Criteria for office holders such as senators

To the editor:

Ads for candidates to replace Senator Rob Portman have been frequent lately. The goal is to familiarize the electorate with the names, faces, and some issues on which the candidates stand. I am sure that we will see more as time goes on.

I was taught by my parents to always vote for the best person for the specific office that the person was seeking. And as time goes on, one of the most important points to me is the oath of office that the person will take.

A senator will take this oath of office:

“I do solemnly swear to 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 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.”

Underlying the specific duties outlined for a senator in Article 1 is the purpose and spirit of the Constitution stated in its preamble:

“We the people of the United States in Order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

And so for me, the most important criterion is whether or not I can vote for a candidate based on my judgment of the person’s ability to implement and fulfill his/her oath of office. This judgment is based on the background, experience, presentation of self in relation to the office, and overall statements and actions.

For instance, in relation to the office of senator, the elder statesperson, an intent to further divide the country and not insure domestic tranquility nor promote the general welfare or common good would render a candidate unfitting constitutionally for that office. It would mean that person has a mental reservation or proposes to evade fidelity to the Constitution.

What are your criteria for candidates?

Sincerely yours,

Edwin F Gearhart