As your congressman, I will sponsor legislation to add, “I further swear to preserve the public trust by always endeavoring to tell the truth.”
In the Federalist papers, Alexander Hamilton defined the “high crimes and misdemeanors” phrase in the Constitution’s impeachment provisions to mean any violation of the public trust.
How Donald Trump’s incessant lying hasn’t been seen by Congress as a violation of the public trust is beyond me. Richad Nixon’s lying to the public to conceal his criminal activities (obstruction of justice) was one of the articles of impeachment against him.
Under the amended presidential oath, habitual, unrepentant lying — as opposed to honest mistakes or mere differences of opinion — would be grounds for removal.
I will found the House House Honesty Caucus to encourage truth telling and deter dishonesty in all branches of government.
It would provide baseline data, for example, for evaluating promises such as the number of jobs or amount of capital investment created by a corporate tax cut.
Every time this happens, politicians and commentators express sympathy for the poor federal employees who are being forced to go without a paycheck for the duration. All stakeholders in such disputes, however, know from the beginning that those lost wages will be restored in due course through congressional action. They always are.
So what do these shutdowns amount to? Except in the case of federal workers like TSA staff, who are forced to work without pay, they amount to deferred-compensation paid vacations on the taxpayers’ dime.
Federal workers should be paid when they work and not paid when they don’t.
There should be a political price paid for these easily avoidable shutdowns, and it should come in the form of thousands of furious, temporarily laid-off federal workers incentivized to vote irresponsible politicians (the president or Congress or both) out of office for costing them money.
The way to stop unnecessary and immoral military action is to require everyone to have skin in the game. That includes having to write a check for violent acts committed in our names.
When every family has to pay for a war and faces the possibility of having to fight and die in a war, we’ll have a realistic debate over whether to go to war.
We don’t have a national holiday celebrating the work of journalists, but we should.
Thomas Jefferson believed that the free press was at least as important to a democracy as any army or government agency. James Madison believed freedom of the press was the freedom that protected all of our other freedoms.
As we have seen during the dark reign of Donald Trump and his enablers, journalists have been one of the few structures of society that have upheld their responsibilities in protecting democracy.
The judiciary has been another democracy defender. So, in addition to National Journalism Day, there should be a day honoring judges, courts and the rule of law.