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Monday, October 10, 2016
The Rule of Law and Investigating Your Opponents
The rule of law is fundamental to our culture, and the bedrock of our society. It is the reason why people felt comfortable buying farmland and starting businesses. The rule of law gives people the sense of security, the comfort, that their property won't be seized by mobs or the government and that there is "legal redress" against such abuses.
The rule of law was -- perhaps inadvertently -- compromised and attacked by Republican Donald Trump in the Sunday night debate. The vow to investigate Democrat Hillary Clinton for various alleged misdeeds (crimes?) has a chilling undertone.
When Trump declared, "you'd be in jail!" he signaled that his "investigation" would already have the conclusion picked out. This just isn't how credible investigations are done. This isn't how justice is done, nor is it the way to get (or retain) the perception of legitimacy among the general population.
Our governments have awesome power. Whether it's the small stuff like a permit to install an appliance, a license to cut hair or a food inspection permit, governments can exercise quite a bit of control over our lives. When governments have the power to regulate, to investigate and then jail criminals, the power is obviously much greater.
Our rule of law and economic system is based on the premise that our "system" is sound and fair. Our Constitution (see the 14th Amendment) calls for the "equal protection under the laws" as a bedrock principle.
Once our property, security and liberty become more dependent on the goodwill of men, we move from being a nation of laws and a nation where an economy can flourish, to a nation of men whose favor we must seek and receive in order to achieve, build and keep anything.
These sentiments must be of prime concern.