I’m not a lawyer, never did pretend to be one. I’ve worked with lawyers, I was even married to one for a while. I’ve spent half of my life in law. It gave me the deepest respect and sense of security in the world.
The present chaos that we are all feeling deep in our bones is because we have people at the top of our government who’ve managed to grab a little piece of the power for themselves and are abusing the laws. It is to this atrocity that I wish to speak out and say,
Laws were created for the goodness of all. They protect the weak and the sick and the injured, not just the moneyed few. They can be manipulated and they are imperfect as a construct of man. But laws exist where morality fails to guide, where common sense is absent or where conscience falls silent into the swampy darkness of greed and corruption. Laws give us guidelines for how people shall live and die. Laws give us a sense of surety, a sense of safety around how people can treat each other. They give us resources, a place to go when we have been wronged, recourse to fall back upon when you just can’t convince the other guy to behave like a decent human being.
When we abuse these laws, undermine them, disrespect them and attempt to circumvent them or explain them away; when we don’t people hold people accountable to the law, it erodes a sense of safety, civility, morality and decency in our culture at large and in the individual in specific. It is a dangerous, slippery slope from undermining the rule of law, which some people are trying to do by dismissing certain acts as not being illegal or by trying to explain them away, saying, Everybody does it.
When we accept that another person’s dismissal of laws shall become our new standard for living, we open ourselves up to the vulnerability for the next actor to come along, commit an atrocity, break the law and also have it dismissed. It turns us into primal actors, savages and a civilization where people feel the need to arm or in order to protect themselves because they don’t trust the police officer or the court. It becomes a society where the breakdown happens so quickly that we can’t sleep at night because our anxieties or fear keep us awake, because we don’t know if the guy who has driven us off the road will actually be held accountable or given a summons. It becomes a place where we lose trust in our judges to put the guy in jail who nearly burned down our mountain valley, or put the white supremacist in jail committing mass shootings because he felt aggrieved and a bit upset with humanity on a Tuesday afternoon.
When we value individual interests and wants above the higher rules of law guiding human behavior and placing limitations on appetites of greed and personal profit, we also disregard the more vulnerable beings as animals and the environment. We disregard the needs of non-Caucasians, women and anyone seen as different from the moneyed white guys at the top. We may not feel the effects this afternoon nor even next week, but rest assured, by affiliation with the whole of humanity and our role in our culture, we will be affected. The effects of a lawless society, one without recourse or justice, reverberate throughout the soul of all beings, creating a sense of mayhem and inflicting pain on all, whether directly or not.
The Republican Party, in its staunch denial to accept that their guy and his affiliates have abused their power and manipulated our system to co-opt control for their personal gain are NOT above the law. It is our democratic duty as citizens of these United States of All Beings to protect our democracy for the benefit of all, not just the privileged few.