Democrats’ successful 100-year war against the rule of law in America made it possible for a court to ban Democrats’ top opponent from criticizing them Monday. Because the United States is, in multiple aspects, effectively lawless after years of leftist-detonated norms and institutions, Democrats are now free to not just threaten Donald Trump with several hundred years in prison but anyone they so choose to target.
Not only must Trump spend millions in multiple venues for the crime of effectively publicly disagreeing with Democrats, but as of Monday, he is gagged from talking about this situation. That means merely being a party to a lawsuit has erased his First Amendment rights.
Prosecutors are well aware that they can convict just about anyone they want. That’s partly because American laws and regulations are now so voluminous that enforcement depends on discretion: picking and choosing whom to go after. The law has ballooned far beyond punishing things everyone knows are wrong to being used as a social control tool.
This is why the U.S. Department of Justice can go after peaceful pro-life demonstrators and people who merely walked on public property on Jan. 6, 2021. It’s the American enactment of the famous Soviet secret police head’s dictum, “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.”
We have seen this incredible power used most incredibly with the various prosecutions of Trump, but it could happen to any of us at any time. That makes the United States a functionally lawless country ripe for abusing anyone through the justice system, not just the government’s No. 1 wanted target.
Targeting someone as prominent as Trump is in itself an exercise in political repression by communicating that what they do to him, they’ll freely do to his supporters, too. It’s lawlessness, repression, election interference, and tyranny. They all work in concert. It’s frightening that it seems there’s no Vladimir Putin-like act Democrats can’t do to shake their power or their supporters.
A key reason for the corruption of the U.S. justice system into a tool of political prosecution is the sheer volume of laws and regulations. The volume has been added by leftists working to increase the size and interference of government for more than a century. It’s now completely beyond control, even more so because Congress has failed for 70 years to control the administrative state that passes laws in their stead.
A Harvard University professor wrote about this reality in his book, “Three Felonies a Day,” as have multiple other legal scholars. In his 2014 book, “By the People,” social scientist Charles Murray gave multiple reasons “our encounters with today’s legal system as it actually functions are often indistinguishable from lawlessness.” Five are:
- The average person cannot afford to defend himself from an accusation.
- Criminal law has expanded beyond infractions everyone knows are wrong to a vast array of mostly process crimes. These process crimes can punish people for completely reasonable actions.
- Most civil law is now arbitrary and capricious, about following pointless regulations that don’t benefit anyone except government regulators: “Punishment for failure to observe an arbitrary and pointless regulation is indistinguishable from punishment for failing to obey the arbitrary and capricious demands of an absolute ruler.”
- It is impossible to even know what the laws are, and even if you could read and remember them all, it’s impossible to comply because many contradict themselves.
- Law is often subjective and discretionary, both of which are indistinguishable from lawlessness.
Murray didn’t add what is also apparent: that the process is the punishment. People paying attention who aren’t extremely wealthy know that clearing their names in court might not work, but it will certainly bankrupt them. It certainly will affect their happiness. So they self-censor and take other forms of reasonable precautions to avoid getting noticed by a government official who could ruin their lives — who now number in the thousands, if not millions.
The weaponization of the justice system is not an accident. It is the foreseeable cause of ending limited government. That has occurred by multiple means, but the proliferation of laws and allowing executive agencies to substitute for Congress in passing their own laws (as well as arbitrating disputes with them and enforcing them) is chief among them. Unlimited government is tyranny.
Don’t take my word for it. Take the words of the framer of our now mostly discarded Constitution: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
This is what tyranny looks like. We’re living under it now. Any Republican who wants to tell me about how great they are on judges is lucky to get only cynical laughter in response.