The Reaping Times are upon US
‘You reap what you sow’ is a common adage suggesting that future consequences are shaped by present actions. Yesterday’s violation of the ‘People’s House’ is a consequence of yesterday’s actions. (Rule of Law)
The nation is shocked by a mob ascending the Capitol Building stairs and violating the sanctity of law. They entered the nations’ legislative building, where laws are made, with impunity. Many took ‘selfies’ in the halls where their representatives conduct the people’s business. They rummaged through offices, paid for by the constituents, where the representatives represent the people’s interests. They acted above the law.
And why is this a surprise? Is their behavior not just a natural extension of the devolution and dissolution of that fundamental precept we used to hold sacred – the Rule of Law? The Rule of Law implies that the law applies equally to all people, regardless of status, wealth, religion, skin color, sexual preference, gender preference, or whatever Identity group our fickle society seems to favor at the moment. If you violate the written law, you should suffer the consequences of your actions. Unfortunately, our recent sowing of seeds suggests that this concept is no longer a preeminent, guiding principle for this nation. The results became quite clear yesterday.
Life is not fair
Regardless of which end of the political or social spectrum you inhabit, all can identify injustices to their identity group. All can point to some aggrieved act in their or their forefather’s lives. Life is an equal opportunity inflicter of pain and injury.
However, those that purport to represent our interests (some call them our ‘leaders’) seem to be telling us by their actions that the rule of law is not nearly as important when applied to a passionate group of people acting out on their aggrieved status.
Do you want to tear down a public statue from the village square? Our elected officials admonish that such behavior is OK! They’re not going to hold you consequent to your behavior. They agree there were injustices in the past, and acting on your passion should be an encouraged thing. Regardless of the expense to the public trough and erosion of the principle of the Rule of Law.
You want to roam the streets and set fire to vehicles and people’s business? Not a problem, our representatives allow and suggest that because you’re acting on a narrative of wrongdoing (often poorly validated), your avoidance of consequences for your illegal actions is of higher interest to our society than protecting the owners of the destroyed business; presumably because they are not aggrieved? Our ‘leaders’ select one preferred group over another in the application (lack of) of law.
Do you think you can do better? Would you like to occupy, by force of arms, a city block with impunity? Do you want to destroy the livelihood of the business owners? You think it proper to prevent first responders from reaching those in need? It’s OK; it’s only a ‘Summer of Love.’ The occupiers’ angst that life is not fair is sufficient justification for our ‘leaders’ to violate the contract they have with their constituents to provide for their common security and safety. Our representatives teach us that we have to yield on our principles because these delusional youths think they can somehow create a utopia by carving a few blocks out of a sovereign nation. Their needs are more important than the application of the rule of law.
You thought it would be a good day to launch Molotov Cocktails at a Federal Building. It’s OK! You impassioned ‘assaulters’ are aggrieved, and in your moments of provocation, others need to accept that destroying our Federal Public buildings (night after night) is the cost of doing business in these tumultuous days. They want us to understand it is acceptable that you express your discontent in unlawful ways. It’s clear; our elected representatives would have us believe that we need not apply the rule of law nor critical reasoning.
Lessons Well Learned
Do you think people aren’t paying attention? Do you not think people are not encouraged by our ‘leaders’ encouraging words? First, it was a street corner, then multiple streets and onto entire city blocks and finally, assaulting Federal Buildings. If there are but few consequences for this type of illegal activity, what next? How about busting into the People’s House so you can tell the occupants that they are not paying attention and doing a lousy job? It’s OK; others have to accept……oh wait. Bad idea! You crossed the line! This violates the Rule of Law; you should should be punished!
Our ‘leaders’ now express scorn and outrage over the fact that they taught the aggrieved only too well on acceptable ways to act out their grievances. I’m sure they don’t see it that way, but the past year has proven fertile learning grounds. We citizens have watched from the sidelines as they did so. We approved. Just two months ago, we put them back in their positions of teaching.
Our Legislators, our Judges, and our Executives are telling us that they believe the rule of law is subordinated to the rule of the mob unless it is an attack against the People’s House. All year they had plenty of opportunities to express otherwise; some tried, most did not. I suspect many felt their jobs beholden to mob mentality or lacked the courage to stand up and support basic principles enshrined in the ‘Rule of Law.’ Others, those more craven, found the actions of the mob beneficial to their narrative or interests. Some, we’re just lost in the confusion of it all.
They are who we elected to represent us. And now, after a day of national infamy, we, and our representatives express surprise and amazement; we somehow think that we too should avoid the consequences of our actions. We believe we will not be held accountable nor have to harvest the seeds we’ve sown over the past few years.
Yesterday was a day of national shame, but not because those thugs ‘breached the Capitol’ but because we taught them that it was a viable course of action to express their discontent. We do reap what we sow.
The Bottom Line
Wrong is wrong. It’s wrong to destroy public and private property with impunity, and it’s wrong to storm the Capitol building. The way you prevent the latter is by enforcing the law with the former. It’s time to return to fundamental principles. Holding all accountable for their actions is an excellent way to start, whether a street thug, a misguided bureaucrat or law enforcement officer or an elected official.
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