The Rule of Law is almost dead in America
As Stanford Law School shows, the Rule of Law is almost dead in America, and it must be resuscitated if our nation is to survive.
Progressives believe themselves above the law and conservatives below it. What happened and (at the administrative level) continues to happen at Stanford Law School is a perfect example of this intolerable reality. Meanwhile, the pearl-clutching reaction from some conservatives to Trump’s warning that arresting him on ludicrous, political charges may well lead to violence is itself counter-productive. Weakness invites more aggression; steadfast resistance ends it.
A horrendous but all too common incident of progressives unlawfully shutting down conservative speech recently occurred at Stanford Law School. Jonathan Turley summarized the facts:
The Stanford Federalist Society invited Judge Duncan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to speak on campus. However, liberal students, including members from the National Lawyer’s Guild, decided that allowing a conservative judge to speak on campus is intolerable and set about to “deplatform” him by shouting him down.
In this event, Duncan was planning to speak on the topic: “The Fifth Circuit in Conversation with the Supreme Court: Covid, Guns, and Twitter.” A video shows that the students prevented Duncan from speaking from the very beginning. Many called him a racist while others hurled insults like one yelling “We hope your daughters get raped.”
Duncan was unable to continue and asked for an administrator to assist him.
Dean [for Diversity Equity and Inclusion at Stanford Law School] Steinbach then took the stage and criticized the judge for seeking to be heard despite such objections.
Alan Dershowitz gave some very important context to the incident. The plan to disrupt Judge Duncan’s speech was not a localized event that a few students planned and executed. To the contrary:
It was a well-planned and carefully orchestrated effort to prevent other Stanford students from hearing the judge’s conservative views. The disruption was organized by the local chapter of National Lawyers Guild as part of a nationwide effort to suppress conservative speech. Although not all the participants were associated with the NLG, the main organizers were. The Guild praised “every single person” who participated in the disruption, and called it “Stanford Law School at its best,” suggesting it would confront “judicial architects of systems of oppression” with “social consequences for their actions.”
Two things of note have occurred since the incident. First, Dean Steinbach wrote an editorial (excerpted here) in the WSJ justifying her actions and those of the individuals who refused to allow Judge Duncan to speak. According to Steinbach, there must be freedom of speech, but only so long as she approves of the thoughts being expressed:
At one point during the event, I asked Judge Duncan, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” I was referring to the responsibility that comes with freedom of speech: to consider not only the benefit of our words but also the consequences. It isn’t a rhetorical question. I believe that we would be better served by leaders who ask themselves, “Is the juice (what we are doing) worth the squeeze (the intended and unintended consequences and costs)?” I will certainly continue to ask this question myself. …
Whenever and wherever we can, we must de-escalate the divisive discourse to have thoughtful conversations and find common ground. Free speech, academic freedom and work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion must coexist in a diverse, democratic society….
Wow. That is how progressives view speech, as something wholly untethered from constitutional law, guided by a balancing test of free speech against “academic freedom and work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.” Nothing of the sort exists under our Constitution. What the repugnant woman making that claim does not understand is that she has no right to “de-escalate the diverse discourse.” The First Amendment to the Constitution states simply: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech….”
The 14th Amendment transfers this limitation on government power to the states and state actors. Moreover, it applies not merely to laws, but equally to any government action done with the intent of silencing speech. It also applies to Stanford Law School, an institution that receives federal funds and, thus, is a quasi-government actor.
Obviously, virtually every progressive in and out of government is intent on de facto amending the First Amendment to comport with Steinbach’s assertion that Free Speech is now a balancing act over which progressives have an absolute veto. Sadly, Steinbach does not exist in isolation. This is merely one more event in a long line of criminal censorship, none met with appropriate consequences, and much of it exposed collectively in the Twitter Files. What’s galling is that every damn single incident of it is criminal. Freedom of speech is a civil right secured by the Bill of Rights. For any sort of government actor to deny freedom of speech is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Specifically, 18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights provides:
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States…[t]hey shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years….
So the students, the National Lawyers Guild, and Dean Steinbach (the actors currently identified) have blatantly engaged in a criminal conspiracy that should be prosecuted if we are all subject to the law. Instead, the Dean of the Law School, Jenny Martinez, published a 10-page open letter that is tough to swallow.
Martinez begins by berating those who have reacted with anger and “hate” to the Stanford criminals who shut down the speech. She then states that she looks “forward to continuing the conversation about how we can create a learning environment that both respects freedom of speech and ensures that we support all of our diverse community members on their path to becoming lawyers.” What utter horseshit.
Lawyers? The people who shut down Judge Duncan’s speech were entitled progressive thugs who have no business in our legal system other than being incarcerated.
But it gets even worse when Dean Martinez announces that none of the students involved in this criminal obscenity will pay any penalty. Instead, Dean Martinez announces that she will address these criminal acts through the re-education of all Stanford students, including the conservative students whose civil rights were violated. I can only imagine what that re-education will consist of for the conservatives.
Regardless, through this Maoist piece of garbage, Dean Martinez has made herself complicit in the felony violation of the rights of conservatives by refusing to hold the actors liable. At a minimum, she should be criminally prosecuted, and Congress should make Stanford ineligible for any federal funding, including federal student loans.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of all of this is that not a single Republican congresscritter, including ostensibly conservative ones, has weighed in with a demand that any of the clearly felonious actors be punished. Granted, there will be no justice under the Biden administration, but all people in this country, progressive and conservative, need to be put on notice that justice will come.
