Those paying attention are watching as the rule of law is vanishing. When laws become inconsistent, unfair, and incomprehensible, people lose faith in laws and the government institutions that create them. The natural result is a loss of “law and order” and ultimately some form of anarchy.
Americans have always relied on laws being applied equally. That’s a big difference in our system. There’s not been one set of laws for the king and one set for the peasants. Although Americans have different opportunities, talents and abilities, laws treat everyone the same. At least, that’s the way it used to be.
Remember Hillary’s bathroom server? Anyone actually think you’d still be walking freely if you had national security secrets on a computer server in your bathroom?
COVID-19 has revealed actually two sets of laws — one for the common folk, and one for the lawmakers. Just think of Nancy Pelosi, who is third in line to become President of the United States. Unlike most people who obeyed the law in San Francisco and stayed away from hair salons closed by city order, Pelosi viewed herself above the law. She went to a hair salon in defiance of the law. And when Pelosi got caught, she didn’t apologize. Instead, she said, it was a “setup.”
Of course it was.
When people assemble at church, the government to protect against COVID-19 almost universally restricts the size of the gathering. But if people gather to “protest” (you’d be right if you called some of these protests rioting and looting), then we’ve seen the government apply a different standard like “no standard.”
Think about that for a moment. Peaceful church attendance is restricted while unlawful rioting and looting is permitted.
The United States Supreme Court recently ruled Nevada could limit people attending church to 50 people per building to protect against COVID-19 while a 50% capacity limitation existed for casinos and restaurants. So, a casino with a 1,000 person capacity can admit 500 persons, but a church with a 1,000 person capacity can admit only 50.
Sounds stupid doesn’t it?
What’s even worse, a casino or restaurant doesn’t engage in constitutionally protected activity. Yet, those gathering in a house of worship, unlike a pancake house, have special protection under the 1st Amendment that is supposed to stop the government from creating laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
So, if you’re in Vegas praying for luck, you get better treatment under the law than if you’re in Vegas praying for salvation.
Because of COVID-19, for a time in Idaho some surgeries were considered “nonessential” while abortion clinics were left open. Bars were closed while State of Idaho liquor stores remained open. Some boutique stores were deemed “nonessential” while big box stores offering similar products were open just because they sold groceries too.
People hardly even know what the law is these days. If you doubt it, ask your accountant if he’s memorized the 73,000-page United States tax code.
We are becoming more and more a nation of lawmakers and less and less a nation of laws. Without respect for the rule of law, unfortunately anarchy in some form certainly will follow.
Bryan Smith serves as the fourth vice chair of the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee.s