers in 1787.

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