2019-02-06 / Editorial

TO DEATH US TO PART

Michael N. Searles

For those of us who have taken the marital plunge, these words should be familiar:

"I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you." These vows are a lifelong commitment to fidelity and trust. One line that stands out is “till death do us part.”

While not all marriages last that long, the concept of making a lifelong pledge is significant. It seems that roughly 36% of Americans have fallen in love with President Trump and the marriage will only end when one or the other dies. When a man says to his intended,” I can do whatever I want and you will not leave me,” this is not a good way to start a marriage. When candidate Trump (the fi- ancé) said to his supporters (the fiancée) that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters, it should have sent up red flags. However, it apparently did not. How many folks would marry someone who said in their marriage vows, “I will love whomever I want whenever

I want?”

According to the Focus on the Family website, marital fidelity begins long before marriage. It begins as a promise we make to ourselves to be a person of faithful character before marriage ever enters the picture. It is a promise we make to our future spouse when we get engaged, and it is a vow we make to our spouse when we get married. Marital fidelity is a daily commitment to seek the best for your spouse and family. It is estimated that roughly 30% to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage. While fidelity is valued, many fail to meet its high standard. However, the majority of those who make vows do not announce to their partner that they have no intention of keeping them. Not everything said reflects actions a person will take. Someone can make a bombastic statement and never act on it.

President Trump merely saying what he could do didn’t mean he would do it. This could be the end of the story, but it is not. Before entering the Executive Office, the President-elect takes the following oath:— “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.” A presidential oath is specified in Article II, Section One, Clause 8, of the United States Constitution. However, the oath taken by federal officials in Article VI of the Constitution and worded in Title 5, U.S.C. 3331 states “to solemnly swear (or affirm)” to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and that they “will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” The wording of the president’s oath was not established by federal law but by the Supreme Court in 1792.

Possibly, President Trump read the two oaths and decided he did not have to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. If this reasoning seems farfetched, why has President Trump met with Vladimir Putin five times without any official record of the conversations? The President of the United States meeting with an adversary in secret—not once—but five times should send off alarm bells. The only one with a record of what was said is Putin. A private meeting between any other president with a Russian leader would have sent shock waves through the nation, yet 36% of Americans apparently still love Trump. Lawyers will tell you, divorcing an abusive husband is one of the most difficult things that a wife and can do. Just walking away from a bad situation is not easy. The time may have come when the president’s loyal followers recognize that his bad behavior can no longer be tolerated. If they do not want to lay out the president’s indiscretion chapter and verse, hopefully, they will say there are irreconcilable differences and walk away.

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