America’s Crisis Is Three-Tiered Justice

Last week brought to the fore a serious problem now threatening to undermine the very foundations of America’s constitutional republic: we no longer have equal application of justice under the law. The rule of law has become trifurcated, with a different application of the law depending upon one’s position in the political hierarchy.

First, there’s one application of the law for members of the powerful elite who have the right political connections. Here, the law is more a series of suggestions that might or might not be followed with almost no legal consequences for non-compliance.

Example A, of course, is Hillary Clinton. Many people have gone to jail for doing what she did, including members of our armed forces. Yet she paid no consequences for violating laws on the use of classified information on her unsecured and illegal private server. She played games, likely for personal gain, with our national security. Yet she and her enablers and co-conspirators like her aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin are apparently above the law, even escaping consequences for lying to federal agents.

There is also the case of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). Her erstwhile Pakistani IT staff, who also worked for dozens of Democratic members of the House, had a history of highly questionable behavior, with some even suggesting that they potentially were running a spy ring inside of Congress, accessing computers and uploading sensitive information to the cloud to be accessed by foreign powers. Not only did federal prosecutors refuse to pursue anything regarding those allegations, but just this week, as Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are having the book and the kitchen sink thrown at them over bank fraud, one of these staffers, Irwan Awan, got a slap on the wrist for a charge of bank fraud to which he pled guilty, will have no fines, and will serve no jail time. It seems likely that an investigation of these staffers would have turned up too much dirt on Democratic members of Congress.

Then there’s the application of the law for high-powered government bureaucrats. They can abuse their power, lie under oath, spy on Congress, pass around fake dossiers, leak to the press while turning the bureaucracy into personal weapons against political opponents, but face no consequences save getting a fat contract as an on-air contributor from a news outlet.

And finally, there is the application of the law for the rest of us, the normal everyday Americans who bear the full brunt of the law for a single violation of mishandling classified information or any other breach of national security law. If you have the wrong political connections or aligned yourself against the establishment in any way, you get pre-dawn raids from an FBI that look more like the KGB’s modus operandi than that of a constitutional republic.

So if you try to tell me that we have equal application of justice under the law in America, you’re living in an alternate reality because what’s taking place around us points to arbitrary law.

This is a very real and fundamental problem for this country because if everything is arbitrary, nothing is sacred. And if nothing is sacred, and we start to just make up rules as we go along, society devolves. When the idea of law becomes arbitrary all we are left with as a society is competing opinions.

Society cannot stand the tension for too long: one of the opinions must become the new “right” or absolute. But the people who believe in the wrong opinions? Well, to resolve the tension they will be compelled, by force, to believe. And that is why all of this discussion about the equal application of justice and rule of law is so desperately important.

We were founded on the idea of rule of law, where all, regardless of last name or political affiliation or connections, stand equal before it. But we’ve now made it a farce. We have condoned political warfare by means of the law; call it “lawfare” if you will. There are two likely outcomes to this behavior: we risk our republic imploding and collapsing under the arbitrary hypocrisy of it all, or the people wake up and exact serious consequences for those guilty of such behavior. Both are ugly and painful outcomes. We must avoid the first at all costs, and endure the pain of the second to set things right.

Throughout history, in most nations, the powerful and elite thought they could play by different rules, and for periods of time they’re able to get away with it. Consider France’s old regime as well as its revolutionary period; power, not law, ruled the day.

Whether we are talking about kings who think they are the state, or revolutionary parties of the Left that think they the sovereign, the people are abused when law is only a tool for the powerful to wield. The ruling class and elites crushed those beneath them in France, living decadent and ostentatious lives, creating different rules that benefited themselves over the mere peasants. So detached were the French elites from reality that they were likely still confused when they were being trundled off to the guillotine. It didn’t matter if the rule of law was being abused by kings or elected officials, the rule of law was still abused to the detriment of the nation.

But the people throughout history have always cried out for justice, and if the ruling class in America is not careful and does not correct its mistakes and realize it too stands equal before the law, the people will come for them with pitchforks and torches.

Photo Credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

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About Ned Ryun

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.