The Constitution is a Lie

So I walked into the kitchen last night to make dinner and I could hear my mom helping my little brother with his history homework in the other room. He’s in 8th grade, learning about American government. She was teaching him how the presidency and Congress work, what the amendments are, etc. She told him how the president has to take an oath before he takes office.

“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.”

But it’s all bullshit.

The president’s job isn’t to protect the Constitution or any law. It’s to break it or get around it the best he can so he can advance a political agenda. The oath is meaningless. It doesn’t reflect reality. It’s an anachronism. Our current president has done the exact opposite, and the only people who could have punished him for it have refused.

I should be happy today because of Wexler’s speech. Finally somebody doing something, right? But the fact is it’s late in the game. Everybody’s consumed with the Change Lottery election now. The media’s not going to pay any attention, and even if they did they’d probably just be condescending and rude like usual. Even a lot of the folks around DKos, who you’d think would be pretty passionate about civil liberties, just throw their hands up and say, ‘Oh well, we don’t have the votes, best just give up.’

To be sure, I’m cynical too. I was born in the middle of the Reagan administration (YUCK), so I’ve never seen functional politics at work. BUT I always had faith in that one single thing, the Bill of Rights, thinking that I could ALWAYS rely on my beloved First Amendment. I (naively) thought that even for all the horrible things that go on in politics, at least I have my rights and they’re too sacred for any thug politician to ever threaten. Even when Bush was running amok saying he could spy on people without getting a warrant, holding people in prison without charging them with a crime, lying to us to force the war, forcing protesters into “freedom of speech zones”, stuff like outing Valerie Plame, and all that jazz, I STILL thought that as soon as the Democrats took back Congress we’d undo it, reprimand him and his rubber-stamp GOP congresses, and thus restore the Constitution’s authority. The Judiciary Committee would lead the charge to impeach and send a warning to any future presidents who would endanger our rights. But it didn’t happen. Besides throwing out Gonzales, there’ve been no consequences, no rebuke.

My little brother’s gonna get tested on all this stuff about how government works, how it’s set up, what Congress is supposed to do, what the president’s job is, but it’s just not true. Maybe in 1800, but not in 2008. The president does not exist to protect our rights and neither does Congress. The only people who can protect our rights are us.

19 comments

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    • meteoriot on January 18, 2008 at 2:48 am
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    this is my first diary here. for the second, I promise I’ll try to write something more uplifting. 🙂

    • RiaD on January 18, 2008 at 3:12 am

    and a question i have pondered myself….

    many times, these last few years. i too was/am astonished to find it’s all a big f-in’ lie… that they’re all the same…

    i now say ‘dc corporate politician’ as the worst possible insult. i hope it catches on & goes viral.

    and just out of curiosity (& you needn’t answer) how many years have you?

    • Alma on January 18, 2008 at 3:20 am

    I don’t remember that 4th branch of government, the Cheney branch, being in the history, or government books either.  I think they have a lot of updating to do after this administration.

  1. To be sure, I’m cynical too. I was born in the middle of the Reagan administration (YUCK), so I’ve never seen functional politics at work. BUT I always had faith in that one single thing, the Bill of Rights, thinking that I could ALWAYS rely on my beloved First Amendment.

    YUCK about sums it up….

    Glad you posted!

    • feline on January 18, 2008 at 7:08 am

    through the hypocrisy and confusion in our present political climate.

    And, I’m glad we have you both in our future.

    Thanks for your essay.  Although the topic isn’t necessarily “uplifting”, just the fact that you possess your insights and courage to express them is uplifting.

  2.  

    This is a good essay, thank you meteoriot.  

    • Edger on January 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    America is still a country where people grow up taught that their president is a leader, an honest man dedicated to preserving freedom and defending the constitution, their country, and it’s citizens. They grow up taught that one of the highest honors and services they can perform for their country and their families and neighbors is to don the uniform in military service in the trust that their leaders are honorable men and women, and fight and risk their lives for those leaders and for those they leave behind at home. In George W. Bush’s war of terror they have been lied to and misled and their trust cynically manipulated and used in the most immoral ways possible, by the people they have been taught since birth would never let them down, would give them every bit of support possible in the name of their country, as honorable leaders.

    This is Bush’s most heinous crime and the most heinous crime of congressional leaders, IMO.

    • OPOL on January 18, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Let’s hear it for America, the land where you’re fed a steady diet of bullshit from cradle to grave.  I say we rename our government and start calling it ‘the Ministry of Love’.  Might as well just embrace the cognitive dissonance.  🙂

    • documel on January 18, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    The Constitution protected white men only–all others were second or third class citizens.  It’s a lot like the bible, reverered more in the abstract, not too good up close.

    Right now, the biggest problem is capitalism–and its purchase of the political system.  The artificial man rules–we, the people, suffer.

    • Edger on January 18, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Otherwise we’ll have to hunt you down and drag you back here! 😉

  3. …though I think it was always just a hope, a spell, an invocation.  

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