America’s existence is rooted in a critical collection of values. At the head of those values, arguably, is the rule of law. Our society cannot survive without respect for law and order. It all starts at the top.
In this case, the lawlessness we see can be traced back to Barack Obama’s presidency. Obama weaponized the IRS and the FBI to attack his political adversaries. More than a decade later, his contempt for the rule of law has filtered down everywhere. Democratic politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff, Bernie Sanders, and Maxine Waters regularly disregard the rule of law when it suits their purposes.
As contempt for the nation’s laws increases, citizens are left with the impression that they can decide for themselves what laws they should obey.
By refusing to enforce a variety of laws — he called it “prosecutorial discretion” — Obama encouraged an atmosphere of contempt for law and order that would have been unthinkable just a few years earlier. We are suffering from his failure right now as the social order crumbles due to the breakdown of basic legal principles, disrespect for existing laws, and the imposition of arbitrary standards of justice.
First, the breakdown of basic legal principles. Local governments — practically all run by Democrats — show more concern for criminals than for law-abiding citizens. Our cities are being torn apart by rioting, looting, and arson as mayors and governors encourage the breakdown of civil order.
A prime example is New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Adams believes that the city’s massive crime problem can be solved by going soft on criminals. Instead, he places the blame on alleged white racism. In plain English, Adams is abdicating his responsibility to fight crime by playing the race card.
Adams has expressed his approval of the weak-on-crime stance of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Bragg won his election “on a highly progressive platform advocating a prosecutorial focus on ‘racial equity,’” Hannah E. Meyers writes in City Journal, “that embraces non-prosecution, minimizing detention in favor of decarceration and decriminalization.” Bragg’s office will not seek jail for anything short of murder or certain types of deadly assault. Minor crimes, such as trespassing, theft, fare beating, routine traffic violations, and prostitution won’t be prosecuted at all.
Under Bragg’s supervision, armed robbers who use guns or other deadly weapons to rob stores will be prosecuted only for petty larceny, a misdemeanor, if no victims are seriously injured and there is no “genuine risk of physical harm” to anyone. How can there be no “genuine risk of physical harm” when the robber points a loaded weapon at his victim? This is pure double-talk. It suggests that Bragg will bend over backward to avoid prosecuting criminals.
When criminals are arrested for committing violent crimes, they are back out on the streets the very next day if not within hours. An example just occurred in New York, as a gang of illegal immigrants attacked two police officers in Times Square. A photo shows one of the perpetrators giving the finger as he is released from custody. Why should illegal aliens respect our laws when our own government fails to do so?
We need to recognize that Adams, Bragg, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, and other ineffective leaders did not appear out of thin air. People elected them. Progressive politicians throughout the country are taking us down the road to anarchy. When a California woman who murdered her boyfriend by stabbing him 108 times gets no jail time, we don’t have a legal system. And yes, that outrageous verdict was announced a few days ago.
Nothing illustrates the lack of respect for existing laws more than Joe Biden’s open-border policy, which ignores federal immigration law. His policy has been supported by “sanctuary cities” that behave as though federal law does not apply to them.
Why should illegal aliens respect our laws when our own government fails to do so?
Biden is merely following in Obama’s footsteps by turning the Justice Department and FBI against American citizens. He is sending a message that anything goes in the pursuit of power, from weaponizing the justice system against his political opponents to rigging elections.
Finally, consider the double standard in law enforcement. Democrats and Republicans receive very different treatment from the legal system. Hundreds of violent demonstrations driven by Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of the George Floyd case in 2020 went unpunished while nonviolent January 6 protesters — Republicans — have been arrested and denied due process.
A nonviolent pro-life demonstrator is facing 10 years behind bars. Paul Vaughn and others were found guilty of felony conspiracy for peacefully singing hymns at an abortion clinic. “That makes you a felon in Joe Biden’s Department of Justice,” Vaughn said. By contrast, law enforcement has downplayed violence against Catholic churches and crisis pregnancy centers, which counsel against abortions.
The most frightening example of the double standard is the coordinated campaign by Democratic officials to interfere with a presidential election by preventing Donald Trump from running in November. He has been accused falsely of fomenting an insurrection on January 6. His business practices have been called into account. His home was raided by the FBI. If successful, this campaign would destroy any semblance of legitimacy for the American system of justice.
As a postscript, a sitting member of Congress has announced publicly that she is, in fact, an operative of a foreign government. U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is showing complete contempt for our system of laws, and yet there she sits on Capitol Hill.
As contempt for the nation’s laws increases, citizens are left with the impression that they can decide for themselves what laws they should obey. For many Americans, lawless activities such as looting the local Target store and setting the police station on fire are now considered acceptable. Where do we go from here?