The Corner

Lamar! On The Oath

As Jim Boulet noted yesterday, those were excellent remarks from Sen. Lamar Alexander yesterday opposing the proposed changes to the Oath of Allegiance. Makes me want to put an exclamation mark behind his first name: “I don’t know whether it will happen or not, but I’ve read the new oath that the BCIS may make public next week, and I prefer the traditional one. The Oath of Allegiance is a fundamental statement on the commitment of becoming a United States citizen. It should not be altered by a government agency, no matter how well intentioned. And I don’t doubt that the government employees involved in this process do, indeed, have the best of intentions. But any change should be subject to the approval of this body – it must be enshrined in law. … I have no objection to others proposing modifications to the Oath of Allegiance that we use today. I like the present Oath. It has strength and clarity. I have seen in the eyes of new Americans what it means to them. But perhaps ways can be found to make it even stronger. Still, let’s make sure any changes have the support of the people as represented by Congress. The Oath of Allegiance is a statement of the commitments required of new citizens. Current citizens, through their elected representatives, ought to have a say as to what those commitments are. That’s a lesson in democracy. A legally binding statement on American citizenship ought to reflect American values, including democracy.”

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


The Latest