The Rule of Law: How Conservatives Can Win the Election, Part 1
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
In 2016, President Trump ran as the “Law and Order” candidate. He was not the first, nor should he be the last, Republican presidential candidate to adopt this position. In its purest form, our democratic republic exists to protect the inherent and God-given rights of its citizens. No laws, no order, no republic. That would be bad.
Nothing has made the issue of law and order more relevant than the weeks of rioting and looting taking place across the country. Despite every American’s support of the right to peacefully assemble and protest, especially in the wake of universal outrage over the methodology of suspect detainment, nothing that has occurred comes close to resembling a protest. What is on display is outright criminal and reprehensible behavior.
In major cities, opportunism and narcissism have overrun any notion of promoting social improvement. Ironically, but of no interest to the anarchists, it is enterprising and upwardly mobile people of color most affected by the wanton destruction. Entire stores are being looted and burned to the ground, a veritable extirpation of entire neighborhoods destroying decades of forward progress. In a society that depends on decency, morality, and responsibility from its citizens in order to survive, this display of the worst elements of the human condition only promotes the collapse of society.
The most worrisome aspect of our current condition is that even though the gasket of social angst already blew after the death of George Floyd, it still feels primed to burst again. Despite the fact that thousands of bullet casings have hit the ground from the hands of black-held guns in Chicago, Baltimore, Minneapolis, and literally every major Democrat-controlled metropolis, tensions and (wrongly) justified anger are so high that it will only repeat once the next police killing occurs. Atlanta is proof positive of that. When all of the known evidence points to a justifiable shooting and the officer is still charged, not only with manslaughter but with murder, that isn’t good. At this point, it isn’t a matter of if but when the next conflagration washes over the land.
A dog only wanders as far as the leash allows; likewise, anarchy can only take hold as long as the mighty force of law and order remains at bay.
The Republican Party, whether headed by President Trump or anyone else, should take this opportunity to secure the safety and freedoms of the American people. Urban black, rural white, and everyone in between wants and deserves the same thing. We want our homes and families to be safe, we want our businesses to remain open, and above all else, we want to see a just and equitable society reward us for our choices while responding appropriately to criminal behavior.
As it pertains specifically to protests, there needs to be a fair warning about engaging in unlawful demonstrations. A heavy police, and military (if needed), presence should ensure the protection of peaceful protest as well as the prevention of their devolution into a crime and terror spree. There is also no room for kneeling among the ranks; they can agree or disagree with the movement on their own time. The police serve the sole function of defending the right to assemble. Nothing more and nothing less is required.
The preclude to clamping down on dangerous and unlawful behavior could go something like this: “We welcome your right to assemble. However, the right to protest exists only as long as participants respect corporal safety of others and private property. You may gather, speak, and march in our streets to share your message. Our police presence is not here to deter you; we are here to protect your Constitutional rights. However, you may not violate any laws or the rights of others. This includes, but is not limited to, shutting down freeways, physically aggressing toward others - particularly those you do not agree with, trespassing private property, and committing any other crime in advance of your cause. Any criminal violation will result in your immediate detention and prosecution to the full extent of the law. You have been notified. Be safe and God bless the United States of America for granting such uniquely wonderful privileges to us all.”
The large majority of protesters are well-intentioned people. Misguided perhaps, but well intentioned. The same is true of police in the sense of their good intentions, but in communicating high expectations to those assembled it should be noted that none of this condones questionable or criminal police conduct. Law and order cuts both ways. To that end, President Trump has made additional progress by signing executive actions to reform police departments nationwide. Better hiring practices, more thorough training, and honest responses to legitimate complaints and bad behaviors all mark a step in the right direction. While the press will never give him credit in this regard, the President needs to continue being vocal about and proactive toward the public safety needs of everyone in cities big and small.
The collective panic and knee-jerk responses to the inexcusable singular police action that resulted in a man’s death need to come to an end. The lies of intentional police racism and brutality do, too. It is time we acknowledge our gratitude for the brave, usually unnoticed and often unrewarded, behaviors of the tireless men and women in uniform. Nothing has brought to our attention just how thin the blue line is between lawful society and lawless anarchy than the past few weeks. We need the police. We need their sacrifice, their heroism, and their protection.