We are witnessing the death of democracy
In the United States the Constitution is the ultimate guide, the final word on what is legal and what is not. The oldest written national constitution on the planet, it has been amended from time to time, but only via very stringent requirements. It is intentionally difficult, though not impossible, to change. As the governing document of a nation, it provides stability, exactly what the law is intended to do. The law assures everyone plays by the same rules and, when applied consistently to everyone, assures that those in power cannot abuse their authority.
America has long claimed the moral high ground when participating in world affairs, pointing to its own experience as an example. Much like a parent telling a child how essential it is to follow the rules in order to succeed in life, the mighty United States has often pointed out inconsistencies in law and in human rights of other nations. America’s success and prosperity are often tied to the unabashed adherence to the law. The long-term good of any nation and of the world as a whole is achieved through the consistent and fair application of law that has been created and implemented through a democratic process.
Lately, however, the United States appears to have abandoned this belief. In both practice and via proposal, America seems to be making it up as it goes along.
Under President Trump for example, the Supreme Court counted more conservative jurists than liberal ones among its nine members, for the first time in my lifetime. The process that produced a conservative majority was no different than it had ever been, but suddenly, with the result being different, the left began to squeal. The court must be expanded and President Biden would appoint all new Justices.
The proposal did not come to fruition, but the notion that the rules should be changed to accommodate a political agenda made court-watchers sit up and take notice.
Recent years have been littered with examples of the law not being implemented equally.
The manner in which the FBI investigated Hillary Clinton and her rogue email server, including classified information that was not properly secured, was night and day when compared with how that same agency looked at Mr. Trump having hard copies of classified information. Imagine for a moment the media frenzy and public outcry if Mr. Trump had 30,000 emails that he intentionally digitally shredded so that the Justice Department couldn’t see them.
That same FBI ignored protocols and spent years chasing down Mr. Trump’s alleged connections to Russia, allegations that all stemmed from an opposition-research file created by a political operative hired by Hillary Clinton. Could it have been that with people like Peter Strzok, an FBI investigator who told his girlfriend he had an “insurance policy” against Mr. Trump winning, looking at the allegations that the law was the last thing on the FBI’s agenda?
Nothing however, beats the latest example of The Law Be Damned.
For all their claims that Mr. Trump is a fascist and will become a dictator, the left seems to be taking amazingly radical and undemocratic steps. In Colorado, the state Supreme Court determined by a 4-3 vote that Mr. Trump is not eligible to appear on the Republican primary ballot. He has the required number of signatures and has filed all paperwork properly. But those are not the issue. Instead, a majority of the Colorado court determined Mr. Trump was ineligible because he had led an insurrection in January 2021.
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows came to the same conclusion and ruled that Mr. Trump cannot appear on the ballot in Maine.
How on earth did this unfold? It is undeniable that the secretary of state has the responsibility to determine eligibility to be on the ballot. What she has no authority to do is single-handedly determine whether Mr. Trump, or anyone else, broke the law.
Under Maine state law, the secretary of state is responsible for preparing ballots for a presidential primary election and must hear and decide on challenges to the legality of nomination petitions. Three challenges were filed by Maine voters. Ms. Bellows held an eight-hour-long, live-streamed hearing on those challenges Dec. 15.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment reads as follows:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
Mr. Trump has not been convicted anywhere of insurrection. In fact, he hasn’t even been charged. But despite no charges, no trial, and no due process, Ms. Bellows determined the former president is guilty of insurrection under the 14th Amendment.
Maine is one of only three states in which the secretary of state is chose by the legislature. You read that right. The public did not elect her; the party in charge chose her. In this case, the Democrats chose someone who had previously served as the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and previously been very clear about what she thought of Mr. Trump.
Despite having no legal authority to determine Mr. Trump’s innocence or guilt, Ms. Bellows did exactly that. Sadly, some prominent red-state Republicans are now suggesting they use the same tactic in red states to get Mr. Biden kicked off the ballot.
Such is the death of democracy, and in turn, the end of a once-great republic.
Political parties so intent on winning that they will do anything to win, regardless of what the law says? Yes. Prohibiting the opposition from appearing on the ballot? Sure. Expanding the Supreme Court for the expressed purpose of stacking the legal deck? Absolutely.
Law enforcement determining whom and how to charge based on their political party? The ends justify the means.
In recent years we’ve seen cities and states change how ballots are cast, collected and counted. The once-sacred concept of securing the chain of custody of every ballot has been sacrificed for political gain.
This past year we learned that the White House was giving “suggestions” to social media companies on what should and shouldn’t appear online regarding sensitive topics such as Hunter Biden and COVID. Let’s sacrifice the First Amendment in the name of a political agenda.
We’ve seen the Biden administration instruct Border Patrol agents not to enforce the law as written but allow virtually anyone in. When told by the courts they needed to follow procedure for scheduling hearings for illegals seeking to enter the United States, the administration complied by scheduling court appearances … for 8 years from now.
When the rule of law is followed only when it is politically expedient, the end is here. The idea that voters don’t get to vote for the candidate of their choice, but rather only choose from those deemed suitable by a government official selected by her political party is absurd. Our once-mighty republic is on life support. Considering the egos and political agendas at work, the prognosis is not good.