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The above video — Thanks to CNS News TV — is just another colossal example of the constitutional illiteracy of too many of our elected representatives in Congress. This time it is Senator Conrad of South Dakota, but he is only one of dozens of Congressmen and Senators CNS has questioned on this point and only a small percentage of them evidence any knowledge at all of the document they are sworn to defend.
The Constitution places only one individual performance requirement on members of Congress. That is found in Article VI, “The Senators and Representatives …shall be bound by oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution [of the United States]”. Every member of Congress is obligated, after being elected or re-elected to serve in Congress to take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution before taking office.
The actual oath members of Congress take is even more stringent than the Constitution requires. In it, they swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic“. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the Constitution as to what to do when they discover, as Pogo Possum did, that “we have seen the enemy and he is us“.
Seriously, though, is it too much to ask of an employee we pay a base salary of $169,000 per year as of 2008, that they at least read and have a working understanding of their job description? Senator Conrad, as did Senator Landrieu of Louisiana and others plead ignorance and expresses a dependence on staff attorneys to insure they are acting within their Constitutional responsibilities.
Staff attorneys are not permitted to take the Oath of Office on behalf of their bosses and should not be allowed to assume the responsibility when their bosses violate that oath. The Constitution contains 4,494 words including Article and Section titles. The average person reads and comprehends with 60% efficiency, about 200 words per minute. That means the average reader can read and understand the main points of the Constitution is less than 25 minutes. There is no excuse for any government official, or citizen for that matter, not to take the time necessary to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the Supreme Law governing our government.
As citizens, it is our responsibility to require adherence to the Constitution on the part of our elected officials. Unless we ourselves are familiar with it, we are not going to know when it is violated. Every day that passes, we are one day closer to tyranny and all because not enough of us have taken the time to understand what government is all about. We are now to the point where we have to defend the Constitution or lose it, along with all the rights and liberty it protects.