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(44,499 posts)
Tue Oct 11, 2022, 03:17 AM Oct 2022

Lawlessness Erodes Solidarity--and Democracy [View all]

Society can’t hold together if bad actors on the streets and at the highest levels of business and government go unpunished. It’s time to stop making excuses for them.


We don’t want to submit to an uncontrolled Leviathan to enforce social order. But violence and lawlessness can’t go unchallenged. Americans need to uphold cooperative norms and legal authorities need to punish those who commit crimes. Magasin Pittoresque via Getty Images.

The subway system in the nation’s capital no longer enforces fare rules and just lets people jump the gates. Reckless drivers blaze through red lights and pedestrian crossings without any consequence. Working-class moms can’t let their kids out in their neighborhoods for fear they might get shot. Mentally ill men who assault women and kill their dogs can terrorize city parks with no accountability. Major health care corporations that openly defraud Medicare to the tune of billions of dollars suffer no serious punishment. An immoral president who foments insurrection against his own country and then steals national security secrets is continually shielded by an entire political party.

America suffers from a raft of lawlessness that is eroding social cohesion and democratic norms. From the little crimes to the big crimes, an epidemic of excuse-making by political elites allows lawlessness to run rampant while good-hearted and law-abiding citizens get played for suckers in America’s eroding social contract. On the one side, Democratic activists excuse all sorts of violent crime in American cities as either a fiction or something people must deal with to advance an opaque notion of social justice. They simply don’t care about rising violent crime and want to change the subject to something else.

On the other side, Republican activists empower a corrupt leader who actively sought to overturn an election he lost while committing myriad other criminal abuses of power. They simply don’t care that their party leader is a crook who sold out his own country. Both political parties allow tax cheats and other corporate scofflaws to operate freely and skirt regulations without legal recourse while cracking down on small businesses and individuals who make any mistake at all. Political elites simply don’t care to take on the malefactors of great wealth except in fake populist ads come election time. To America’s ideological and political elites, the law is just something for the little people to naively believe in or a partisan cudgel for battering opponents.

The problem of course is that the rule of law and the social norms that underpin it are vital components of a free and democratic society. If Americans cannot trust one another to behave decently and honestly—and can’t rely on the authorities to enforce laws and regulations when people cross the line—then the country will continue its slide into a dysfunctional state of anger, resentment, and mutual loathing. Nothing good happens in this state of despair. People make bad decisions when they are scared and cynical about all public and private institutions. Extremist solutions gain ground as a means to address the chaos. Life in a world without effective government and the rule of law quickly becomes “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

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And it's happening right in front of us SouthernDem4ever Oct 2022 #1
Kick dalton99a Oct 2022 #2
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