All Federal government employees take the following oath:
I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) 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 that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
Very simple, direct, and to the point. The Washington Post’s article “Federal employees plan to express their opposition” published Wednesday, February 1, 2017 should be disturbing to all Americans who pay their salaries. Not all of course since there are many great employees in the Federal government, but a significant number of federal employees are already actively opposing the new administration through back channel communications and social media cites and share ways to leak critical information, slow down their work (as if that is possible for many federal employees), or openly defy orders they consider “objectionable.”
Federal employees who are “fearful” and have had their feelings hurt by the election of President Trump stated they are attending support groups to come to grips with their pain. Others have signed up for a workshop to listen to instruction of how to be civilly disobedient. One employee stated that “through leaks to news organizations and internal complaints, people here will resist and push back against orders they find unconscionable.” As the Post stated the signs of resistance in federal government offices range from low-level grumbling and angry opposition posted online to promises of insubordination. Two Twitter feeds @altUSEPA and @ActualEPAFacts are calling themselves “the Resistance” with over 200,000 followers. It is somehow akin to an underground militia for federal workers.
So, let’s take a look at the oath. Federal workers on their very first day of employment take this oath stating they will defend the Constitution of the United States. Americans must realize that federal workers are appointed. Although non-disclosure statements are signed by many employees in the civilian working world, non-governmental employees do not take an oath to the Constitution. If federal workers are leaking information that needs to remain within the agency, then they are in direct violation of that oath. Imagine the accountability if a corporate employee who signed a non-disclosure agreement, then leaked valuable proprietary information to others about the company’s product, and was caught doing so! The person who disclosed would hear the words“You’re fired!” and more than likely, would be sued as well. Not honoring your word is a very serious offense in the corporate arena.
Second, the employee swears that he or she is taking this obligation freely, without mental reservation. If at the time of taking the oath, they had second thoughts, then they should have objected by not swearing to the oath to become a federal employee. That is their right – to object but if the oath requires you to support, then that is your obligation is to the oath you took to be acceptable for a federal position. Every active duty and those who are Veterans now took their oath which is basically the same as a federal employee. And, as every Veteran like myself know, that Oath never expires! We may grumble of course and disagree about this or that policy but that is the extent. In combat, there is no room for “civil disobedience or acts of insubordination” as federal employee are considering doing. All Veterans in the federal government know that that they have taken two oaths to defend the Constitution.
The other area of the oath that we see permeating throughout many agencies now is the “or purpose of evasion” clause. Evading your duties or circumventing the system through civil disobedience, leaks of information, insubordination, or defiant acts of becoming part of an underground resistance movement should be a cause of alarm for all Americans. The federal government employees who cannot honor their oath should resign since there is no possible way they can faithfully discharge their duties for the American people if they lose their honor.
Resignation is the most decisive and honorable means of resistance.