We . . . The American People”
On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump took the oath of office and became the 45th President of these United States. He swore/affirmed as required by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution:
“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.”
Sections II, III, and IV of Article II set forth the other powers/duties of the President. Although not specifically written, it is fair to assume the given the electoral process and the duties set forth that the President is the President of “All the People,” not just those who voted for him. The first three words of the opening paragraph of the Constitution (which were and still are: revolutionary, inventive, enduring, ignored?) are “We the People” – it is then “we (all) the people,” not “only we who voted for the President,” or “only we of this or that political party,” or “only we of this sex, color, ethnicity.”
This concept of being President of ALL the people has been affirmed – often – by the 45th President and many of those who assist him, speak for him, and who have been designated to head the various departments of the federal government. Yet, it is only the President who represents directly “We the People” aka “all the people.” Were these empty promises or a recognition that truly the thoughts and actions of our elected leaders will truly be as representatives of ALL of “We the People?” It is up to each of us, individually and united, to keep that aspect of the promises that have enabled We the People to have survived, prospered and reached – once again – this role in our lives.
So, taking stock of this governing document, the oath of office, the duties, and the pronouncements over the campaign period and the transition time . . . and noting the division at all levels of the People and their elected representatives, as well as the pronouncements, seeming contradictions, , protests and marches, the angst throughout the world of the internet, is there a context that can put the desire to “make America great (again?)” and to help focus the debates and the course of this nation?
The answer is “yes.” And that answer should appeal to the nature and verbiage expressed by our 45th President. Wouldn’t he like to be identified with our founding fathers and be the “Constitutional President?” How is this done? Let us hold up the first 52 words of the Preamble to the Constitution that was promulgated in the name of “We the People” and which set forth the basic values that the rest of the document was meant to support.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Arthur W. Rashap