by Jason McNew (American Thinker)
The U.S. Military remains among the most respected institutions in America. Conversely, the U.S. Congress has achieved abysmal approval ratings. Numerous state legislatures do not fare much better.
Perhaps, like the military, lawmakers could benefit from having a code of honor, or a creed – similar to the NonCommissioned Officer’s Creed.
No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as “The Backbone of the Army”. I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.
Competence is my watchword. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind — accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain tactically and technically proficient. I am aware of my role as a Noncommissioned Officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.
Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders!
I suggest the following; if only there were lawmakers who might bother themselves with following it:
I am an American Lawmaker, entrusted by the People with the power to devise laws. The powers of the lawmaker are the most serious of those given to government. I will never use these powers to the benefit of myself, or to the benefit of particular interests. Like the Fire Fighter, the Police Officer, and the War-fighter, I choose to serve the People. I am greatly humbled to have earned the goodwill of their votes.
My Oath to support, obey, and defend the Constitution is a serious Oath. I will never propose, nor vote to pass, any law unauthorized by the Constitution. I, nor the government, have any powers other than those given by the People. I will never forget that I am responsible to the People, and that the People are the best judges of their own affairs… READ MORE
On a more intellectual note, the portion of essay below, helps to solidify my own perspective
of how our personal liberties can only be held and pursued on a foundation of moral virtue. Some interesting things in this.
In searching for the foundation of the laws of our nature, the following reflections occur. In the first place, two things cannot be more intimately connected than a being and its actions: for the connection is that of cause and effect. Such as the being is, such must its actions be. In the next place, the several classes into which nature has distributed living creatures, are not more distinguishable by an external form, than by an internal constitution, which manifests itself in an uniformity of conduct, peculiar to eachspecies. In the third place, any action conformable to the common nature of the species, is considered by us as regular and proper. It is according to order, and according to nature. But if there exist a being of a constitution different from that of its kind, the actions of this being, though conformable to its own peculiar constitution, will, to us, appear whimsical and disorderly. We shall have a feeling of disgust, as if we saw a man with two heads or four hands. These reflections lead us to the foundation of the laws of our nature. They are to be derived from the common nature of man, of which every person partakes who is not a monster.
As the foregoing observations make the groundwork of all morality, it may not be improper to enlarge a little upon them. Looking around, we find creatures of very different kinds, both as to external and internal constitution. Each species having a peculiar nature, ought to have a peculiar rule of action resulting from its nature. We find this to hold in fact; and it is extremely agreeable to observe, how accurately the laws of each species are adjusted to the frame of the individuals which compose it, so as to procure the conveniencies of life in the best manner, and to produce regularity and consistency of conduct. To give but one instance: the laws which govern sociable creatures, differ widely from those which govern the savage and solitary. Among solitary creatures, who have no mutual connection, there is nothing more natural nor more orderly, than to make food one of another. But for creatures in society to live after that manner, must be the effect of jarring and inconsistent principles. No such disorderly appearance is discovered upon the face of this globe. There is, as above observed, a harmony betwixt the internal and external constitution of the several classes of animals; and this harmony affords a delightful prospect of deep design, effectively carried into execution. The common nature of every class of beings is perceived by us as perfect; and if, in any instance, a particular being swerve from the common nature of its kind, the action produces a sense of disorder and wrong. In a word, it is according to order, that the different sorts of living creatures should be governed by laws adapted to their peculiar nature. We consider it as fit and proper that it should be so; and it is beautiful to find creatures acting according to their nature.
The force of these observations cannot be resisted by those who admit of final causes. We make no difficulty to pronounce, that a species of beings who have such or such a nature, are made for such or such an end. A lion has claws, because nature made him an animal of prey. A man has fingers, because he is a social animal made to procure food by art not by force. It is thus we discover for what end we were designed by nature, or the Author of nature. And the same chain of reasoning points out to us the laws by which we ought to regulate our actions: for acting according to nature, is acting so as to answer the end of our creation.
essay ii: Foundation and Principles of Morality i – Henry Home, Lord Kames, Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion