AP NEWS

Joan McDermott: Democrats care about the country, too

May 8, 2019

Editor: In the first part of a writer’s May 4 letter, a bit of clarification might be illuminating regarding the agenda of other Americans, the structure of the current government, and the chronology of a proposed House rules change. Above all else, I can assure you that Democrats I know care at least as deeply about what will benefit our great country as do citizens of other political persuasions.

I would also point out that Congress is not controlled by the Democrats, as the letter states. We have a Republican majority Senate and a Democratic-controlled House. The letter said that “so help me God” had been taken out of the oath sworn by Congressional witnesses. It was actually a rules proposal in the House, not the Senate — and it came out of the House Natural Resources Committee for the 115th Congress back in January 2019. It also included the addition of the phrase, “-under penalty of law.”

And it suggested changing “chairman” to “chair” — not such a bad idea, considering that there are now so many elected officials holding office who are “chairwomen” as well as “chairmen” — why not make it simple? The proposed rules request for change was subsequently withdrawn. Also consider this: When the President of the United States takes the oath of office, the Constitution, in Article II, Section 1, states “ – he shall take the following Oath of Affirmation: - I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It seems that our founders did not find it necessary for even the President to say, “so help me God”. Of course, it does not prevent a president from choosing to add that phrase.

Joan McDermott

Lake Havasu City