As Foreign Service Officers and public servants, we all remember the day we were sworn into office. Let me remind everyone the oath again:
“I ________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Note we swore our oath of office to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The distinction between defending against a particular individual, no matter how powerful he/she is, vs defending our Constitution, is significant.
For all public servants – all who have sacrificed for the Constitution of the United States of America, all who are extremely concerned about what we can say or not say due to the Hatch Act, even in private; all who are concerned about showing preference for one candidate or another during this election season, even in private; all who are also very disturbed by the unconstitutional language coming out of this year’s Presidential Campaign – this oath of office is a solemn reminder that we are here to serve, to protect, and to defend the Constitution. Moreover, we sworn an obligation to defend the Constitution against any enemies, foreign and domestic. Yes. We are not only allowed, but are obligated to speak up to defend the Constitution against any actor who defiles the Constitution with unconstitutional speeches or actions, even if that person is a presidential candidate.