The swearing-in of a public official has always been a solemn event; during which extreme ideology and partisan theatrics were put aside. Even the use of a Bible was a tradition respected by conservatives and liberals alike; not always for religious reasons, but in recognition that swearing on top of our culture’s most-sacred tome was a sign of the significance of the vows and of one’s commitment thereto.
Recently, however, things have gone badly off track. The slow creep of post-modern subjectivism finally has made its way into the swearing-in process itself. Now, it seems anything goes.
Take, for instance, the recent swearing-in of 26-year-old Mariah Parker, as a Commissioner for Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. The raised fist during her vows and comically unserious theatrics were crowned when she took her oath of office by placing her left hand not on the Bible and not on the U.S. Constitution, but on a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. She now undoubtedly will become the celeb-du-jour of the New Left, right alongside the foul-mouthed actor Robert De Niro.
If the new criteria for being sworn into office is to place your hand on whatever book you happen to like, here are some others:
President Trump, The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump. Sure, it may be somewhat conceited to use one’s own book to be sworn-in on, but what better representation of Trump’s first term than this? The business advice laid out in The Art clearly is the “dragon energy” (to borrow from Kanye West) underlying his Administration.
Sen. Rand Paul, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Just like “The Destroyer” in Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, Paul’s many years toiling as one of the very few voices of reason in the Senate, has given way to near open-rebellion against the Deep State. “I will stop the motor of the Senate,” might be the Senator’s new motto.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Schumer is one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, thanks largely to the deftness with which he plays Republicans like Sen. John McCain; tricking them into believing he’s their buddy. A master of manipulation, Schumer knows who his enemies are.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, The Memory Book by Harry Lorayne. In spite of odd, almost alarming, episodes of nonsensical laughing, memory slips, and garbled speech, Pelosi is convinced she still has a role to play in the Democratic Party struggling to rebrand itself after being trounced in 2016. Pelosi almost certainly has this book at her desk and her nightstand.
Vice President Mike Pence, The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump. The Apprentice studies his Master wisely.
Hillary Clinton, Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky. Hillary, who came of age in the same era of radical politics that gave birth to Alinsky’s writings, may actually consider Rules for Radicals to be her Bible. Let us pray she never again has the chance to rest her left hand on this or any book.
Bill Clinton, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. When Bill reflected this week that “the norms have really changed in terms of what you can do to somebody against their will,” one could almost detect a sense of regret and nostalgia to this sexual predator’s musings.
Rep. Maxine Waters, Das Kapital by Karl Marx. Like the new Athens-Clarke County Commissioner, Waters knows the value of fiery rhetoric, especially when attempting – at age 79 -- to gain relevance with young voters. Unfortunately for Maxine, few of the Millennials who applaud her have read any books worth reading.
Paul Manafort, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. For the beleaguered Manafort, nothing brings him such relief from his fast-unraveling life, than stories of Aladdin, and his ability to escape the wrath of an evil sorcerer by rubbing a magic lantern. Though a certainty never to be sworn into office, this would be his book of choice should the sun ever rise in the West.
Bob Mueller, 1984 by George Orwell. Like Manafort, Mueller is unlikely to ever take an oath of office, especially in a Republican administration. Nevertheless, his preference undoubtedly would be to use Orwell’s book, based on the dystopian novel’s concept of a government in which its agents have unlimited power to discover, track down, and punish enemies of the State.
Bernie Sanders, Free Money for Everybody by Matthew Lesko. You might remember Lesko as the man in the television infomercials with the question mark suit, shouting about free government money. For a socialist like Sanders, this is less a cheesy sales pitch than true gospel.