Americans take so much for granted. I know I took for granted that I lived in a representative democracy where everyone played by the same rules.
Unfortunately, Republicans don’t take our system of government for granted — they want to destroy it. Some Democrats — and most of the news media — take Republicans completely for granted — that they’re honest actors in this shit show. They’re not honest actors. That’s why this is a shit show.
The Rule Of Law and corruption sit directly across from each other on the circle of possibilities. There’s no middle ground between them. The least whiff of corruption and The Rule Of Law is compromised. It may not collapse like a house of cards, but, as iron-like as it seems, its foundation is actually quite vulnerable because it relies on us to maintain it — to rush in and fix it when its foundation is threatened. Donald Trump blatantly violates & violated The Rule Of Law — and no one (until now) has stepped up to stop him.
Trump is president BECAUSE he violated The Rule Of Law. The Rule Of Law says you can’t cheat to become POTUS. You can’t take foreign money. You can’t serve foreign purposes. You can’t take foreign assistance in order to facilitate a foreign power taking over our government. The Rule Of Law says “You can’t”.
If The Rule Of Law is still a going concern in America, it means Donald Trump is not now nor has he ever been the legitimate President of the United States. If not for Russian influence he would not have survived the primaries. If not for Mitch McConnell refusing to let We The People in on the secret — that Russia was actively working to game the election for Trump — Trump would not be POTUS today. We’d have had an honest conversation about Trump eons ago.
America’s founders never imagined a Mitch McConnell — a Senate Majority Leader so corrupt, he worked at the behest of a hostile foreign power to overthrow the very Constitution he took an oath to defend. Oh well — what’s an oath to a Republican except more words he doesn’t mean?
We take The Rule Of Law for granted — that’s still our operating principle. But, where did The Rule Of Law spring from? It didn’t appear by magic. Human beings wrote The Rule Of Law. We imagined it. Wrote it down. Debated it, revised it and, after a while, voted on it — and voted to live by it.
But there’s nothing automatic about it. If we never thought about it again, it wouldn’t just sit there, it would vanish — just as it did from our minds. Having a Rule Of Law places heavy demands on each and every citizen. They have to follow it, of course, but just as important — they have to insist that every other citizen follows it too. They have to insist that people who violate The Rule Of Law pay a price. It’s not just some abstract bunch of rules — it’s the code we all use to live peaceably together.
America still stands as a remarkable achievement in human history. The idea that people can govern themselves — that they don’t need kings or princes to rule them — changed everything. As Franklin said though — the problem with a Republic is keeping it. It’s hard because it demands that we all agree to keep it.
We have to show up. We have to want it. We have to be willing to fight — perhaps even to the death — to keep it. The other side is that intent on taking it from us.