Letter to the Editor: Our elected officials don’t uphold their oaths

Randy Brooks

After the first wave of elections passed, I began to think about the oaths of office these newly elected officials took. In all of the oaths I looked at — town, county, state, federal — there is one phrase running through them all: “to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.” Previously I had not thought about what this really means, until I took the Constitution 101 class from Hillsdale College offered through Come to the Table.

Hillsdale College is a private, conservative liberal arts college in Michigan, founded in 1844 by abolitionists known as Free Will Baptists. Hillsdale does not accept federal funding as a way to opt out of affirmative action policies. It immediately admitted Black students at its founding and was the second school in the nation to award four year liberal arts degrees to women. In the 1956 Tangerine Bowl in Florida, Hillsdale’s football team refused to play when the governing committee would not allow the team’s black players to join.

Having completed the class, it struck me: our elected officials do not uphold the tenants of the Constitution. This is probably more out of ignorance than a deliberate action. What started out as a constitutionally-driven form of government has changed substantially since the founding. The current administrative state really does not conform to the Constitution. This is not about right or wrong — but more about awareness. Should the Oaths be changed, or the system of government change, to align with the Constitution?

With elections on the horizon, I would encourage everyone to look into this course. Come to the Table will offer it again this fall. More than ever, it is important for us to take a more discerning role in our government, and this course is a good first step

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