Recent events have overtaken even this blog. As such, this week’s continuation of my series on circumnavigating New Zealand is now rescheduled to resume on Monday, 18 January 2021.
I cannot in good conscience continue as though nothing has happened, for indeed something profound, historic, and devastating to our nation and our international standing did in fact occur. Therefore, for the first week since I started this blog nine years ago, there will not be the usual three or more articles. Instead, the entire week will consist of just one featured letter.
That letter is one I wrote to my Senator, the disgraceful and disgraced Ted Cruz of Texas. Tomorrow you shall have an opportunity to read precisely what I told Senator Cruz as to his culpability in last week’s insurrection, and his complete and total abrogation of his responsibilities to himself, his family, to the oath he took, his position in the United States Senate, his country, and to the Constitution of the United States of America.
My apologies to those of you who were looking forward to the continuation of my New Zealand series, but it shall return in just eight days.
The oaths I took upon joining the U.S. military and, later, the Civil Service of the federal government were remarkably similar to the one taken by every senator and congressman. But do members of Congress take seriously those words that they recited? Do they truly accept the responsibilities they supposedly acquired when they swore or affirmed their oaths of office?
The actual requirement for members of Congress to take an oath is derived from this:
“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
You will note that the constitutional requirement above is also required of state legislators, members of the executive branch (which is why I was required to take such an oath upon entering both military and civil service), and the judiciary. (As a side note: attorneys are considered ‘officers of the court’, and thus also take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States)
The oath that these congressional representatives take is:
“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.”
For a member of Congress to openly condone ongoing attempts to overthrow a legitimately elected president is in direct contradiction to that oath. That is an act of commission.
Members of Congress standing by in silence while witnessing such attempts constitutes ignoring that oath. That is an act of omission.
The former likely amounts to treason, or something remarkably close to it. The latter, in addition to being an abject example of pure political cowardice, might very well be considered by some an act of sedition, as it involves abrogating one’s oath to ‘support and defend’ in exchange for political expediency. At a minimum, remaining silent completely disregards the requirements outlined in the oath of office, which is itself disqualifying for the office held.
As things stood on 5 December 2020, an incredible 222 congressional Republicans, a full 89% of the GOP congressional contingent, either publicly supported President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overthrow a free and fair election in contravention of the Constitution of the United States, or have remained silent while those attempts are ongoing. Many more at the state legislator level across the nation have likewise forsaken the duties which they swore or affirmed to uphold.
Two current members of Congress, both senators, are currently in runoff elections in Georgia. They are actively campaigning for votes while simultaneously endorsing President Trump’s attempt to invalidate completely the election conducted by their own state on 3 November 2020. In other words, these two senators are vying for votes in a state in which they are both on record as not respecting the will of the majority of the Georgia electorate. Advocating for an attempt to overturn the collective will of Georgia voters while at the same time seeking to garner the votes of those same citizens is just absolute, mind boggling hypocrisy on an almost unimaginable scale. It is also, as I have already noted, a complete abrogation of their oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
You will note that this essay is not about court challenges, frivolous as they may be. The judiciary are so far taking seriously their oaths, even if the Trump legal team may not. Judges — local, state, and federal — are roundly rejecting unsubstantiated claims unsupported by evidence, as they should. I have full faith that the U.S. Supreme Court will act similarly, and on a unanimous basis.
Rather, this essay references other attempts beyond courts of law. I refer here to conspiratorial attempts to legislatively throw out the election results in multiple states, and substitute for the will of the citizens of those states that of the current occupant of the White House. I contend that this is in direct contradiction to the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. These faithless elected officials must at some point be held accountable. If not by the electorate, then by the law. There is simply no room in a representative democracy for representatives who refuse to protect that democracy.
Social distancing markers at Safeway in Arlington, VA — WAMU / Tyrone Turner
We have in this country a sizable population who choose willful ignorance over science and medical expertise. You know the ones. They’re your Uncle Jack, who gets his “news” from the likes of Sean Hannity, Fox “News”, OANN, Breitbart, and the like. Uncle Jack thinks he knows more than people with medical degrees and experts in epidemiology. Uncle Jack is that guy who posted to your Facebook timeline a link to Plandemic, a thoroughly discredited anti-vaxxer conspiracy “documentary” starring an equally thoroughly discredited Judy Mikovits. Because of all these “news” sources, Uncle Jack believes his rights are being violated by social distancing and mask requirements.
Alas, Uncle Jack is so historically illiterate that he doesn’t know that he’s on the losing end of this argument. Uncle Jack has never heard of Mary Mallon, who in an earlier time refused to quit infecting people with deadly typhoid fever because her “right” to work in kitchens was being violated. “Typhoid Mary” wound up dying in quarantine as a result. That quarantine was her second, and she spent the last 23 years of her life locked away on a small island in New York City’s East River.
So, no, Uncle Jack, you do not have a Constitutional right to endanger people with your willful ignorance and stupidity. That was established back around the turn of the last century.
Welcome to “Willful Ignorance and Stupidity Hours” at the local Walmart. Just as seniors can have the grocery store to themselves in the early morning hours, let us consider turning over these same stores to these future Darwin Awards nominees in late evenings. Let these self-absorbed “Constitutional rights experts” who never heard of Mary Mallon use the same stores, say between 11:00 p.m. and midnight on Wednesdays. Let them run willy-nilly around the store coughing and sneezing upon one another without a multilayer cotton nose-and-mouth barrier, while standing eighteen inches apart and yucking it up among themselves about how they’re, “Owning the libtards,” or whatever.
Right about now you’re thinking, “But what about the employees though?”
We can fix that as well. Since employees would now be risking life and limb (or functioning internal organs, as it were), they would be volunteers. They would also receive hazardous duty incentive pay, which would be paid for by those who now have the “freedom” to run around the store contaminating one another during “Willful Ignorance and Stupidity Hours”. I’m thinking a 50%-to-100% upcharge added onto their individual bills. This upcharge would be distributed at the end of the shift among cashiers, stockers, and the cleaning crew now tasked with decontaminating the store before Senior Hours begin in the morning. Increase that upcharge to 200% and the store might even be able to cover the medical costs of any employees going into ICU.
I like to think of this as a win-win. The smart ones among us get to survive, and without long-term disabilities. The willfully ignorant Plandemic fans among us get to drain the shallow end of the gene pool, thus making the world a much better place for the rest of us.