Friday, May 13, 2022

Enforce the Laws

Trump's rallies have always had a special moment where the crowd breaks into the chant "Lock her up! Lock her up!" Sometimes the chant erupts repeatedly, spontaneously, while Hair Furor speaks. Originally it meant they wanted to lock up Hillary Clinton, but the target is not really terribly important. It could be Anthony Fauci, Nancy Pelosi, Hunter Biden, President Biden himself; women are the preferred victims. Kamala Harris is a favorite.

This chant has a strange appeal to conservatives. It is a pure, concise icon of their belief system: we don't want to debate with liberals, we don't want to listen to their over-eddy-cated ideas, we want to throw them in prison.

The new fascist movement is almost literally peasants with pitchforks and torches storming the castle. It is not literally that because, though we have seen torches, I at least have not seen pitchforks at these rightwing events. Also, they like to attack and occupy state and federal capitol buildings, and not actually castles. But the fact is, the magas want to take direct action and punish somebody, bypassing legitimate pathways. Jail would make them happy, though they are in favor of execution of liberal leaders. Assassination, torture, whatever.

Of course the problem with that is that the US has stuff like a Constitution, laws, processes for charging people and giving them a fair trial. No matter how frustrated conservatives are with our system of government, the idea that we would imprison political rivals without a criminal conviction is deeply un-American. It runs against the most fundamental principles of our way of life. You cannot claim to support freedom and liberty and also set up gallows to execute political leaders without a trial. This logical inconsistency is obvious to any reasonable observer. But still: conservatism is the defiance of hypocrisy.

These days, the Democrats control Congress and the Presidency and have the ability on many levels to investigate and prosecute big-time criminals who are trying to break our country. These are not neighborhood burglars, these are people who grab hundreds of millions of dollars at a time from government accounts through tax evasion, subsidies, fraud, bribes, nepotism, and other kinds of corruption. They make sure tax cuts go to people who don't need them, and that ordinary people do not benefit from government programs that would make their lives better; they redirect government money to their friends and families rather than to the most qualified contractors and corporations, or to citizens in need.

We do not hear Democrats chanting "Lock them up." In fact what we see is that Democratic leaders, including district attorneys and leading Justice officials, are afraid to use legitimate government processes to enforce laws that were established with good reason, for the benefit of the people of the country.

Maybe their focus groups are telling them that it would "look bad" to prosecute criminals who belong to the Republican Party. Maybe it would "look political." And so we have people like Mike Flynn, Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, Donald Trump and his family members and his former Cabinet members and advisors, all of them who ripped off the American people throughout the Trump years and now are running around promoting anti-American ideas and candidates who will implement them. We have people with pending sex charges, corruption charges, frauds and grifters, seditionists and liars out on the streets, enriching themselves while they do their best to try to bring our country to its knees.

The media direct our attention to the petty things, and we fall for it. "Illegal immigrants" are not getting all the baby formula. A Black women's lacrosse team is not smuggling drugs. Shooting Black guys for cracked tail-lights does not make us safer. Our media and our attention focus on petty incidents while billionaires and millionaires, preachers and politicians and gigantic corporations are robbing us blind. Why does the US have the worst technology in the developed world? Why do we have the worst healthcare? We pay our taxes and where does that money go? It goes to fund the arms industry and it goes into the pockets of billionaires and corporations with armies of lobbyists.

Joe Biden has a lot of good ideas, programs that really do make life better for people. He has increased employment, he nearly eliminated child poverty, wages are up and crime is down, except for gun crime. He is handling the situation in Ukraine skillfully. But his approval ratings are dragging the bottom. And why is that? It's because he is coddling criminals. Our leaders, from the top down, are too cowardly to enforce the law. People know the insurrectionists must be stopped, but our leaders won't stop them.

It is not enough to provide good services to the people, especially when you have preachers, posers, and politicians up and down the country telling people that the Democrats are communists and pedophiles. Our elected leaders need to defend our values and our country, aggressively and strongly.

We had an attempted coup, once the greatest country on the planet and now we are like some little dictatorship somewhere, with maga rednecks smearing their poop on the walls of our Capitol while Congress crouches behind blockaded doors. A violent insurrection, organized and directed by the president and his inner circle. Some of the suckers and minor-league sociopaths who went into the Capitol are getting jail sentences, while all the ringleaders -- all of them -- run around free, undermining our way of life. Congress and the Justice Department are afraid to disturb them -- oh, you don't want to obey a subpoena, no prob man, sorry to bother you. The corrupt rich and powerful are becoming exponentially more rich and powerful and our elected leaders are afraid to do anything about it.

The Constitution was carefully written to support robust government in the face of political abuse. Our government was designed to survive even when some citizens have criminal intentions. The justice system was set up to support and defend an orderly, secure, lawful way of life, and it is time to use it as it was intended. Maybe some defendants will be found not-guilty, fine. Try them. Put the evidence on the table. Bring consequences.

The recently leaked Supreme Court opinion regarding abortion, once it is issued, opens the door for the courts and the federal government to take away a lot of rights besides the right to manage your own reproduction. I do not personally understand the motives of people who want to take away American citizens' rights, but tighten your seatbelts, 'cause here we go. The rightwing Supreme Court is delivering the totalitarian state that the Republican Party dreams of. They are starting with abortion and you can expect your rights to drop like flies after this.

You will not get your freedom back once the unprosecuted criminals have had their way with our country. We need to enforce laws, from the Hatch Act, bribery, and emoluments, and up to fraud and tax evasion to foreign-agent violations, to perjury and conspiracy and sedition, to protect the system that makes lawful civilized life possible in the first place. But the media and government leaders are afraid of "how it would look."