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Law and Order Politics is a lie

 
 
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 10:25 pm
I have noticed that both liberals, and conservatives are using "law and order" to back up their positions on issues.

If I understand correctly, their claim is that the United States has always been about strict enforcement of the law-- and that Americans have never broken the law.

Of course I am all for the system of law as a system. However much of the Bill of Rights is specifically concerned with giving Americans that hinder the governments ability to enforce laws. The law is a way of setting up a system of checks and penalties, but there is always play.

Every American bends the law to meet his or her interests. Our legal system and or political system provide balance.

But any American who claims that they support the law no matter what is lying.

This is my thesis. I back it up with these historical examples.

- The Boston Tea Party.
- The Underground Railroad (helping escaped slaves flee)
- Speakeasies during prohibition.
- Unmarried and homosexual sex in private
- Sex between people of different races
- Rosa Parks
- Waco and Ruby Ridge weapons violations.
- Roy Moore

My point is that Americans of all stripes have always had a tenuous relationship with the law. I would bet that none of us support all of the laws, and none of us haven't willingly broken the law. Claims that this will lead to chaos and anarchy are clearly false. Two hundred years of American history proves this.

If you want to make a political point, go ahead and make it. But hiding your political views behind "law and order" is a lie... unless of course you really do believe in upholding every law.

I bet no one here can make this claim.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,023 • Replies: 26
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LittleBitty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 10:55 pm
Re: Law and Order Politics is a lie
ebrown_p wrote:
I have noticed that both liberals, and conservatives are using "law and order" to back up their positions on issues.

If I understand correctly, their claim is that the United States has always been about strict enforcement of the law-- and that Americans have never broken the law.

Of course I am all for the system of law as a system. However much of the Bill of Rights is specifically concerned with giving Americans that hinder the governments ability to enforce laws. The law is a way of setting up a system of checks and penalties, but there is always play.

Every American bends the law to meet his or her interests. Our legal system and or political system provide balance.

But any American who claims that they support the law no matter what is lying.

This is my thesis. I back it up with these historical examples.

- The Boston Tea Party.
- The Underground Railroad (helping escaped slaves flee)
- Speakeasies during prohibition.
- Unmarried and homosexual sex in private
- Sex between people of different races
- Rosa Parks
- Waco and Ruby Ridge weapons violations.
- Roy Moore

My point is that Americans of all stripes have always had a tenuous relationship with the law. I would bet that none of us support all of the laws, and none of us haven't willingly broken the law. Claims that this will lead to chaos and anarchy are clearly false. Two hundred years of American history proves this.

If you want to make a political point, go ahead and make it. But hiding your political views behind "law and order" is a lie... unless of course you really do believe in upholding every law.

I bet no one here can make this claim.


A reasonable request on your part with regard to making one's point, but the claim of something being a lie is an opinion that, to me, has the potential of shutting down any meaningful debate.

I think most Americans, liberal and conservative, believe in obeying laws. Overall, the exceptions are few.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 10:58 pm
Re: Law and Order Politics is a lie
ebrown_p wrote:
If I understand correctly, their claim is that the United States has always been about strict enforcement of the law-- and that Americans have never broken the law.


Personally, I think you misunderstand the idea. It is more about fair and consistant enforcement of fair and reasonable laws. If people actually believed that no one ever broke laws then the number of laws would be minimal.

Quote:
Of course I am all for the system of law as a system. However much of the Bill of Rights is specifically concerned with giving Americans that hinder the governments ability to enforce laws. The law is a way of setting up a system of checks and penalties, but there is always play.


The issue isn't one of checks and balances. It's more a matter of people usurping authority they aren't granted by the Constitution. Where in the Constitution is a governmnet clerk given the authority to decide guilt or innocence? Where are they granted the authority to ignore violations of law or to directly grant people the authority to violate the law? When were the police appointed judge and jury? At what point were politicians granted the authority to intervene in criminal prosecutions that are outside of their jurisdiction?

Quote:
Every American bends the law to meet his or her interests. Our legal system and or political system provide balance.


There is a huge difference between "bending the law" (which implies staying within the confines of..) and breaking the law and then having the authorities at every level ignore the laws being broken.

Quote:
This is my thesis. I back it up with these historical examples.

- The Boston Tea Party.
- The Underground Railroad (helping escaped slaves flee)
- Speakeasies during prohibition.
- Unmarried and homosexual sex in private
- Sex between people of different races
- Rosa Parks
- Waco and Ruby Ridge weapons violations.
- Roy Moore


Your historical examples show what? That people have broken the law? Rosa Parks was arrested and fined. Speakeasys were routinely raided and shutdown. People were arrested and prosecuted for interracial and homosexual acts. Waco and Ruby Ridge are only referred to because of the law enforcement actions (i.e. attempted arrests leading to stand-offs). How were any of these actions overlooked or ignored by law enforcement?