Our nation is far beyond the point where this dual system of justice can be tolerated—and indeed, if it continues, this nation will fall into a shooting civil war that will make the conflict in 20th century Northern Ireland look peaceful. Ignoring this is intolerable; it is a recipe for a bloody disaster that is inevitable if the progressives are not stopped and the rule of law is reinstated.
Let’s skip now to what is happening with Donald Trump. The left has been trying to destroy him since he took the oath of office in 2017. They conducted two kangaroo impeachment proceedings that saw the toxic Nancy Pelosi, along with Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler, deny the elected President of the United States constitutional due process of law—that is, the ability to question the witnesses against him and to call witnesses in his defense. We allow the lowliest drug dealer due process of law in this nation.
What these scum did to President Trump was beyond outrageous. And lest any idiot claim that our Constitution doesn’t require due process for impeachment, point out to them that we have a 1,000-year record of impeachment proceedings in England, Britain, and America during which, every time, the accused was given due process of law and allowed to present a defense. That was until Nancy Pelosi took control of the House—and may she burn in Hell for the damage she has done to this nation.
Yet neither Mitch McConnell nor any other Senate Republicans raised a single objection to Pelosi’s actions. Not a one of these worthless bastards promised to see the leaders of this criminal obscenity, Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler, tried for a violation of Trump’s most basic civil right. Make no mistake: This was not just a scurrilous and unconstitutional attack on Trump, it was an unconstitutional attack on everyone who voted for Trump.
The progressives, not surprisingly, given that they are acting free of consequence, have now gone to the next level to imprison Trump and make being a conservative illegal. Soros-supported Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is pushing a ludicrous criminal case to imprison Trump. This is raw politics feeding unconstitutionally into criminal law. Trump responded today with a warning:
Trump’s warning is well warranted. The progressive push for permanent political power is outrageous, tyrannical, unconstitutional, and perilously close to pushing this nation into a shooting civil war. And yet it is conservative sites where you can find sites such as Hot Air clutching their pearls and reaching for the smelling salts, a point Andrea Widburg, our own Ms. BWR, makes here. It is the refusal to punish the progressive malfeasance, not the observation of where this is leading us, that is the existential problem here.
Let’s begin with the font of all wisdom as regards human nature, the Bible. Of relevance, Proverbs 13:24 states: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
You probably know that passage by its more familiar shorthand, “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Applied generally, it means that there must be consequences for undesirable actions, or they will repeat and escalate. I am not aware of anyone in all of written history who has contested this truism until progressives in the modern era, as seen with their disastrous refusal to prosecute criminals, especially those deemed useful to progressives, and their lawless persecution of countless conservatives.
On a similar related note, there is game theory. As explained at Scientific American (in 2013 when it was ostensibly still a science magazine), the most efficient way to make rule breakers stop breaking rules is to apply to them the same standards to which they hold you, i.e., the Golden Rule of Punishment:
Moral sciences are back. Natural laws of ethics, envisioned early in the Enlightenment, can now be studied. Scientists are relearning the wisdom of old traditions by objectively rating their performance. And they’re suggesting improvements: any rule system is weaker without “The Golden Punishment Rule.”
Humans, being social, can’t live without rules. Certain rules work better. Game theory provides “behavioral telescopes“ to study them.
The naturalistic fallacy says we can derive no ethical lessons from nature. But without seeking good and evil in nature, we can compare the productivity and sustainability of behavioral rules—and map negative ethical spaces, which are inherently unworkable, and thus inherently bad.
For example: we can compare how ethical traditions do in Prisoner’s Dilemmas against the game’s best strategy, called Tit-For-Tat, which is an “evolutionarily stable strategy.” As Tomas Sedlacek asks: What would Christians do? Or practitioners of any religious or secularly sourced Golden Rule?
The results are clear: Rationalists do worse than the Golden Ruled. And Jewish preferences beat Christian ethics. So-called rationalists, dominated by some dire logic, produce no cooperation and low productivity. Two Golden Ruled players cooperate, thus beating rationalists. But New Testament turning-the-other-cheek is exploitable (as Machiavelli and Nietzsche complained). Old Testament eye-for-an-eye comes closer to Tit-For-Tat, if forgiveness follows (which might be divine, but is also evolutionarily adaptive). But punishment sufficient to ensure that cheating doesn’t pay must also prevent escalating revenge. Hunter gatherers avoid such feuds by delegating the severest punishment to close male kin. A “Golden Punishment Rule,” that mimics Tit-For-Tat, enables cooperation by sustainably preventing exploitation….
To restate both the Golden Rule of Punishment and the ancient wisdom of Proverbs 13, if progressives are setting new, unfair rules, we need to make them live by them. That means we do not for a second tolerate their actions. We need to make sure everyone understands that, when the swinging political pendulum brings political power back to conservatives, we intend to hold these pieces of human garbage liable for their violations of the law, including their failure to enforce duly passed laws.
Ironically enough, I blame Trump for this current situation. His decision not to enforce the law—that is, not to prosecute Hillary Clinton or the DOJ and FBl personnel who whitewashed Clinton and destroyed evidence, and his decision not to protect Michael Flynn—was a pivotal and fatal error leading directly to our plight today.
One could argue in Trump’s defense that there are precious few people who would have had both the foresight and wisdom to take such actions against the deep state. Fair enough, but Trump has not yet shown anything that would convince me that he could, or would try to, succeed on this metric if given a second opportunity. We are at the point where “fool me twice” means the end of our nation.