America's service men and women each swear and oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
In case anyone has any doubts about the meaning of "domestic" enemies, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — the heads of the different military branches — made it abundantly clear in a statement released Tuesday.
"The violent riot in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process," the statement said.
"We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection."
The Joint Chiefs reminded service members of their duty to "support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath; it is against the law."
There are those who recklessly advocate violence to redress political grievances. Some spread these views on social media. and talk of civil war and secession.
Talk is one thing. But taking any such action? A very bad idea.
But the Joint Chiefs' statement makes it clear the men and women of our armed forces will be ready to defend this nation against any attempt to undermine our democracy. Just as they have always done — whether the enemies of our Constitution come from overseas or are homegrown.