Quote:
My point is that Americans of all stripes have always had a tenuous relationship with the law. I would bet that none of us support all of the laws, and none of us haven't willingly broken the law. Claims that this will lead to chaos and anarchy are clearly false. Two hundred years of American history proves this.

If you want to make a political point, go ahead and make it. But hiding your political views behind "law and order" is a lie... unless of course you really do believe in upholding every law.

I bet no one here can make this claim.


I don't think they need to. Again, there is a huge difference between demanding 100% enforcement of every single law and what we have here in MA where people only support laws if they have some friend or relative that gives them an "in" to circumvent the laws and prosecutors only prosecute cases where the accused isn't a donor to their political campaign.

If a law isn't going to be enforced then get rid of it - it serves no purpose. If the law does serve a purpose then there is no purpose in ignoring it and violators should be prosecuted. It's up to a judge and/or jury to decide what the penalty is for the violation - not some flunky clerk or the arresting officer.
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okie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 01:24 am
So what is ebrown's point? We should all ignore law and order because we all break some law somewhere, is that the reasoning? Is ebrown suggesting we get rid of laws and forget prosecuting anybody for anything? I don't have a clue to the point here.

Personally, I think laws are pretty essential and order in a society is very essential, and I think politicians that advocate such are merely doing their job as defined by the Constitution, especially if running for office in the Executive Branch. After all, isn't that the function of that branch of government?
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paull
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 01:55 am
Yes, no point, and the "historical examples" cherry picked. A yawner.
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LoneStarMadam
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 02:18 am
Americans have never broken the law? Shocked Where did that come from?
Of course we brak laws, look at our prisons.
I for sure do not support all laws, I don't support abortion, but it's the law so i would never do anything illegal to stop it. I think the drug laws are more harmful than helpful, but I would not use them. I believe that tobacco laws have come to the rediculous, but I never smoke where I'm not supposed to.
I absolutely agree with our immigration laws, but unfortunately, about 12 to 20,000,000 mexicans do not agree with those laws, so they break them willy nilly.
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LoneStarMadam
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 02:20 am
ut oh
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 06:20 am
LoneStarMadam wrote:

I absolutely agree with our immigration laws, but unfortunately, about 12 to 20,000,000 mexicans do not agree with those laws, so they break them willy nilly.


Lone Star Madam. New Jersey schools were recently ordered to stop their practice of asking the students in their schools if they were illegal immigrants. They were forced to stop because it is illegal to ask a student her immigration status (since the law guarantees public education for every child living in the US).

Do you absolutely agree with this immigration law? or do you agree that the law against asking students their immigrantion status should be broken willy nilly?
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LoneStarMadam
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 09:18 am
ebrown_p wrote:
LoneStarMadam wrote:

I absolutely agree with our immigration laws, but unfortunately, about 12 to 20,000,000 mexicans do not agree with those laws, so they break them willy nilly.


Lone Star Madam. New Jersey schools were recently ordered to stop their practice of asking the students in their schools if they were illegal immigrants. They were forced to stop because it is illegal to ask a student her immigration status (since the law guarantees public education for every child living in the US).

Do you absolutely agree with this immigration law? or do you agree that the law against asking students their immigrantion status should be broken willy nilly?


Thjat isn't surprising since our LE in many cities are forbidden to ask for someones citizenship status. All it does is make it much easier for the illegal aliens to keep breaking the law.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 09:44 am
You are not answering the question Madam.

Do you feel the LE in our cities should follow the law in this regard, or not?
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okie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 10:11 am
Sounds like it is a stupid law in conflict with other laws. Maybe the law needs to be fixed. Besides, just because it is mandatory to provide education to illegals, why would it be illegal to find out if they are illegal, at least for the purposes of bookkeeping? After all, they want to know lots of things that have even less importance. Come to think of it, the census asks every question imagineable, and that is apparently legal. I agree with being law-abiding, but we need to fix stupid laws.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 11:10 am
I think there is a difference between believing in the rule of law and believing that laws must always be complied with. I believe in the rule of law, with the expectation that there is room in the process for the correction of unjust laws.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 11:31 am
okie wrote:
Sounds like it is a stupid law in conflict with other laws. Maybe the law needs to be fixed. Besides, just because it is mandatory to provide education to illegals, why would it be illegal to find out if they are illegal, at least for the purposes of bookkeeping? After all, they want to know lots of things that have even less importance. Come to think of it, the census asks every question imagineable, and that is apparently legal. I agree with being law-abiding, but we need to fix stupid laws.


Whether the law guaranteeing an education through high school for every child living in the US is stupid is a matter of personal judgement. The only relevant fact for this discusion is that it is the law.

