Ross: Let them swear they will tell nothing but the truth

Jan 18, 2022, 6:02 AM | Updated: 10:55 am
Inslee, swear, election fraud...
Gov. Jay Inslee. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Inslee/Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of Gov. Inslee/Flickr)

My daughter heard yesterday’s commentary about Governor Inslee’s proposed law to discourage candidates from lying about the election process …

And she came up with what I thought was an excellent alternative:

If the object is to get political candidates to navigate closer to the truth, instead of passing a punitive law, which is just going to get everybody upset – the Secretary of State could simply establish a day when every candidate for public office is invited to stand before the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court, and swear an oath to tell the truth.

“Do you solemnly swear that, in your speeches and statements, you will tell nothing but the truth, and will never participate in, or support, a violent insurrection, so help you God.”

The ceremony would be broadcast live, and it would be completely voluntary. So that if a candidate doesn’t feel able to live up to the oath – just don’t go.

But for the candidates who do take the oath, I would think that there would be a serious competitive advantage.

As for enforcement – I think it would be self-enforcing. Because the video of the swearing-in would live forever, and would forever haunt anyone caught lying.

There is a downside: It would make campaigns a lot duller. Nothing ruins a red-meat speech like a candidate who insists on a fact-check.

But someday, there may be enough candidates fed up with the depravity of our current campaign culture to take the plunge.

I think the Secretary of State should just do it. Set up the ceremony, send out the invitations. All it would take would be for one candidate to show up, take the public oath, and go on to win the election – the tradition would be established.

And then all it would need is a catchy name. I was thinking … “Oath-Keepers” – but I hear that’s taken.

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Ross: Let them swear they will tell nothing but the truth