Our Flag

I shared this recently on Facebook:

This is not Trump’s flag. It is not the MAGA flag. It is the flag of these United States. It is the flag of all the people, by the people and for the people. It is the flag of the Rule of Law, under which we are all equal. Take it back, people, from the halfwits, the corrupt and the greedy. Take it back and fly it with its true meaning at heart, no matter what failures we have endured, for when we do that we do our best at home and in the world. It is OUR country, much to love and much to heal, but I’ll be damned if these fools, these blind hateful denizens of racism, white supremacy and shallow jingoism, these two-bit grifters and talentless cons, these traitors and insurrectionists, use our flag as somehow their symbol. Be proud of what is best in America. And be committed to the conclusion that has Trump, Barr, Flynn and many more in jail.

I argued with someone not too long ago, perhaps 3 or 4 years, probably during the 2016 election, about the Rule of Law. This person had some bad experiences with our judiciary, which is not impossible to envision. But the Rule of Law, I argued, does not guarantee the ideal, since that requires near perfect people all along any chain of events. It guarantees that we aspire, as a system, towards the ideal. We seek to perfect. We work to correct.

I reminded him of the judge on Pennsylvania who sent dozens of kids to pre-adult criminal facilities for the weakest of reasons, but it eventually outed that he was a partner with the person who owned that facility, and every child sentenced brought somewhere from $50,000 to $100,000 per year of gross revenues. At the time, which was pre-Trump, nothing had ever sounded as awful as that, and many of us, probably all of us, expressed our disgust. And my friend said see, there’s your Rule of Law for you.

Some months later that judge was sentenced to jail for the rest of his life, and it hit me that the Rule of Law will not protect us from evil deeds, including evil deeds within the judicial system. But it does say that if caught, if proven guilty, that you will be punished no matter if you’re a judge. And he remains in prison and will for the remainder of his putrid little life.

I write this because it is under Trump that the Rule of Law itself is under attack. That guarantee is no longer a given. Friends of friends of Trump can walk free, or they think they can, same as it is in Putin’s Russia. Nothing is more central to our Democracy than the Rule of Law. No one is above our Law. There will be errors, bad actors, poor decisions, but we aspire, as a society to full equality under the Law.

And that is why Black Lives Matter, and all our efforts for complete racial equality, is so important. It can’t just be Rule of Law for people with lighter skin color. That immediately fractures the vessel that holds the Law. Rule of Law is full equality under the Law, with no exceptions, under any circumstances.

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