It is not, however, in conflict with any other laws. The law is very clear about what the responsibility of the school is. For a school to ask about the immigration status of students is against the law. For a school to give all kids an education regardless of their immigration status is in compliance with the law. There is no conflict.

As far as needed to "fix" the law... this is a political question. Enough Americans believe that education of all kids is an important value of American society that I don't think you will be able to change this law.

Of course, that isn't my point. I am not a law and order person. I am simply saying that you pick and choose laws (and interpretations of laws) based on your values, the same way that I do.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 11:39 am
This isn't just an immigration thread...

Another interesting current event is the wiretapping question... where the "law and order" types are breaking the law in hopes of making law enforcement more effective.

This seems ironic at the lease.
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 11:42 am
I thnk the thing that is being missed in this discussion is the idea of breaking the law by a private citizen as a form of political protest.

Most of your list ebrown was just that, breaking the law to protest an act by government. That is quite different from the other scenario in which government breaks the law for some supposed higher purpose.

People are free to break the law if they are prepared to deal with the consequences. It is when individuals in the government break the law and hide behind the power of that government to protect themselves that we no longer have law and order. The law is there to restrain those in governmental positions. When it no longer does that then we really have no law that can be trusted by anyone.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 11:51 am
ebrown_p wrote:
This isn't just an immigration thread...


I consider this to be a lie . . . although that may not have been your intent. I seriously doubt that you would have introduced such a topic if you weren't constantly obsessed with the issue of immigration.

As i have so often stated in these fora, if immigration laws were uniformly enforced, a great many employers would already have suffered serious financial consequences for employing illegal immigrants, and may have done some jail time. That's not going to happen, though, because of the huge sums of money involved in the employment of illegal immigrants.

I'm sorry if it offends you, E_brown, but i don't for a moment believe that you had anything but immigration in mind when you started this topic, and i don't for a moment agree with your opinions on that topic.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 11:54 am
Re: Law and Order Politics is a lie
ebrown_p wrote:
I have noticed that both liberals, and conservatives are using "law and order" to back up their positions on issues.

If I understand correctly, their claim is that the United States has always been about strict enforcement of the law-- and that Americans have never broken the law.


s'funny. for several decades up here, we were taught that the main difference between Murricans and Canajuns was that Canajuns were about laws/obeying laws and that Murricans were about freedom.

The switch is disconcerting to see.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 12:03 pm
The phrase "prepared to deal with the consequences" is an interesting one. It can mean several very different things.

People who burned their draft cards in public were doing something illegal for the sake of making a public statement. The "consequences" they were prepared for was part of the act.

People who had illegal same-sex sexual relationships in the privacy of their own homes were doing something that had consequences, but quite unlikely ones. They had a reasonable expectation of their illegal act being unpunished (as it was difficult to detect it).

People who hid escaped slaves were doing a noble, and risky, act that had to be kept secret. They were certainly "prepared" for the consequences in the sense that they understood the risk they were taking, but they did everything they could to keep from paying those consequence... especially since to be discovered meant their mission failed.

During prohibition, people went to speakeasies to get a drink. My understanding is that it was pretty unlikely that anyone would face consequences for their illegal act. Patrons of speakeasies weren't prepared to deal with consequences and thus their safety was often ensured with bribes (another illegal act). But the risk of any consequences to enjoying an illegal drink was small enough that great numbers of people did just that. The magnitude of illegal drinking lead to the repeal of prohibition.
0 Replies
 
LoneStarMadam
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 01:35 pm
LoneStarMadam wrote:
ebrown_p wrote:
LoneStarMadam wrote:

I absolutely agree with our immigration laws, but unfortunately, about 12 to 20,000,000 mexicans do not agree with those laws, so they break them willy nilly.


Lone Star Madam. New Jersey schools were recently ordered to stop their practice of asking the students in their schools if they were illegal immigrants. They were forced to stop because it is illegal to ask a student her immigration status (since the law guarantees public education for every child living in the US).

Do you absolutely agree with this immigration law? or do you agree that the law against asking students their immigrantion status should be broken willy nilly?


Thjat isn't surprising since our LE in many cities are forbidden to ask for someones citizenship status. All it does is make it much easier for the illegal aliens to keep breaking the law.


State laws can not trump federal law, so the law you speak of, is, well, unlawful. I believe in states rights 100%, but I don't make the laws, so, NJ is wrong.
0 Replies
 
LoneStarMadam
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Nov, 2006 01:36 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
I think there is a difference between believing in the rule of law and believing that laws must always be complied with. I believe in the rule of law, with the expectation that there is room in the process for the correction of unjust laws.

& until or unless those unjust laws are revoked, they're still the law.
0 Replies
 
 

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