"The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all." --George Washington (1796)
In 1776, an extraordinary group of Patriots signed our Declaration of Independence, thereby affirming their unalienable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as "endowed by our Creator," not man. A decade later, their Liberty won at great cost, our Founders enshrined that Liberty in the form of our Constitution.
As written and ratified, our Constitution stipulates in its preface that it is "ordained and established" by the people to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." To that end, it established a Republic, not a popular democracy, which is to say it affirmed the primacy of Rule of Law over the rule of men.
Accordingly, the first order of business for those elected to national office is that they be bound by oath to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution under which they were duly elected.
Since our founding, every president has taken a sacred and solemn oath, as prescribed in Article II, Section 1, which specifies: "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: '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.'"
Prior to delivery of his Second Inaugural Address Monday, Barack Hussein Obama was administered his oath1. by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts. It is dedication and allegiance to that oath of office which, first and foremost, defines the presidential character of all who have taken it.
In the case of Barack Obama, every day of his administration has been defined by the abject violation of that oath.
In his inaugural remarks2., Obama bookended his agenda with Declaration- and Constitution-affirming aphorisms, in fitting tribute to our Founders. But every word between those bookends reflected a lifetime of Leftist mentoring, and was, accordingly, an affront to Liberty and Obama's oath to support and defend our Constitution.
Obama began his remarks: "Each time we gather to inaugurate a president we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. ... What makes us exceptional -- what makes us American -- is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'
"For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they've never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The Patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. And for more than two hundred years, we have."
All well and good, but then Obama devoted the body of his inaugural agenda to the evisceration of the Liberty proclaimed in our Declaration and codified in our Constitution.
It is not that Obama's overt intent was to shred our Constitution, per se. It is that he subscribes to the errant notion of a "living constitution," one that can be twisted to mean whatever he and his Leftist cadres want it to mean in order to comport with their statist agenda. In other words, he subscribes to the rule of men over Rule of Law.
In the second of his two autobiographies, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama wrote, "[The Constitution] is not a static but rather a living document, and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world."
He repeated that assertion in the context of his address, saying, "[W]e have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. ... Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time."
Our Founders did not establish a Constitution in order to facilitate a "centuries-long debate about the role of government." On the contrary, our Constitution clearly enumerates the role of government, but Obama insists that he be the arbiter of that role. And, as for how we "define liberty," undoubtedly Obama also aspires to have his definition be the universal standard.
The only "debate," then, is to what extent Obama and the Left can violate Liberty and the authority of our Constitution before American Patriots rise in protest. The advent of another American Revolution to re-establish our nation's First Principles, is a perpetual check against tyranny, as discomforting as that thought might be for some.
As Thomas Jefferson noted in the year our Constitution was written, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." And on that note, make no mistake: Obama's current assault on the Second Amendment has nothing to do with "keeping children safe from harm," and everything to do with the confiscation of the type of weapons that have one primary purpose under the Second Amendment -- defending our Constitution.
Obama and his ideological Marxists have overtaken the once-noble Democratic Party, and converted it to the Socialist Democratic Party. The consequences have been devastating for those he ostensibly serves, particularly for his most loyal constituency -- black Americans, 93 percent of whom voted for Obama.
Obama's inaugural was "celebrated" on the day set aside to remember the civil rights struggle, and its primary protagonist, Martin Luther King. MLK proclaimed famously, "I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." But Obama has done nothing to advance that proclamation, instead, affirming the statist status of most blacks, who, in effect, are enslaved on urban plantations.
Obama maintains this most loyal constituency by maintaining the "victim status" of black people, thus ensuring they are judged by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character -- the antithesis of MLK's dream.
Democratic Socialism, like Nationalist Socialism, is nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged. It seeks a centrally planned economy directed by a dominant-party state that controls economic production by way of taxation, regulation and income redistribution.
Obama's closing bookend began with the assertion, "My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction. And we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service."
But Obama's allegiance is most assuredly to "party" and "faction," in part two of his quest for "fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
He ended his inaugural remarks claiming, "You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country's course. ... With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom."
Translation: He and his legions of socialists are intent on setting the nation's course, and they will not be deterred by the Rule of Law. These are words spoken with the arrogance of a man who believes he is worshipped by all the people, rather than one who was re-elected to office by a narrow, naive and dangerously uninformed populist majority.
In his first inaugural address to the nation in 1789, George Washington proclaimed, "The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."
In his Farewell Address to the nation in 1796, George Washington affirmed, "The Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all."
But Obama believes that he dictates the "rules of order," and that the "explicit and authentic act of the whole People" was his marginal re-election, not the process of amendment prescribed in Article V of our Constitution.
Thus, American Patriots from all walks of life must stand ready to defend Liberty, as our Founders did, "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence." We must, likewise, "mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" to uphold our Constitution.
For the record, I have taken my oath to support and defend our Constitution nine times in the service of my community, my state and my country. I honor my oath every day, and stand ready with more than 60 million armed Patriots, to support and defend it! To that end, I recall the words of Thomas Paine: "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
1. Obama again fumbled the recitation of his oath, as he did in 2009. This time he was unable to say "United States" correctly, and smirked. I mention this because there are two distinct "poker tells" that betray Obama's efforts to deceive. One is the prolific use of "uh" when he is telling a lie that is not scripted from a teleprompter. The other is when he fumbles the simplest of words, as he did once again with his oath.
2. I did not watch any of the over-the-top inaugural fanfare, including the inauguration itself. I did, however, place my flag at half-mast in mourning for our great nation on Monday. Tuesday, I retrieved the text of Obama's remarks in order to formulate this response.