about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Future Viewed Darkly

This is Steven Petrick posting.

One of the things I have encountered over the years is a call for the military to remove a sitting president. Goes all the way back to my high school years, so please do not take this as an assault on the current occupant.

I have always taken such comments in a negative light. If the military ever removes a sitting president, then the Republic, and the Constitution that is its founding document, would be dead. No future president could sit his seat without fear of being removed by the military. No sitting president could claim to be representative of the people as his office would be his solely because of the bayonets of the military.

However, I grew up and was educated in a different time. People of my Cohort who chose to serve generally had some education about the Constitution. This is important, because all of us, whether officer or enlisted, swear to "support and defend the Constitution." Yes, we also swear to obey the "lawful orders" of our superiors.

Of late, I have become increasingly disturbed that the Constitution is no longer taught, at least in so far as I can discover. I question college students fairly regularly, as I have noted before, and nearly unanimously they admit to having never had any course of instruction about the Constitution. The few that have mostly are those whose parents insisted they read it.

This very much frightens me for the future.

How can you raise your right hand and swear to "support and defend" a document you know almost nothing about save what you might have gleaned from news reports and entertainment? If you know nothing about what you are to "support and defend," then ultimately you are just swearing to obey "the lawful orders" of your superiors. You have, however, no basis to determine if those orders are "lawful" in the sense of defending the Constitution.

I very much fear that a day will come when a president (and again, I am not pointing a finger at the current occupant, I am "looking into future darkly) orders the military to arrest Congress, and they will do so because they believe it is a "lawful order."

When that day comes,  no matter how much the "trappings" of the Republic remain and are extolled, the Republic will truly be dead.